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TOP 100 WINES OF THE WORLD 2022 - JAMES SUCKLING

TOP 100 WINES OF THE WORLD 2022 AND OUR WINE OF THE YEAR

Trevor Durling, the chief winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard in Napa Valley, with our 2022 Wine of the Year.

At the end of February, I began to travel to catch up for lost time in Hong Kong after almost two years of what was essentially being locked down because of the pandemic. I landed in San Francisco, and my wine odyssey began with tasting hundreds of 2019 cabernet sauvignons and many other wines up and down the coast of California as well as Oregon and Washington. And then it was four months in Europe, mostly Italy and France, and finally back to the West Coast, Australia, and New Zealand. Some of the JamesSuckling.com tasters accompanied me along the way, while Senior Editor Stuart Pigott tasted on his own in Europe and others kept the tastings going in our office in Hong Kong. 

It was the biggest effort I have personally made in 41 years as a wine critic, but it was worth every minute despite all the difficulties along the way. In the last 12 months, my team and I rated over 32,000 wines. That’s 7,000 more than last year. And I doubt many other well-known competitors in the arena of wine criticism rated as many wines or racked up as many frequent-flier miles. All of my tasting team had the chance to travel to key wine regions and see vineyards, speak with winemakers and taste wines in context. It’s important for all of us to understand great wines better and improve our skills as wine critics and, more important, as wine lovers. Plus, I am an old journalist at hand – I began my career as daily journalist in a small town in Utah – and there’s nothing better than reporting from the field – or vineyards in our case. I try to instill this journalistic process and thinking in all my team of editors and tasters. 

Pierre Olivier Clouet (left) and winemaker Pierre Lurton of Cheval Blanc gave us the superb quality Château Cheval Blanc St.-Emilion 2019.

This year’s list of Top 100 Wines of the World reflects the best wines we tasted in 2022, yet it also highlights outstanding regions, vintages and producers we found over the last 12 months. For example, we love the best reds in the excellent 2019 vintage for Bordeaux, so there are many of them in the list – 12 in total. There are also 17 wines from Napa Valley and most come from the superb 2019 vintage. On the other hand, we chose fewer wines from Italy and South America from the list because producers experienced hot and less high-quality vintages. 

We tried to keep the selection to reasonably priced wines, although a few of our 100-point wines are very expensive including such bottles as the Château Cheval Blanc St.-Emilion 2019. It sells for about $750 a bottle, according to Wine Searcher. But their superb quality and pedigree were just too alluring to not include. We did leave some perfect-scoring wines out of the list this year because of their astronomical prices, such as some first growths and California cult wines. The average bottle price for the list is less than $200 a bottle. About 40 percent are less than $100 a bottle, and there are eight rieslings at $40 or less. 

We used Wine Searcher for all the pricings for our Top 100 list, and we will do the same for all our country Top 100 lists to be posted over the next six weeks as well as our Top 100 Value Wines list. The rankings are based on the ratings, prices and availability in the global marketplace, according to Wine Searcher.

Wines should have a production of about 500 cases of 12 bottles with a few exceptions. We also factored in what we call the “Oh, wow!” element, or the intangible attractiveness of a wine. It’s those bottles that you fall in love with and want to drink. We also tried to make sure the wines are current releases on the global market. 

The United States delivered the largest number of wines in our Top 100, with 28 bottles on our list. This was mostly because of the release of so many excellent wines from the 2019 vintage. It was the second great vintage in a row following 2018. In general, 2019 delivered slightly fruitier wines than the more structured and harmonious 2018. But it’s hard to generalize. All the wines came from California, Oregon or Washington. 

READ MORE: TOP 100 WINES OF 2021

Two stunning sherries from Lustau. The VORS Amontillado was one of the best sherries we've come across in a long time.
Italian samples to taste in our office in Tuscany.

It was no surprise that France followed with 24 wines, mostly from Bordeaux. The region had a fantastic quality vintage that produced structured, fresh and balanced wines. Check out the Alsace reds and whites. There’s even a few Burgundies, Rhones and Champagne. Italy and Germany followed with 11 and 10 wines each, respectively. The Italian were almost all Super Tuscans or Barolos. Some of the other top Italian regions had weaker vintages on release, such as Brunello di Montalcino, so Brunellos were not included. The same was the case with Germany’s inconsistent 2021, but some great wines were made by the best producers. And we have some in our Top 100. 

Spain was next with seven entries, and Rioja dominated, although there is a crazy good Lustau Jerez Amontillado VORS 30 Years Old NV that highlights how most of us should spend more time tasting the great fortified wines of Jerez. Australia landed six wines in our top 100, led by Margaret River. It’s a unique maritime region making fresh and structured reds and bright and flavorful whites. 

Chile followed with its small list of four cult wines, including the Almaviva Puente Alto 2020, Clos Apalta Valle de Apalta 2019, Montes Carmenere Petit Verdot Valle de Colchagua Purple Angel 2019, and Seña Valle de Aconcagua 2020. New Zealand also had four wines: a pinot noir from Central Otago as well as Martinborough. Plus, there’s a rich yet fresh cabernet sauvignon-based red from the island of Waiheke just a 30-minute ferry from Auckland. And we included the great single-vineyard chardonnay also made near Auckland, the Kumeu River Chardonnay Kumeu Mate’s Vineyard 2021. The 2020 was our Wine of the Year. 

Argentina and Austria finish off the list with three wines each. All the wines come from benchmark wineries that make great wines year in and year out. 

READ  MORE CHILE ANNUAL REPORT: BEYOND CARMENERE AND INTO AN OCEAN OF FRESHNESS

Left: James, Associate Editor Claire Nesbitt and Tasting Manager Kevin Davy taste in Champagne. | Right: James taps into some Chianti Classicos with Francesco Ricasoli in our office in Tuscany.

NO. 1

Our Wine of the Year 2022 is also a reference point in so many ways. It comes from a long line of great wines from California, and it was first made in 1936 in Napa Valley. Personally, I started drinking this great wine when I was a teenager, receiving an occasional sip from my late father, John Suckling, who collected the wine from the 1960s to 1990s. He even gave me a bottle of the 1962 when I started working at The Wine Spectator in December 1981 and told me to taste and understand it so I “would know about great wine.” 

The Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2019 is our Wine of the Year 2022. And not only it is a perfect wine, but it is also a wine that highlights the greatness of so many wines from Napa Valley and the United States from the 2019 vintage. The wine is so filigree in nature, with layers of fine tannins and complex aromas and flavors of currants, tobacco and mahogany. Plus, it has the structure to age beautifully for decades ahead. 

I love the way this BV private reserve shows more complexity and finesse even though the pure and bold character is still there. I spoke to BV Chief Winemaker Trevor Durling about it in May in Napa Valley and he said that he had been working toward a more “refined” and “drinkable” BV Private Reserve in recent years to honor the great bottlings of the 1960s and 1970s. 

James (second from left) and Claire (left) taste at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, which gave us our No. 4 wine.

He has achieved that with the 2019 and more. I even drank a pretty bottle of 1970 BV Private Reserve this week in Hong Kong, and it gave me the feeling the 2019 will be even better. We will see. 

No. 2 is a sensational dry riesling from the Kunstler family near the Rheingau town of Hocheim, the Künstler Riesling Rheingau Hölle GG 2021. I have been traveling to the region since 1985 and the Kunstlers have some of the best vineyard sites in the sub-region and producing dense and rich dry rieslings as well as more classic versions. And it sells for less than $50 a bottle. 

We continue to speak about the pinot noir revolution in Alsace, and Albert Mann winery makes some of the best in the region every year in the tiny town of Wettolsheim near Colmar. Maurice Barthelme and his brother Jacky get the most out of their 19 hectares of vineyards in both white and red, but they defined the new age of red wine in Alsace as a whole with their two bottlings of pinot noir, particularly the Albert Mann Pinot Noir Alsace Grand H 2020. 

Left: Gunter and Monika Kunstler have taken the Kunstler winery to the very top of the Rheingau region in Germany. | Right: The K Vintners' grenache vineyards in Walla Walla, Washington.

The Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Pessac-Léognan 2019 is our No. 4 wine. The Pessac-Leognan makes profound and balanced reds from its organically farmed vineyards. I have watched its evolution from the day Daniel and Florence Cathiard bought the property in 1990. They have moved away from strong and muscular wines to harmonious and complex ones, especially the reds. The excellent 2019 vintage gave their grand vin a little extra energy and depth. 

Our No. 5 is a superb grenache from Washington that shows richness and intensity yet a stealth tannin structure and freshness. It proves that top-quality, good value grenache is at the same level as syrah in this northwestern state. The wine is K Vintners Grenache Walla Walla Valley The Boy 2019, and it sells for about $50 a bottle. 

The Soter Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton Mineral Springs 2018 at No. 6 shows equal energy, and it’s one of the best Oregon pinots I have ever encountered. It has so much intensity and focus yet remains vibrant and structured. Tony Soter has been making great wines his whole career, first in California, and now in his home state. Kudos. 

At No. 7, the Emmerich Knoll Emmerich Knoll Riesling Wachau Ried Loibenberg Smaragd 2021 is one of the long-time great winemakers of Austria with a decades-long history of making pure and age worthy whites. And this top selection (Smaragd) of riesling shows amazing ripeness and finesse in a breathtaking harmony. Plus, it sells for about $40 a bottle. 

READ MORE WASHINGTON STATE ANNUAL REPORT: A CASCADE OF CHOICE, UNTAPPED POTENTIAL AND AN APEX SYRAH

Left: The Yjar Rioja 2018 is from one of the Spain's most dynamic winemakers, Telmo Rodriguez. | Right: Rippon Vineyard, on the shores of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, gave us our No. 8 wine.

I used the same words to describe the single-vineyard pinot noir from Central Otago that is made on the shores of an incredible glacial lake, Lake Wanaka. It is one of the most breathtaking vineyards I have seen in my life. It’s farmed biodynamically and the vines are on their own roots. It’s the wonderful Rippon Pinot Noir Central Otago Tinker’s Field 2019. And it’s No. 8. 

No. 9 is also a single-vineyard wine but this time from Spain’s Rioja. And it’s only been released in two vintages so far. The Yjar Rioja 2018 comes from one of the most dynamic and original winemakers in Spain, Telmo Rodriguez, and the 3.8-hectare vineyard is located near his winery, Remelluri, outside the town of Labastida. Rodriguez continues to proclaim that Spain’s future in the fine world is to add value and reputation to its unique and great vineyard sites, and Yjar achieves that. The wines were produced to be sold primarily in the Bordeaux market through wine merchants to their global clients around the world. 

Finally, at No. 10 is the Domaine Charles Audoin Marsannay Les Favieres 2020. Stuart Pigott and I have long been writing that global warming is improving the quality levels for many of the northern, less revered appellations in Burgundy such as Marsannay and Fixin. And here you go. Charles and his son Cryil are pristine vineyardists in Marsannay and get the highest quality out of their 14 hectares of organically grown vineyards, particularly their parcel called Les Favieres in 2020. This is an excellent example of great Burgundy that doesn’t need to be extremely expensive. 

I hope you enjoy our list of this year’s Top 100. There’s something for just about everyone, and it’s been an amazing year tasting wine, visiting wineries and communicating with winemakers – one of my best ever. 

– James Suckling, Editor/Chairman

TASTING NOTES

1

BEAULIEU VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY GEORGES DE LATOUR PRIVATE RESERVE 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
100
Wow! The aromas to this are really exceptional, with a tangerine edge to the blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil, flowers and wet earth. It changes all the time. So expressive and refined. Full-bodied with great intensity and depth of fruit. The ultra-fine tannins display millions of layers. The texture on the palate is superb and lasts for minutes. This is the new 1974 George de Latour, which was a legend. Real Napa Valley red here. Drinkable now, to understand it, but truly great in five to six years and onwards. Benchmark.
 
 

2

KÜNSTLER RIESLING RHEINGAU HÖLLE GG 2021

Country Germany
Region Rheingau
Vintage 2021
Score
99
What a breathtakingly beautiful nose of apricot this amazing dry riesling has! Staggering power and intensity, yet it remains so bright and invigorating as it charges off across your palate like a rocket heading for the outer solar system. From organically grown grapes with Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
 
 

3

ALBERT MANN PINOT NOIR ALSACE GRAND H 2020

Country France
Region Alsace
Vintage 2020
Score
100
Although this has staggering forest-berry aromas, it's also full of rooty mystery. It is really hard to find words that are up to this breathtaking beauty. Completely seamless right through the super-long, wide-screen finish. Enormous aging potential, but it tastes just perfect now. From vines in the Grand Cru Hengst. From biodynamically grown grapes. More than 50% whole cluster, then matured in 60% new oak, the rest second use. Drink or hold.
 
 

4

CHÂTEAU SMITH-HAUT-LAFITTE PESSAC-LÉOGNAN 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Intense blackberry and graphite character coming out of the glass, together with dried violets, ink and some asphalt. Full-bodied with wonderfully integrated tannins that spread across the palate and then draw you deep into the wine. Lead-pencil and blackcurrant aftertaste. Tightly wound with a cashmere-like texture. A whole and thought-provoking wine. Try after 2028 and beyond.
 
 

5

K VINTNERS GRENACHE WALLA WALLA VALLEY THE BOY 2019

Country United States
Region Washington
Vintage 2019
Score
99
The gorgeous nose of freshly ground pepper, red currant and red cherry immediately catches your attention. Medium-to full-bodied with fine tannins. There is so much pure and exhilarating red fruit and spice here. It always remains light and airy on the palate. So effortless. Precise austerity. An incredible example of what grenache is capable of in Washington. 100% whole cluster fermented in concrete vats. A joy to drink. Drink or hold.
 
 

6

SOTER PINOT NOIR YAMHILL-CARLTON MINERAL SPRINGS 2018

Country United States
Region Oregon
Vintage 2018
Score
99
Hibiscus and perfectly ripe strawberries, like the best parcel in a top Tokyo department store. Hints of crushed stone and some lemon grass. Forest floor and some fresh mushroom, too. Full-bodied with fine, polished tannins that are layered and velvety. The finish goes on for minutes. Yet there is so much more to come. Better after 2026 but already a joy to drink.
 
 

7

EMMERICH KNOLL RIESLING WACHAU RIED LOIBENBERG SMARAGD 2021

Country Austria
Region Danube
Vintage 2021
Score
99
Haunting nose of delicate exotic fruit with a light, smoky note. Ripe and rich with enormous concentration, this is a dry riesling masterpiece that has decades ahead of it, thanks to the astonishing balance. Leaves you speechless at the extraordinary finish, where ripeness and fineness are almost perfectly married. Drink or hold.
 
 

8

RIPPON PINOT NOIR CENTRAL OTAGO TINKER'S FIELD 2019

Country New Zealand
Region Central Otago
Vintage 2019
Score
99
The compressed tannin texture is very tight and muscular. Aromas of subtle plums, dried strawberry with tea and nettles. Full-bodied yet reserved and very fine with ink well, graphite and granite undertones. Cool and sophisticated. Needs two or three years to open. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drinkable now, but best from 2025.
 
 

9

YJAR RIOJA 2018

Country Spain
Region La Rioja
Vintage 2018
Score
100
Such a deep yet complex and sophisticated nose, showing discretion, perfume and finesse. A hint of violet extract to the black cherries, crushed blueberries and cocoa powder aromas, together with Spanish cigars that slowly evolve to truffle, black pepper, incense and freshly chopped herbs. Juicy, yet really composed and dry, with medium to full body and abundant, immaculately fine-grained tannins that unwind evenly on the palate. A style that is restrainedly plush and refined, showing superb precision, cohesion and length, when you give it enough time in your glass. If Las Beatas is the fine Burgundy, then this would be Telmo Rodriguez’s Rioja answer to world-class Bordeaux. Decant it to let the complexity come through. Drink through the next 20 plus years.
 
 

10

DOMAINE CHARLES AUDOIN MARSANNAY LES FAVIÈRES 2020

Country France
Region Burgundy
Vintage 2020
Score
99
Not many 2020 Grand Cru red Burgundies match this! Like staring into a deep dark pool, except that the pool is full of forest berries and, with every swirl of the glass, you see deeper into it, yet never reach the bottom. Staggering concentration and finesse on the expansive palate, the graceful tannins driving the mind-blowingly intense, almost endless finish. Drink or hold.
 
 

11

CLOS APALTA VALLE DE APALTA 2019

Country Chile
Region Valle Central
Vintage 2019
Score
99
A generous array of ripe black and blue fruit with pink peppercorns, green olives, dried flowers, toffee and chocolate orange. It’s full-bodied with firm, creamy and velvety tannins. Long and polished. Lovely salted caramel and olives at the end. Keeps going. Unfolds on the finish. 70% carmenere, 18% merlot, 8% cabernet sauvignon and 4% petit verdot. Drink or hold.
 
 

12

DOMAINE ZIND HUMBRECHT RIESLING ALSACE GRAND CRU RANGEN DE THANN CLOS SAINT URBAIN 2020

Country France
Region Alsace
Vintage 2020
Score
99
So smoky, with intense gunpowder character, but also notes of forest mushrooms and jack fruit. This is not only very concentrated, but also has an amazingly sensual mouth-feel that sets out in the wide field of exciting dry Alsace rieslings from the 2020 vintage. Expands and expands as it flows over your palate until it blows your mind at the unbelievably long, smoky finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
 
 

13

KUMEU RIVER CHARDONNAY KUMEU MATE'S VINEYARD 2021

Country New Zealand
Region Kumeu
Vintage 2021
Score
99
Lots of minerality with crushed stone, chalk, white grapefruit, peach stones, white apricots, wild herbs and lavender. Touch of cedar. Evolves to nutmeg and crushed almonds. Wow. It really builds on the palate, leading to a crescendo and intensity that blows your mind. Compact and phenolic, yet so agile and refined. Goes on for minutes. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
 
 

14

PAOLO SCAVINO BAROLO ROCCHE DELL'ANNUNZIATA RISERVA 2016

Country Italy
Region Piedmont
Vintage 2016
Score
100
Wow! There’s so much going on here. The nose presents an intense mix of dried cherry and red-berry fruit and rose petals, together with mild spice, Mediterranean herbs, tobacco dried apricot and dried and fresh nuts. Much more if you dig in. Full-bodied, super-relaxed palate that is the perfect display case for all the complex fruit character. The tannins are dense but seamless, never displaying any angular edge. Super-long and super concentrated, this is hard to fault. Yet, despite all the seeming extravagance, it remains a composed red with a long life ahead of it. Drink at your leisure.
 
 

15

DÖNNHOFF RIESLING NAHE NIEDERHÄUSER HERMANNSHÖHLE SPÄTLESE 2021

Country Germany
Region Nahe
Vintage 2021
Score
99
This shimmers like gold, and the succulence of this wine makes it extremely hard not to swallow, then to immediately reach for the bottle. Very dense and complex, with a level of energy that makes you wonder where it comes from and how this could be possible. Super-long finish that’s so intense and delicate. From organically grown grapes with Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold.
 
 

16

RUDI PICHLER RIESLING WACHAU RIED ACHLEITHEN SMARAGD 2021

Country Austria
Region Danube
Vintage 2021
Score
99
This Wachau dry riesling masterpiece is still extremely youthful, so it is anything but a no-brainer. But if you are patient, notes of white peach, lemon balm and a slew of wild herbs emerge. Super-precise and super-focused on the extremely concentrated palate, the enormous energy almost all held in reserve for a journey to the stars that’s just beginning. Enormously long and refined crushed-stone finish. Drink or hold.
 
 

17

BARONE RICASOLI CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE CENIPRIMO 2019

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2019
Score
99
This has an intensely perfumed nose of lavender, sandalwood, dried cherries, blueberries, creme de cassis, bay leaves, walnuts and stones. Full-bodied with polished, well-integrated tannins and a layered, silky and concentrated core of spiced and herbed fruit. Long. Intense. Fantastic already, but better in 2026.
 
 

18

F.X. PICHLER RIESLING WACHAU RIED STEINERTAL 2021

Country Austria
Region Danube
Vintage 2021
Score
99
So deep and concentrated, yet stunningly vibrant and energetic, this leaps and bounds over the palate. Brimming with white peach, lime zest and a slew of wild herbs, this is about as juicy as dry riesling can get. Then it takes off at the diamond-bright, super-mineral finish. From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Drink or hold.
 
 

19

HORS CATEGORIE SYRAH WALLA WALLA VALLEY 2019

Country United States
Region Washington
Vintage 2019
Score
100
Tons of spices, bacon, herbs and steak tartare, as well as black fruit and berries on the nose, with an underlying floral character. Full-bodied with gentle, silky tannins. Extremely concentrated and layered. The ripe fruit turns to savory notes of tobacco and leather. So sleek and elegant. Burnt rosemary at the finish. Fantastic. This is the real McCoy. It is tasting wonderful now, but will go the distance. Only 1,800 bottles made. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
 
 

20

M. CHAPOUTIER ERMITAGE L'ERMITE 2019

Country France
Region Rhone Valley
Vintage 2019
Score
100
Incredibly dense elderberry fruit with raw-meat, smoked-bacon, balsamic-vinegar, mushroom and tar aromas. But there are plenty of other nuances in this astonishing Hermitage! Gigantic fine tannins support the wide-screen palate that’s packed to the brim with richness, yet remains so bright and clean. Stunning stony minerality at the almost endless finish. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drinkable now, but best from 2027.
 
 

21

CATENA ZAPATA CHARDONNAY MENDOZA ADRIANNA VINEYARD WHITE BONES 2020

Country Argentina
Region Mendoza
Vintage 2020
Score
99
Fascinating nose of white lavender, lemon, pineapple, green apple, thyme, rosemary, sourdough, almond and oyster shell. It’s medium-bodied with vibrant acidity and a tense, spicy palate. So much flavor and fragrance. Incredibly expressive, with evolving layers of fresh fruit, spices, flowers and herbs. Drink or hold.
 
 

22

CHÂTEAU HAUT-BAILLY PESSAC-LÉOGNAN 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Extremely aromatic, with incredible wet-earth, bark, stone and graphite notes on the nose, then changing to violets, blackberries and blackcurrants. Full-bodied, yet so linear and fine, with titanium tannins that go on so long. Builds and builds then just rolls around the palate through the endless finish. Real Bordeaux here. 56% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot, 4% cabernet franc, and 4% petit verdot. Exceptional. Better after 2029.
 
 

23

VIÑA COBOS MALBEC MENDOZA COBOS 2019

Country Argentina
Region Mendoza
Vintage 2019
Score
100
A compact and polished Cobos with lots of dark fruit, as well as green olives, flowers and stems. Raspberries and forest fruit, too. Full-bodied, very tight and compressed. Melted tannins give great presence and mouth-feel, but the feeling is that they are invisible. It goes on for minutes. Sensational. So sophisticated and thoughtful. An archetypal malbec from Argentina. Better after 2027.
 
 

24

PETER MICHAEL WINERY CHARDONNAY SONOMA COUNTY KNIGHTS VALLEY MA BELLE-FILLE 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
This is really complex with the complete character profile of Peter Michael chardonnay. It’s full and very layered with a great center palate. Incredibly thought-provoking and satisfying. Dried apple and lemon with lightly toasted oak. Great finish. Changes all the time. Drink or hold.
 
 

25

DEEP WOODS ESTATE CHARDONNAY MARGARET RIVER RESERVE 2021

Country Australia
Region Western Australia
Vintage 2021
Score
98
A tight and full-bodied white with flint, stone, sliced apples and pears. Really minerally undertone. Sea shells, too. It’s so tight and focused with lots of structure. Long and intense. Powerful gunpowder and spice and sea salt. This is impressive to drink now like a top young Burgundy (Chevalier-Montrachet) but will deliver so much more in the future. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
 
 

26

CHÂTEAU PONTET-CANET PAUILLAC 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
The aromas to this are really amazing, with a potpourri of spices and dried flowers, as well as redcurrants, sweet plums and even some peaches. Full-bodied with layers of ripe fruit and ultra-fine tannins that spread across the palate in an encompassing yet always elegant and pure way. It’s succulent and unadulterated. Like crushed, perfectly ripened grapes. The length is rather endless. The tannins build. Fabulous young red. 35% in amphora and the rest in 50% new oak and 15% one-year oak. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot. From biodynamically grown grapes. Try after 2028, but an absolute joy to taste now.
 
 

27

BERTINGA TOSCANA VOLTA DI BERTINGA 2019

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Lots of lavender and violets on the nose, together with graphite, lead pencil, iodine and black olives. Full-bodied with extreme class and balance. The ultra-fine tannins are plentiful, yet integrated, and run the length of the wine. A masterpiece. Best after 2028.
 
 

28

LUCE DELLA VITE TOSCANA LUCE 2019

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Sophisticated aromas of lead pencil, graphite and blackcurrant. Hints of black olives and herbs, too. Full-bodied, yet tight and deep, with super precision and intensity to the tannins. Incredible balance of structure and finesse to this. Give it time in the cellar. Better after 2027.
 
 

29

MAISON CHAMPY CORTON-ROGNET GRAND CRU 2020

Country France
Region Burgundy
Vintage 2020
Score
99
A very concentrated Corton with remarkably silky tannins for this appellation, plus floral aromas that are the last thing people associate with Corton. Breathtaking purity, precision and vitality at the super-long finish. Behind all this is a huge structure that should give this decades of aging potential. From the northern tip of this appellation. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
 
 

30

CHÂTEAU L'ÉGLISE CLINET POMEROL 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
100
This is amazingly perfumed with amazing aromas of fresh violets and pink roses. Blackberries and dark fruit. Black truffle and stone. It’s full-bodied with fantastic structure and tannins. Yet, it’s weightless and so beautiful. The length is ethereal and goes on for minutes. You taste it and it’s so wonderful that you want to drink it. One for the cellar. Better in 2028, but already a joy.
 
 

31

DOMAINE WEINBACH RIESLING ALSACE GRAND CRU SCHLOSSBERG CUVÉE STE. CATHERINE 2020

Country France
Region Alsace
Vintage 2020
Score
99
This squares the circle of noble ripeness and mineral freshness, the signature vitality of riesling combined with extraordinary concentration. An extremely wide spectrum of stone-fruit (including the world's ripest apricot!) and mandarin-orange aromas, then a giant wave of salinity crashes over you, washing you into the rocky finish. And with these words I've only described the most obvious aspects of the wine. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
 
 

32

DUEMANI SYRAH COSTA TOSCANA SUISASSI 2019

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Very deep and dark fruit in the nose, with violets, ink, blackberries, roasted meat, asphalt and spices. Wet earth, too. Medium-to full-bodied with creamy tannins and a wonderful finish. Ink and slate notes develop. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drink or hold.
 
 

33

TAITTINGER CHAMPAGNE COMTES DE CHAMPAGNE BLANC DE BLANCS 2012

Country France
Region Champagne
Vintage 2012
Score
99
This is a fantastic and refined Blanc de Blancs. So layered and complex, with lemon curd, chalk, hazelnuts, pastries, baked apples and almond croissants. Structured and tightly wound, with almost imperceptible bubbles. Delicious salty notes at the end. Beautiful. Drink or hold.
 
 

34

LUSTAU JEREZ AMONTILLADO VORS 30 YEARS OLD

Country Spain
Region Andalucia
Vintage No Vintage
Score
99
Sublime! Extremely tangy, nimble Amontillado that shows a bright and deep amber color. Superb complexity and depth with a “painful” amount of sea salt-caramel, seaweed, salted almond, butter, sourdough, turmeric and dried lemons and oranges. Incredibly intense with superb concentration. So salty, bone-dry, svelte and silky. Superb length and intensity in the finish that goes on and on. Endless. Can Amontillado get any better than this? 20.5% alcohol. Sip now.
 
 

35

RAEN CHARDONNAY SONOMA COAST FORT ROSS-SEAVIEW CHARLES RANCH 2021

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2021
Score
99
A very powerful and structured chardonnay with phenolics that remind me of top grand cru Chablis. Dried apple, pineapple and lightly cooked pear. Hints of flint. Full-bodied yet agile and almost weightless. The length is so impressive. Just a baby.
 
 

36

KISTLER CHARDONNAY NAPA VALLEY CARNEROS HUDSON VINEYARD 2020

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2020
Score
99
Aromas of baked apple, olive oil and dried rosemary. Medium-to full-bodied. The salinity here balances really well with the nutty and citrus character. Savory and long. Refreshing tannins at the finish make you want to go back for more. Chewy, but the tannins melt into the wine. One of the best wines from Hudson ever. Drink or hold.
 
 

37

ANAKOTA CABERNET SAUVIGNON SONOMA COUNTY KNIGHTS VALLEY HELENA MONTANA VINEYARD 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Incredibly spicy and aromatic with pumice and cloves. Pops out of the glass. Cedar, too. Full-bodied with soft, polished tannins adding tension and creaminess. Long and beautiful. All about class and breeding. Try after 2025.
 
 

38

LOUIS LATOUR CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU CUVÉE HÉRITIERS LATOUR 2020

Country France
Region Burgundy
Vintage 2020
Score
100
If every Chambertin was like this, we could give up our job. So much spice, earthy and meaty character, but in the end it's the amarena-cherry fruit that wins out. Enormous concentration and finesse. Staggering purity of flavor. Then comes the spectacularly uplifting finish that just doesn't want to stop. Drink or hold.
 
 

39

TUA RITA SYRAH TOSCANA PER SEMPRE 2020

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2020
Score
99
Seductive aromas of violets, blackberries, blueberries, flowers and sandalwood. Sophisticated. Full-bodied with super-fine tannins and good length. Classy and superb. Such balance. Hints of sweet tobacco and berries at the end. You can drink it now, but it will age for decades.
 
 

40

CHÂTEAU COS D'ESTOURNEL ST.-ESTÈPHE 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
This is so aromatic with blackcurrants, black berries and raspberries. Pure fruit, together with coffee and nutmeg. Really fresh and clean with bright spices. Full-bodied, yet reserved and tight with fantastic structure. So long. This is a great Cos for the cellar. A real benchmark for the true character. Needs at least five or six years to open and come around. Try after 2029.
 
 

41

CHÂTEAU LA CONSEILLANTE POMEROL 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
The transparency and vibrancy here is impressive. From the very start it’s so aromatic, showing crushed-berry, dark-chocolate, coffee and cedar character. Full-bodied, yet tight and wonderfully tailored, with tannins that are fine-textured, but intense and so long, giving this wine great length. A joy to taste, but needs many years to soften and come together. Wonderful development here. Try after 2028.
 
 

42

TENUTA SAN GUIDO BOLGHERI-SASSICAIA SASSICAIA 2019

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2019
Score
99
The purity of cabernet sauvignon fruit is exceptional here, with character and sensibility that’s reminiscent of some of the great Sassicaias from the 1980s, such as 1982 or 1988. But this is much more precise and clean. Aromas and flavors of currants and berries with cedar and earth. Sage and minty character, too. It’s full-bodied yet there’s so much polish and balance, together with structure, elegance, and refinement. Hard not to drink at this stage, yet give it time and respect. This will be a classic Sass and reminds me why I love this wine. Try after 2026.
 
 

43

CUNE RIOJA IMPERIAL GRAN RESERVA 2016

Country Spain
Region La Rioja
Vintage 2016
Score
98
Polished and structured with firm, very fine tannins. Lots going on here, with layers of black fruit, dried spices, graphite, coconut and cracked pepper. Full-bodied and so intense. Keeps going. Long. The tannins are so fine and so numerous. One of the greatest modern gran reservas. 85% tempranillo, 10% graciano and 5% mazuelo. Try in 2025.
 
 

44

GROSSET RIESLING CLARE VALLEY POLISH HILL 2022

Country Australia
Region South Australia
Vintage 2022
Score
98
Spectacular nose with a cornucopia of delicate citrus, stone-fruit and wildflower aromas. Then, a no less stunning combination of fruit and radically slate, flint and aniseed character. Very long finish with so much energy and great minerality. Excellent aging potential! From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
 
 

45

RIDGE VINEYARDS SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS MONTE BELLO 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
This is a very powerful Monte Bello with currants and blackberry, black licorice and smoked meat. Mint. Some sesame seed, too. It's full-bodied with incredible darkness and saltiness like volcanic salt. Umami. Grilled seaweed. Flavorful and captivating. It goes on for minutes. Try after 2025, but this may age forever.
 
 

46

ARTADI ALAVA EL CARRETIL 2019

Country Spain
Region La Rioja
Vintage 2019
Score
99
A complete, fresh and complex Artadi single-plot wine with lovely subtlety. Spanish cigars, mineral, cocoa powder, some fine herbs, mussels and spices, with a background of fresh yet ripe, concentrated fruit showing crushed blackberries and blueberries. Tight, powerful but still dynamic and silky, with a mineral tinge to the supple fruit core in the middle. Not trying too hard. Impeccable balance with finesse! Tempranillo. From organically grown grapes. Already drinkable now, but better hold for a few years. Best from 2025.
 
 

47

PETROLO TREBBIANO TOSCANA BÒGGINA B 2020

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2020
Score
98
Lots of lemon curd and wax with mustard-flower undertones. Turns to Brazilian lime. Hints of fresh bay leaf, too. Full-bodied, tangy and beautiful. Really long and delicious. Peanuts and white sesame seeds. Superb. Unique and very Tuscan. From organically grown grapes.
 
 

48

VINE HILL RANCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY 2018

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2018
Score
99
Amazed at the structure and depth of this wine, its form and tension giving incredible energy and length. Blue fruit, mint and spearmint. The tannins are folded into the wine and spread across the palate like the finest velvet. It goes on and on and on. Svelte nature. A classic wine, harking back to the glorious classics of the 1970s. Drinkable now, but better after 2025.
 
 

49

CHÂTEAU BÉLAIR-MONANGE ST.-EMILION 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Wonderful aromas of fresh flowers, blackberries and cherries. Licorice and lilacs, too. Full-bodied, yet so tight and refined, translucent and weightless. Incredible purity and excellence. This is the heart and soul of the property in a glass. Really pinpointed at the end. Enchanting and thought-provoking. Needs time to open and soften. Try after 2028.
 
 

50

CONTINUUM NAPA VALLEY SAGE MOUNTAIN VINEYARD 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Blackberries, dark wet soil and blackcurrants. Graphite, too. So aromatic. Pure fruit. Full-bodied with superbly polished, fine tannins that draw you down through the center of palate. Extremely layered and the texture is so curated, giving wonderful persistence. Real plushness and fine, velvety texture. 50% cabernet sauvignon, 37% cabernet franc, 7% petit verdot and 6% merlot. Better after 2026.
 
 

51

FUTO NAPA VALLEY OV | SL 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
The aromas to this are so transparent and precise with blackcurrants, black licorice, graphite and some pine needles. Full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that are perfectly integrated and run the length of the wine. There’s a fine backbone of tannins that is so long and endless. 55% cabernet sauvignon, 21% cabernet franc, 16% merlot and 8% petit verdot. So approachable, but give it at least five to six years to start showing its best.
 
 

52

SCHRADER NAPA VALLEY OAKVILLE HERITAGE CLONE 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
100
This is so exotic and exciting, with crushed blackcurrant, cassis, raspberry and tangerine aromas that follow through to very rough, silky tannins that fill your mouth. It goes on for minutes. Intense flavors at the finish, yet it’s linear and so long and seamless. Crunchy. Amazing wine. Drinkable now, but better after 2025.
 
 

53

DESTINY BAY WAIHEKE ISLAND MAGNA PRAEMIA 2020

Country New Zealand
Region Waiheke Island
Vintage 2020
Score
99
Blackberries, blueberries, lavender,and hints of fresh and dark tobacco. Full-bodied with layers of large and powerful tannins. Muscular. Chewy and flexed. 71% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, 6% malbec, 5% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot. Needs six to seven years to soften and come around. Try after 2028.
 
 

54

VÉRITÉ SONOMA COUNTY LE DÉSIR 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
100
Sublime cabernet franc aromas of currants, flowers and citrus. Full-bodied with incredible purity of fruit and length. You don’t feel the tannins, but they are there. The acidity gives you dynamic reality and perfect length. A truly great wine. 83% cabernet franc, 8% merlot, 5% malbec, and 4% cabernet sauvignon. Best from 2026.
 
 

55

BOUCHARD PÈRE & FILS CHEVALIER-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU DOMAINE 2020

Country France
Region Burgundy
Vintage 2020
Score
100
This chardonnay masterpiece is currently like a fully wound Breguet watch, but the extremely subtle nose of citrus, wild herbs and flowers is already breathtaking. Mind-blowing concentration, purity and precision on the generous but by no means massive palate. The really extraordinary thing is the intense crushed-stone minerality that's married to sensual creaminess on the mid-palate, then asserts itself ever more singularly at the finish, until it's completely overwhelming. From 2.33 hecatres of vineyards on all four terraces of this famous site. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
 
 

56

VEGA SICILIA RIBERA DEL DUERO RESERVA ESPECIAL UNICO

Country Spain
Region Castilla y León
Vintage No Vintage
Score
99
Extremely nuanced and complex nose that shows high-grade cigar box and cigars, fresh blackberries, orange peel, together with red-chili chocolate, walnut, iron and hints of cocoa powder. This is intense, elegant and savory with real finesse, savoriness and complexity. Juicy, dusty and immaculate tannins and an extremely long, savory finish that lasts over a minute. Mainly a blend of 2009 and 2011 and 2012. Surprisingly, this is already approachable now, but better after 2024.
 
 

57

PENFOLDS SHIRAZ SOUTH AUSTRALIA BIN 95 GRANGE 2018

Country Australia
Region South Australia
Vintage 2018
Score
100
A robust Grange from a lauded vintage, this wields sheer power with such compelling prowess. Uncompromising Grange. There are rich blackberries and plums on offer, together with brazen oak and abundant notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, charcoal, cola and hard brown spices. So fleshy and intense. Dark-chocolate and cocoa-powder aromas and flavors here, too. The tannins are polished and long, extruding deep into the finish and holding endlessly. Dark chocolate, black cherry, dark plum and more. Impressive. Brazen. One of the great Granges that will drink magnificently for decades to come.
 
 

58

CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE HOMMAGE A JACQUES PERRIN 2020

Country France
Region Rhone Valley
Vintage 2020
Score
99
Enveloping nose of super-ripe orange, pomegranate and cigar leaf that’s still very youthful and needs time to reveal its myriad nuances. Also notes of licorice, dried herbs and rose petals. Enormous concentration, silkiness and finesse on the expansive palate. Extravagant in the best sense of that word! The finish gets finer, the closer it gets to infinity. Drinkable now, but best from 2025.
 
 

59

ATA RANGI PINOT NOIR MARTINBOROUGH 2020

Country New Zealand
Region Martinborough
Vintage 2020
Score
98
A beautiful nose of sliced strawberries, crushed cherries, violets, grated nutmeg and a hint of white pepper. Some hibiscus, too. Supremely vibrant and perfumed with fine tannins that run the length of the medium-bodied palate. Textural. Ground spice and fresh fruit are intertwined, providing wonderful depth and complexity. So long as well. Seamless balance. Superb. Sustainable. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
 
 

60

CHÂTEAU PICHON-LONGUEVILLE BARON PAUILLAC 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Blackberries and blueberries with stone and graphite. Flint and black licorice, too. So perfumed. Full-bodied, very long and linear with incredible length. The new 1990, but better crafted. Chewy, yet so tailored and wonderfully proportioned. Freshness and elegance. Wonderful depth. 87% cabernet sauvignon rest merlot. The highest ever proportion of cabernet. Try after 2026.
 
 

61

SHAFER VINEYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY STAGS LEAP DISTRICT HILLSIDE SELECT 2018

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2018
Score
99
So much black licorice in this, together with tar, blackcurrants, blackberries and slate. Full-bodied, but very toned and focused, with polish and energy. Extremely fine tannins and wonderful length. All about balance and purity. Gorgeous now, but this will age for decades to come. Great finish. Better after 2026.
 
 

62

DIAMOND CREEK CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY GRAVELLY MEADOW 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Aromatic with blackcurrant, ink, black licorice, iodine and oyster shell. Full-bodied with fine, chewy tannins and blue-fruit, currant-bush and rose-petal flavors. Very transparent. It goes on for minutes. Give this some time to soften, but already a genie in the bottle. Drink after 2027.
 
 

63

FAVIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY COOMBSVILLE 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Wonderful aromas of blue fruit, black olives and violets. Lead pencil throughout. Crushed stones, too. Hints of mint and seaweed. Full-bodied with tannins that spread across the palate. It starts off with a bang, with tannins that take you deep into the wine. It’s endless on the finish. It goes on for minutes. Velvet and polished texture. Better after 2026.
 
 

64

EISELE VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
100
This is sophisticated and intellectual, with an incredible wall of fine tannins that take you deep down into the soul of the wine. Full-to medium-bodied, tight and soulful. Tar, ash and volcanic-soil flavors. White pepper, too. Great length. Shows the first-growth quality of the vineyards, harking back to the wines of the mid-1970s. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. This needs at least six to seven years of bottle age. Best after 2028.
 
