Top Wines of 2009 

New year, new decade, and to be honest, I think most people are happy to see the first 10 years of this millennium behind them. In the past year, this column highlighted almost 100 different wines, and while all the panel's top picks were worthy, there were standouts. Looking back, I made a list of five wines that ranked as my favorites. Unfortunately, wines sell out and vintages change, so three of those five are no longer available. Here are the two that are left, plus one.

2005 Lan Edicion Limitada, $45

Of all the wines tasted, this stands out as my top red. The aromas are amazing, rich and floral with unctuous cherry, anise, light cedar, spice, dark chocolate and plum. Equally amazing and complex in the mouth, the flavors echo the aromas. Elegantly structured, impeccably balanced, exceptionally persistent, this is a benchmark wine that should age well for years to come.

2007 Der Pollerhof Gruner Veltliner, $14.49

It's like deja vu all over again. This was the only white to make my list last year, and here it is again, drinking beautifully. The aromas offer a nice mix of ripe apple, creamy tangerine, sweet lemon and lime. This richly textured gruner with supple flavors is reminiscent of silky pie crust wrapped around a spicy core of citrus, melon and apple. Lightly sweet fruit and fresh herbs mark the long finish.

2007 Paul Dolan Zinfandel, $16.99

The 2006 was my top zin last year, notable for its balance and style. It may be history, but if anything, the 2007 is even better. The nose is marked by that same savory dark cherry backed here by chocolate and herb. It's big but balanced with creamy red fruits in the mouth. Lots of ripe plum and berry carry through from start to finish, with soft tannins rounding things out. A great red at a great price.

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