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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 Other Red
The Mendoza Wine Region is by far the most important in all of Argentina as it is responsible for approximately 80% of the country’s total wine production. The Malbec varietal is almost synonymous with Mendoza as it accounts for the majority of the region’s plantings, but Cabernet Sauvignon, Torrontés and Chardonnay are also heavily produced. The combination of the desert-like conditions and high-altitude vineyards aid in producing wines with robust concentration with plenty of supporting acidity. The Malbecs from the region are known for producing wines with dense boysenberry, plum and blackberry flavors and often show layers of coffee and bitter chocolate due to oak aging. Be sure to look through our Mendoza Buying Guide to find the top cellar selections as well as the best buys from this region.
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.
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…