94

2010 G.D. Vajra Ravera, Barolo, Piedmont

( TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines )

More structured than the Bricco delle Viole, this comes from a 2.2 hectare, south- and south-east facing vineyard and is a first release. It’s got a bloody, almost iron-like note on the palate, firmish but well integrated tannins and minerally freshness. The tannins need food (preferably a lump of protein) to take away their edge. One to tuck away.

BuyDrinking window: 2018-32Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nebbiolo
93

2013 G.D. Vajra, Coste & Fossati, Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont

( £18, 13.5%, Wine Liberty )

Made from a “proprietary selection of red-stalked clones”, the estate’s top Dolcetto hails from a single vineyard in Vergne. Rich in colour and more concentrated that the straight Dolcetto d’Alba, it’s worth the extra money. Plush and aromatic, with sweet plum and damson fruit, soft tannins and a sweet, lingering finish. Dolcetto doesn’t get much better than this. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, Red
93

2011 G.D. Vajra, Barbera d'Alba Superiore, Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont

( £23, 15%, Liberty Wines )

Slightly higher in alcohol than the regular Barbera, this is mostly sourced from the Bricco delle Viole vineyard, where the vines are 40 years old. Aged in neutral Slavonian oak, it’s creamy, smooth and savoury, with impressive texture, notes of liquorice and dried herbs, polished tannins and a warm, full-bodied finish. A Barbera that’s definitely worth keeping for a few years. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-19Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Italy, Red
96

2010 G.D. Vajra Luigi Baudana, Cerretta, Barolo, Piedmont

( TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines )

Even chalkier and fresher than the Baudana bottling under the same label, this has more perfume, elegance and finesse, with a tautness and minerality that are thrilling to taste. Essence of Serralunga, with fine, silky tannins, good structure and a sweet, complex finish that goes on and on and on. Beautiful Barolo. 

BuyDrinking window: 2018-30Similar Wines: £30-£50, 96-100, Red
91

2012 Clos Floridene, Graves, Bordeaux

( £17.99, 13%, The Co-operative )

Denis Dubordieu deserves his reputation as one of the best white winemakers in Bordeaux. Clos Floridène is a case in point, a textbook blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a dash of Muscadelle that benefits from 25% barrel fermentation. Tangy, fresh and grapefruity, this has subtle oak, good texture and minerally flourish. 

Drinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
90

2011 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre, Veronese

( £10-15, 13.5%, Liberty Wines )

This is one of the best vintages yet of this modern Veneto blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Sangiovese, partly made using the Ripasso technique. The chalky soils of this excellent vineyard are apparent in the freshness and minerality of the wine. It’s compact, yet still bright and nuanced, showing subtle oak, good structure and flavours of bramble and blackberry, with a savoury, earthy twist. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Italy, Red, Corvina
94

2009 CVNE Imperial Reserva, Rioja

( £20.49, 14%, Berry Bros & Rudd, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Majestic, The Co-operative, Wimbledon Wine Cellars, Wine Rack )

CVNE’s Imperial is one of Rioja’s best value, ageworthy wines. This is still an infant and will need at least another five years in bottle to come close to its best. Dense, concentrated and sweetly oaked with a chalky undertone adding freshness and bite to the plum and raspberry fruit flavours. Traditional Rioja at its youthful best.

BuyDrinking window: 2015-25Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Spain, Red, Tempranillo
93

2000 Domaine Cazes, Ambré, Rivesaltes, Languedoc-Roussillon

( £15.95, 16.5%, Prohibition Wines )

At only £15.95 a half bottle, this has to be one of the best value fortifieds on the market at the moment. It’s a mature, salty, rancio-style wine made from Grenache Blanc and Macabeu that’s mid way between a Sherry and a Tawny Port in style. Try it poured over vanilla ice cream or with a walnut tart. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-20Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, France, Fortified, Grenache Blanc, Macabeo
93

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

( €17.50, 12.5% )

The Riesling grapes that go into this cuvée come from a series of old vines sites in the Paul Valley close to the River Mosel. It’s another very assured performance, with a richness that’s almost remiscent of the Pfalz. Musky and faintly exotic, with lovely weight and density, sustained by tangy acidity. The balanced between slight sweetness and acidity is very well judged. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
95

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Auslese Feinherb, Mosel

( €39, 13% )

The best and oldest parcels on the Niederberg-Helden Einzellage are used to make this remarkable wine. It’s on the dry side for an Auslese, with 51.9 grams of sugar, with the concentration and slaty minerality beautifully entwined. Floral and appealingly honeyed, with notes of nectarine and ripe pear sustained by citrus- and pink grapefruit-like acidity

Drinking window: 2014-22Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
97

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Beerenauslese Edelsüß, Mosel

( €95, 12% )

What an incredible bottle of wine. Sybille Kuntz is better known for her dry than sweet styles, but this shows that she’s equally adept at both. This comes from mostly ungrafted vineyards planted in the 1920s in Niederberg-Helden. It’s an exotic wine all right, but the tropical fruit flavours of pineapple and mango are tempered by acidity and extract. A Riesling that lingers tantalisingly on the palate. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-22Similar Wines: £50-£100, 96-100, Germany, White, Riesling
90

2012 Innocent Bystander Syrah, Yarra Valley, Victoria

( N/A, 13%, Liberty Wines )

Phil Sexton’s Yarra Valley winery is one of the most innovative in the region. It’s got a lot of tourist appeal, but it’s wines are deadly serious, too. This is a typically elegant, refined red, with fine-grained tannins, subtle pepper spice and plush raspberry and blueberry flavours and a minerally, refreshing finish.

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, Red, Syrah/Shiraz