Top Shelf

This month's top-scoring Cellar Selection, Editors' Choice and Best Buy.

Top Shelf

Here's a look at this issue's top-scoring Cellar Selection, Editors' Choice and Best Buy. For full tasting notes on these and hundreds of other wines, visit our Buying Guide.


Cellar Selection  Astralis 98 Clarendon Hills 2004 Astralis Syrah (Clarendon); $325.      
The 2004 is a stunner, yielding up scents of flowers and spice, framed by hints of vanillin oak. It's dense and amply textured in the mouth, packed with wonderfully expressive blackberry and blueberry fruit. A tour de force of Australian winemaking.
Editors' Choice  Dolce 96 Dolce 2002 Late Harvest Wine (Napa Valley); $80/375 ml.
Enormously rich in apricot, tangerine and roasted coconut flavors, with plenty of botrytis notes, the wine was aged in 100-percent new French oak, and oozes in sweet vanilla char and crème brûlée.
Best Buy  Alceno

90 Alceño 2004 Syrah (Jumilla); $10.
Very colorful and properly ripe, with lush berry aromas backed by coffee notes. The palate is lush and balanced, with deep blueberry, black cherry and cola notes. A truly committed wine with a smooth, unctuous finish as the final chapter.

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