Published on December 3rd, 2018

Top 10 Wines of 2018

Every year the major wine publications like Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast release their Top 100 wines of the year list, which is comprised of wines that were well-reviewed, exciting, values and more.

We decided to make our own list of the Top 10 wines of 2018, based upon a few criteria:

  1. Deliciousness. We know a wine is good when we recommend it, and the customer comes back raving and buys a case. These wines take off like wildfire, and become our default wines in each category for selling. Customer approved!
  2. Interest. Lots of factors make a wine unique. Maybe its the story of the winery or winemaker, maybe it has a big press score, maybe it is a new release or style from that particular winery. Wine is such an enigmatic product, we are never quite sure why one wine has the magic, but we are happy when it does.
  3. Value. This being DEP’s, we are all about finding the sweet spot between value and quality. In today’s market it is possible to find incredible wines at unbelievable prices, and that is what our wine buyer sets out to do everyday.


#1 Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon California

Our longtime wine representative Lou Schnier brought this wine for Shannon (our Wine Buyer) to taste and she instantly knew it was a winner. Sometimes, a wine just has everything going for it. Packaging (this wine displays a brilliant Lion graphic), pedigree (all the fruit comes from prestigous hillside vineyards) and style. At this humble pricepoint, it is easily as good as wine three times the price. For more info read here

#2 Depth Red Blend Mendocino California

A case of kismet. Rich Parducci, longtime friend of DEP’s, is a world-class winemaker in Mendocino, California. His family has been farming grapes there for a century. Rich and Shannon were talking one day about a special blend, just for DEP’s, and Rich ‘happened’ to have some extra Zinfandel laying around. He made several blends, sent the samples to KY, and the DEP’s wine team sampled and selected their favorite. Et viola, our exclusive, private blend is here. A lush, full bodied red blend comprised mostly of Zinfandel, this is a crowd pleaser, and we are so proud of the results.

#3 Plume Dry Rose Sicily 2017

Another happy partnership! This wine is made exclusively for DEP’s by Italian winemaker Michael Schmelzer, of Chianti fame. Plume is a dry Sicilian Rose, and this is the second iteration of the wine. When it came in this summer it was a perfect salmon hue, as compared to the 2016 Rose which was a bit darker. We sold the first shipment in just 3 weeks!

#4 Babu Reserva Portugal

If you shop at the Covington location, you know Alfonse. And maybe you know that Alfonse LOVES Portuguese reds. This is a gorgeous red and wild value (it retails for $25 online!). With concentrated fruits and a rich finish, it is no wonder this is a wine that people keep coming back for.

#5 Tilenus Mencia Bierzo Spain

Raul Perez was named Winemaker of the Year in Spain by 3 separate wine publications, and we are pleased to be able to offer this little gem of wine made by the man, the myth, the legend. Mencia is grape that if you haven’t ever had it, you need to run, not walk, to DEP’s to try it. Light it weight but with mighty flavor.

#6 Silvio Grasso Barolo

Holy Barolo Deal. Why this wine is so cheap is beyond us. Hailing from La Morra in Italy’s Piemonte region, Silvio Grasso’s Barolo are pure elegance in a glass. Although it tastes like a special, holiday-only type bottle, its humble price allows for you to drink this on Pizza night.

#7 Vina Coterro Rioja Spain

A typical blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano & 10% Garnacha, coming from 30 year old vineyards. This is bright red fruits, think raspberry and cherry, but with a vanilla oak backbone.

#8 Forge Riesling Dry Classique NY Finger Lakes

Wine from the Finger Lakes is seriously good, and more of it becomes available each year in our market. However, this is by far our favorite, due to it’s dryness and acidity. Haters of Riesling, try this and by amazed.

#9 Milou Chardonnay South of France

The little wine that could! An inexpensive French Chardonnay, offering a style that every type of Chard lover can enjoy. Lightly creamy, but with nice green apple notes, this is a pleasant value for every occasion.

#10 Bastide Miraflors Syrah/Grenache France

This is a wine magazine darling, always receiving HUGE scores. A cuvée created from Grenache grown on rocky, alluvial clay soils resembling those of the Rhône Valley combined with Syrah grown on schist in the village of Maury