From the Winery
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 Sauvignon Blanc
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.
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…
The wine region of Sonoma is home to some of the most historic vineyards and wineries in California. In the 1850s, Hungarian Agoston Haraszathy planted various grapes in Sonoma that he was confident could rival European varieties, and today it is a leading wine region in California as well as the U.S. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast are predominantly made by smaller wineries and have experienced increased popularity, as can be explored in our Sonoma Wine Guide. Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, the only varietal that the U.S. can call its own because it was the first planted in California, is rich with ripe and jammy berry characteristics and can gain complexity with oak barrel aging. The same goes for the elegant Cabernet Sauvignon wines of the Alexander Valley, which tend to be…