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 Other White
The Loire Valley is a complete mix. Every style of wine can be found along its 600-mile length. The best known Loire Valley wine regions are Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé: the models for Sauvignon Blanc around the world. And the Chenin Blanc of the central Loire — the sweet wines of Vouvray and Anjou — have a poise and acidity which allows them to age for decades, yet be fresh when young. The dry Chenins of Savennières are the purest expression of their granite soil to be found anywhere. Finally to complete the mix are the Cabernet Franc-based reds of Chinon and Bourgueil and the fresh, easy whites of Muscadet. Search our Loire Valley wine guide’s hundreds of Loire Valley wine reviews for more details on individual wines and for our comprehensive database of Loire Valley wine ratings.
Stretching 250 miles south from the San Francisco Bay to Santa Barbara County is the Central Coast Wine Region, a coastal sprawl responsible for about 15% of California’s total wine production. In the northern parts of the Central Coast, Chardonnay tends to dominate the plantings, with Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also playing significant roles. The cool, maritime-influenced climate along with the fertile and gravely soil contribute to Chardonnay’s crisp acidity and citrus flavors, and the extended growing season yields concentrated Merlot and Cabernet. Some of the top northern Central Coast AVAs include, Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey. South of Monterey, the Paso Robles AVA has garnered fame for its wines produced from Rhône varieties, Cabernet and Zinfandel. At the southern end of the Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (made famous as the backdrop for the…
For truly intrepid vinous explorers, the Southwest France wine region offers treasures in the form of undiscovered appellations and little-known grapes. Madiran is home to the Tannat grape, while Jurançon is the home of Petit Manseng. And those are some of the most widely recognized names. Search our Southwest France wine guide’s hundreds of Southwest France wine reviews for more details on individual wines and for our comprehensive database of Southwest France wine ratings.