We all have our go-to bottles, and this list features 10 favorites that many of our readers have been seeking. Whether you’re looking for a California Kirkland Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir or anything in between, we’ve got you covered.
Williams Selyem 2017 Pinot Noir (Sonoma County); $39, 98 points. This is a perfumed and seductive wine made from a range of sites across the county. Fresh acidity is seamlessly integrated between textured layers of black cherry, forest floor and cardamom. The overall experience is balanced and undeniably beautiful. Editors’ Choice. —Virginie Boone
Brady Vineyard 2018 Zinfandel (Paso Robles): $24, 96 points. Dense aromas of black currant, red flowers and charred meat are wrapped in a rocky edge on the nose of this bottling. There is great cohesion to the palate, where rich red fruits are cut by crushed stone flavors, lifted by savory spice and framed by ample acidity and tannins. —Matt Kettmann
Lail 2018 Blueprint Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $80, 96 points. From a range of sites and expertly blended by Philippe Melka and his team, this wine has 5% Petit Verdot and spent 18 months in French oak, half of it new. Black olive, pencil shaving, sage and cedar provide a savory context against which concentrated black cherry and plum play. Coffee makes an appearance on the finish. Enjoy 2028 2035. Cellar Selection. —V.B.
Austin Hope 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles); $56, 95 points. Quite dark in the glass, this reliable crowd-pleaser begins with hearty aromas of black currant, black plum, lush oak and caramel, accented by a hint of olive and loads of clove and nutmeg. The mouthfeel is hearty and rich, with just enough tannic weight to balance the creamy black-cherry, caramel and chocolate-ice-cream flavors, which lead to an oaky finish. —M.K.
Vina Robles 2018 The Arborist Estate Red (Paso Robles); $18, 94 points. This is a screamingly good deal, offering both hedonistic pleasure and complexity through a blend of 41% Syrah, 35% Petite Sirah, 12% Grenache and 12% Tannat. Aromas of roasted cherry, smoked meat and cola spice lead into a hearty palate of black currant, roasted game and licorice. It’s balanced by bright acidity, making for a sip that will satisfy many. Editors’ Choice. —M.K.
Vinos de Arganza 2016 Lagar de Robla Producción Limitada Colección Cuatro Hermanos Mencía (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León); $62, 92 points. Ripe, easygoing aromas of blackberry, black currant and baking spices lead to a lush palate. This Mencía from an excellent vintage is defined by ripe berry flavors backed by spice notes and soft, smooth tannins. The finish is all about lingering berry fruit. Drink through 2023. W. Direct. —Michael Schachner
La Crema 2018 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley); $35, 90 points. Part of the Jackson Family portfolio, this widely-available wine marries spicy berry and black-cherry fruit to barrel flavors of cocoa powder. Tannins are buffed to a fine gloss, and come to a final focus with a hint of green tea. Some 23% was aged in new French oak. —Paul Gregutt
Montecillo 2016 Crianza (Rioja); $11, 90 points. Fresh berry and red plum aromas are lifted by complementary notes of oak grain and vanilla. This value-priced crianza from a very good year feels flush but primed by punchy acidity. Red plum, berry and a hint of wood spice make for a classic Rioja flavor profile, while this remains tasty and fresh on the finish. Evaton, Inc. Best Buy. —M.S.
Clos d’Argentine 2014 Winemaker’s Selection Reserva Malbec (Mendoza); $42, 91 points. Ripe aromas of blackberry drift towards raisin and animal fur. This is immensely full in body, with ripping tartaric acidity. Flavors of coconut and vanilla are oak based, while blackberry fruit finishes bold, but with a reverb of choppy tartaric acidity. Drink through 2022. Winery Direct. —M.S.
Kirkland Signature 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (California); $13/3L, 86 points. A deep color and concentrated black-cherry flavor gives this full-bodied wine some classic Cabernet character. Dense fruit and lightly spiced oak tones meld with a light snap of tannin to firm up the texture. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon