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The Enthusiast 100 of 2018

The Enthusiast 100 of 2018
Photos by Ashton Worthington / Animation by Matthew Dimas Photo by Ashton Worthington

This year, Wine Enthusiast’s tasting panel reviewed more than 24,000 wines from around the globe, exploring a multitude of regions, styles and price points. Each year, we cull through this behemoth batch of wines to pull out the most exciting finds. In the last two issues, we celebrated those that offer the most bang for your buck (Top 100 Best Buys) as well as the wines that you need to invest in today for enjoyment tomorrow (Top 100 Cellar Selections).

So now, here’s the best of the best: The Enthusiast 100.

The Enthusiast 100 is the apex of our yearly round-ups, offering an impressive collection that represents some of the top wines reviewed this year. This list of high-scorers showcases still and sparkling picks, rosés and even sweet wines. Beyond their high numerical ratings, these boast excellent quality-to-price ratios, drinkability and availability, with an average score of just under 93 points and an average price of $36.

This year’s top spot goes to a Barbera from Piedmont—a category that has made huge strides in the last few decades. While not historically considered a high-quality grape, a growing number of producers have focused their efforts on building its reputation through better vineyard and cellar practices, moving away from the simple, fruity offerings to structured, concentrated pours. The No. 1 wine this year is from the relatively new Nizza DOCG—one of the best sites for Barbera and formerly a subzone of Barbera d’Asti. It is made by one of the catalysts behind the creation of the designation, Michele Chiarlo. At a price that’s hard to beat, it shows the incredible precision, complexity and ageability that exemplifies this new wave of Barbera from Piedmont.

All of the selections on this list are not to be missed and are sure to be snapped up fast, so find your favorites, grab a glass and enjoy!

Click here for a downloadable PDF of our Enthusiast 100 of 2018.


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.

98-100

Classic
The Pinnacle of quality

94-97

Superb
A great achievement

90-93

Excellent
Highly recommended

87-89

Very Good
Often good value; well recommended

83-86

Good
Suitable for everyday consumption, often good value

80-82

Acceptable
Can be employed