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Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2016

Aristotle was almost certainly talking about wine when he wrote, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” While cellaring wine may, at times, feel like an agonizing guessing game, when you finally do open that cherished bottle at its optimal drinking age, it’s nirvana. Or close to it.

The reward of a well-aged wine erases any doubt or anxiety that came with its maturation, and the thrill of the experience can become surprisingly addictive. If only it were easier to know those optimal aging windows.

Our Top 100 Cellar Selections list takes the guesswork out of sitting on your hands. Culled from the nearly 1,000 wines reviewed throughout the past year that were designated Cellar Selections by our tasting panel, this lineup will guide you when undertaking the tricky yet gratifying task of starting a cellar, or just help you expand your existing collection.

Listen to episode 2 of the Wine Enthusiast Podcast to hear our editors and experts talk about the what, where, and when of cellaring wine.

This year’s list includes a range from classic Italian reds and Bordeaux-style blends to elegant Rieslings, nervy Chardonnays, and just about every grape variety and style in between. We try to include something for everyone, no matter the budget. While many of the selections on this list are not inexpensive, more than half are less than $100 and a quarter come in at under $50. All of these beauties are projected to mature and evolve well through the next five, 10, 15, even 20 years…if you can stand the wait. Happy cellaring!

What Is Blind Tasting?

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.

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About The Scores

*Products deemed unacceptable (receving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.


The Pinnacle of quality


A great achievement


Highly recommended


Very Good
Often good value; well recommended


Suitable for everyday consumption, often good value


Can be employed