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
93

2013 G.D. Vajra Petracine Riesling, Langhe, Piedmont

( TBC, 13%, Liberty Wines )

There isn’t a lot of competition in Piedmont, but this has to be the region’s best Riesling. Nor would it look shabby in a tasting with examples from the Alto Adige. Made entirely with clone 49 on poor, sandy soils, it’s a dry, tangy style with notes of white flowers and lime zest and a crisp, tapering finish. Beautifully balanced. 

Drinking window: 2015-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, White, Riesling
92

2013 G.D. Vajra, Moscato d'Asti, Piedmont

( £12, 5.5%, Liberty Wines )

How many wines make you want to start dancing? I love the perfumed frivolity of this wine. Sweet, frothy and perfumed, it’s a wonderful expression of the Moscato grape. The alcohol is low, the flavours are fresh and aromatic. What’s not to like? Try it with a bowl of strawberries. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, White, Muscat à Petits Grains
95

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

( TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines )

The Luigi Baudana wines come entirely from Serralunga d’Alba, widely considered the best village in the Barolo region. This is more closed and concentrated than the sweeter, riper 2009, but has finer tannins, too, and the classic chalky undertone of eastern Barolo. It’s a serious, even sligthly backward wine with excellent structure and ageing potential. Give this wine time. 

BuyDrinking window: 2018-30Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nebbiolo
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
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
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
92

2012 David Reynaud, Beaumont, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley

( N/A, 12.5%, Liberty Wines )

A Crozes-Hermitage under screwcap? You’d better believe it. David Reynaud’s wines are perfumed as it is, and the new clsoure should make sure that’s always the case. There’s no reduction here – sometimes a problem under screwcap for Syrah – just lots of bramble and blackberry fruit. Spicy, bright and mineral with delightful freshness. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, France, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
93

2012 Massolino Nebbiolo, Langhe, Piedmont

( N/A, 14%, Liberty Wines )

Fascinating to taste this wine under screwcap and cork and perform a contrast and compare job. They are both excellent, as you’d expect from a top producer in an outstanding vintage, but I slightly prefer the brightness and purity of the screwcapped wine. Fresh and elegant, with pure raspberry and cherrystone fruit, subtle oak and the chalky minerality that’s so typical of Serralunga. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: 91-95, Italy, White, Nebbiolo
93

2011 Greywacke Chardonnay, Marlborough

( £21, 14.5%, Liberty Wines )

Kevin Judd was better known at Cloudy Bay, just as he is at Greywacke, for his Sauvignon Blancs than his Chardonnay, but he’s always been a very skilful producer of the latter grape. This is arguably the best Chardonnay he’s made yet at his new venture, a minerally, citrus-tinged white with deftly interwoven oak and flavours of oatmeal and honey. Very classy. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Chardonnay
94

2012 Tolpuddle Chardonnay, Tasmania

( £39.00, 13%, Liberty Wines )

A remarkable Tasmanian Chardonnay from Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith, the team behind Shaw & Smith in the Adelaide Hills. This is dense, flavoursome stuff that wouldn’t look out of place in a Meursault Premier Cru bottle, with subtle, toasty oak, lots of mid-palate weight, flavours of struck flint, citrus and pear and a long, tapering finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Australia, White, Chardonnay
92

2012 Tolpuddle Pinot Noir, Tasmania

( £45.00, 13%, Liberty Wines )

Not quite as thrilling as the Tolpuddle Chardonnay, but this is still an impressive Aussie Pinot from Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. Supple and fragrant, with aromas of rose petal and red fruits, a touch of oak, fine tannins and good grip on the finish. The cool climate acidity gives the wine real length on the finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Australia, Red, Pinot Noir