All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context—vintage, variety or appellation—but never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.
*Products deemed unacceptable (receving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.
The Pinnacle of quality
A great achievement
Often good value; well recommended
Suitable for everyday consumption, often good value
Can be employed
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Discover New Regions for Sangiovese
The Tuscan Wine Region is considered one of the most important in all of Italy. It’s here that Sangiovese flourishes, producing a variety of distinct and influential wines, according to our Tuscan Wine Guide. The Chianti area exports more wine than any other in Italy, and wines labeled with DOCG must contain at least 80% Sangiovese. Wines from the Chianti Classico, Ruffina and Colli Senesi DOCGs will typically spend more time in oak and in turn be more complex. Brunello, a clone of the Sangiovese grape, is only grown in the Montalcino area and requires a minimum five years of aging to be classified as Brunello di Montalcino. Rosso di Montalcino is also made from Sangiovese, but only requires a year of aging, resulting in more approachable wines. A handful of visionary winemakers that chose not to follow the DOCG…
Spanning across the central and southern areas of Washington State lies the Columbia Valley Wine Region. It is the state’s largest AVA, covering nearly one-third of the state’s landmass. The wines of the region have been described as having the potential to combine the structure and finesse of the Old world wines with the approachable fruit and ripeness of the New World style. Our Columbia Valley Wine Ratings illustrate the improvement in quality of these wines over the last decade or so. The main white grape varietals grown in the region are Chardonnay and Riesling which are discernible by their vibrant fruit and crisp acidity. The red varietals are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a recent increase in Syrah particularly in the Columbia Valley sub region Walla Walla. It was the Merlot craze of the 1990s that sparked the…
The Central Italy Wine Region extends from the western Tyrrhenian Coast to the Adriatic Coast on the east, covering the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria. Tuscany is well-regarded for its Sangiovese wines from the famed DOCGs such as Chianti, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Along Tuscany’s long coastal stretch, Maremma, international varieties thrive. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah have been utilized in super Tuscan blends, according to our Central Italy Wine Ratings. Italy’s landlocked region, Umbria, produces two DOCG wines: Sagrantino di Montalfaco and Torgiano Rosso Riserva. Sagrantino is a red varietal that’s naturally high in tannin; the finished wines usually require years of cellaring in order to be fully expressive. Torgiano Rosso Riserva is a Sangiovese-dominant red. White wines thrive in coastal Lazio, with much of the production based on the…