According to the May Wine Spectator magazine I just got, these are considered "highly recommended" or "smart buys" so in order of score:
10) Glen Carlou Grand Classique Paarl 2005 ($20) A dark, winey version, with solid grip to the macerated black current, fig sauce and espresso note that pump through the finish, where a nice hint of iron lingers. A rock-solid South African red. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2011 with a score of 90 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
9) Buehler Zinfandel Napa Valley 2007 ($19) Soft and elegant, this has a delicate sense of complexity, offering floral raspberry and cherry aromas, with juicy, layered plum and spicy cinnamon flavors that linger on the lively finish. Drink now through 2014 with a score of 90 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
8) Vina Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Medalla Real Special Reserve 2006 ($20) A rip, concentrated Chilean red, with a broad swarth of macerated currant, fig paste, espresso, loam and black licorice notes all carried by dense but integrated tannins. The finish lets sage and mint notes chime in. Best from 2010 through 2012 with a score of 91 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
7) Peter Lehmann Shiraz Barossa 2006 ($16) Ripe and round, this is generous with its smoky cherry and black currant flavors, persisting against mildly grippy tannins to create a long, layered finish. Best from 2010 through 2016 with a score of 91 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
6) Jean-Louis Chave Selection Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur 2006 ($23) Alluring, with dark cocoa, game, braised fig and roasted plum notes laced with hints of iron and garrigue. The nice solid, muscular finish lets a loamy edge echo on. Drink now through 2010 with a score of 91 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
5) Gini Soave Classico La Frosca 2007 ($27) This stylish Soave delivers aromas and flavors of peach and honeysuckle, with a dry almond not. Full-bodied, with a lovely, silky texture and a lingering mineral finish. Feels like a top Condrieu. Drink now with a score of 92 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
4) Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc St. Helena 2007 ($32) Vivid, ripe and tropical, offering pineapple, dried mango, peach and apricot flavors, with mineral grace notes that gain momentum on the finish. Offers refreshing acidity and light body. Drink now with a score of 93 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
3) Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County 2006 ($25) Very rich and concentrated, this is dark, potent and full-bodied, offering layers of blackberry, wild berry and currant, with hints of cassis. Ends with a blast of pepper, mineral and cedary oak. Drink now through 2015 with a score of 93 (Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style).
2) Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol 2005 ($50) This intense and focused French red show concentrated mineral, plum and dark cherry flavors that are flanked by tobacco box notes. Lithe yet powerful, with a long, elegant and finely chiseled finish of slate and white pepper. Drink now through 2015 with a score of 95 (Classic: a great wine).
and, because I doubt anyone reading this can afford a $75 bottle of wine, the number one wine is:
Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2007 ($29) A rocket beam of vibrancy, with effusive honeysuckle notes and ripe honeydew melon, citrus, pear and apricot flavors that have amazing structure, depth and body. Ripe flavors end with a mouthwatering finish, where the mineral and spice details echo on and on. Drink now through 2012 with a score of 96 (Classic: a great wine).