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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 Bordeaux-style Red Blend
By far the largest, the most important, and one of the best French wine regions, both for high-end wines and for bargains, is Bordeaux. Great reds from the renowned chateaus are what make the headlines, but Bordeaux is so big, that there is plenty of choice. Our Bordeaux wine guide features hundreds of Bordeaux wine ratings. Within the Bordeaux wine region are numerous appellations, including the famous Left-Bank Médoc communes of St-Estephe, Pauillac, St-Julien Reviews and Margaux, among others. The most famous Right-Bank regions are St-Emilion and Pomerol. The general level of quality has improved dramatically over the past two decades. The reds are fruity, but never overly alcoholic, always with a layer of tannin that makes them superb food wines. The whites are fresh, the best with wood flavors to give complexity. Check the individual Bordeaux wine reviews for…
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…
Located in the North Coast Region of California, Napa is one of the most exclusive wine areas in the country despite the fact that it accounts for a mere 4% of California’s total wine production. The main red varieties that call the Napa Wine Region home are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. They are often ageworthy, with some earning consistently high ratings in our Napa Wine Reviews. Pinot Noir and Syrah are also grown in the region, and in the proper sub appellation, produce some interesting wines particularly when crafted by the right winemaker. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are the two main white varieties that flourish in Napa and have gained international recognition over the past 30 years. In fact, in 1976 California Chardonnay topped many of the Grand Cru Burgundy whites for first place in the now legendary…