Alejandro Fernández Tinto Pesquera, Millenium, Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2009
Platinum - Best in Show: Best in Show
A year in which two Ribera del Duero wines make it into the top twenty while no Rioja came through (though check out our Platinum and Gold Medal wines for some excellent Rioja choices) surely marks a milestone in the development of Spain's great Duero region. This was the oldest wine among the still, unfortified choices in our top picks -- yet a casual glance at its dark, black-purple colour is likely to surprise. The aromas, too, are youthful and packed with sweet, sumptuous black fruits; it's really in the harmony with which these aromas swim together that you can note the passing of the years. In the mouth, the wine is soft and mouth-filling, autumnal and warm-fruited; the depth of that fruit and the amplitude of the wine's coaxing tannins, though, mean that it still has at least a decade of cellar time ahead of it.