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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 Cabernet Franc
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.
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…