 

65

VIEUX CHÂTEAU CERTAN POMEROL 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Subtle and complex with blackberries, violets, lilacs, roses and hints of ink. So floral, yet subtle on the nose. Full-bodied with incredible polish and beauty, the silky tannins running the length of the wine and going on and on. It builds with sheer elegance and structure. A blend of 78% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 7% cabernet sauvignon. Drink after 2028, but already a joy to taste.
 
 

66

WITTMANN RIESLING RHEINHESSEN MORSTEIN GG 2021

Country Germany
Region Rheinhessen
Vintage 2021
Score
98
As deep and dense as it is subtle and mysterious, this very youthful 2021 GG is like a great ocean liner just setting off on a journey across the North Atlantic. And under the keel lie several thousand meters of dark water. Astonishing textural complexity and a very compact core. Enormously layered finish that has all the spice and wild herb aromas we expect from this great site. From biodynamically grown grapes with Respekt certification. Vegan. Drink or hold.
 
 

67

OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
The purity of fruit is really something else here, with currants and fresh flowers, such as violets and roses. Flower stems as well. Fantastic length and structure to the wine, with tightness and focus. Wonderful fruit. Graceful. A blend of 78% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot, 7% petit verdot, 6% cabernet franc and 1% malbec. Try after 2028.
 
 

68

BODEGA LANZAGA RIOJA LA ESTRADA 2019

Country Spain
Region La Rioja
Vintage 2019
Score
98
Such a nuanced yet tangy red with an engaging nose, effusing finely ground black peppercorn with lavender and blueberries. Pure, scented, and really focused. Full-bodied, but dry and intellectual, piled up with immaculate tannins that soak up the juicy, elegant berry fruit. From organically grown grapes. Mainly tempranillo with some graciano. Drinkable now, but better after 2025.
 
 

69

CHÂTEAU HAUT-BRION PESSAC-LÉOGNAN 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
100
The black cassis comes out of the glass, together with iodine, sandalwood and subtle moss and wet-bark undertones, then turning to violets. The palate is mind-blowing, with a cashmere texture that unravels on the palate and continues on for minutes. It’s full of superbly complex, ethereal character and mouth-feel, One of the wines of the vintage. As glorious as it may be to taste now, this is one for your deep cellar. Try in 2029.
 
 

70

BRYANT FAMILY VINEYARD NAPA VALLEY BETTINA 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Pretty, ripe currants, hot stones and flowers on the nose, following through to a full body with polished, layered tannins and lots of juiciness. Lemony and spicy at the end with a botanical undertone to the finish. Elegance with strength. Fine, velvety tannins. Fruit from Madrona and Howell Mountain with a touch of Bryant. Best after 2027.
 
 

71

TO KALON VINEYARD CO. NAPA VALLEY OAKVILLE HIGHEST BEAUTY 2018

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2018
Score
99
Blackberries and lead pencil with asphalt, spice and violets. This is medium-to full-bodied with linear and very long tannins that go on and on. Racy and refined, with strength at the same time. Closed and tight now. Hints of toasted oak at the end. Give it time to show its greatness. Pure cabernet sauvignon. Try after 2025.
 
 

72

CHÂTEAU CHEVAL BLANC ST.-EMILION 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
100
Blackcurrants, cassis, graphite and earth on the nose, then changing to roses, violets and berries. Full-bodied with incredible energy of fine tannins and lively acidity. It grows on the palate and escalates to the summit of perfect wine. Very powerful at the end. Holding back and a great finish. Quantity and quality. Menthol. Cool. One of the greatest young Cheval Blancs I have ever tasted. 58% merlot, 34% cabernet franc and 8% cabernet sauvignon. Great finish. Give it time. Try after 2028.
 
 

73

LOKOYA CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY MOUNT VEEDER 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Blackcurrant and graphite in a big way in the nose. Some asphalt and sweet tobacco, too. Full-bodied with a dense, velvety texture. Shows suppleness for such a big wine, with luxurious sensibility. Such fabulous length. Almost drinkable now, but four or five years of bottle age will bring this into its own. Try after 2026.
 
 

74

BILLECART-SALMON CHAMPAGNE LE CLOS ST.-HILAIRE BRUT 2006

Country France
Region Champagne
Vintage 2006
Score
99
Baked raspberries, salted yellow plums, figs, walnuts, orange zest, mahogany and some toasted vanilla on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied with beautifully integrated, very fine bubbles. Dry, with exciting and unique white-pepper and sea-salt notes. Seamless. So harmonious. Salty and spicy clove notes evolving at the end. Amazing precision. Single parcel pinot noir, 100% vinified in oak barrels. No malo. 2g/l dosage. Disgorged November 2020. 6,750 bottles. Drink or hold.
 
 

75

ZUCCARDI MALBEC VALLE DE UCO PARAJE ALTAMIRA FINCA PIEDRA INFINITA 2019

Country Argentina
Region Mendoza
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Quiet complexity that needs time in the glass. While it is brooding and deep, there is also a perfumed, floral and herbal aspect that makes it so attractive and unforgettable, even at such an embryonic stage. Freshly crushed blueberries, dried licorice, decadent violets, crushed stones and ash on the nose. Satin-textured tannins on the palate, which are tense, chalky and seamless. Powerful and juicy with impeccable balance. A great, cerebral and intrinsic malbec from Argentina. You can drink now, if you want, but it is a wine that you’d want to keep for the next two decades. A real charmer, especially for the wine nerds. Buy this and try! 6000 bottles made.
 
 

76

PAUL HOBBS CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY BECKSTOFFER TO KALON VINEYARD 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
Blackcurrants, black cherries, ripe raspberries and tar. Some graphite, too. It’s full-bodied and very plush with crushed tannins and an airy mouth-feel. Just floats across the palate. So fine. It has a second finish at the end, where the tannins emerge at the front of the palate. Quite unique. Drinkable now, but better after 2027.
 
 

77

AUBERT CHARDONNAY SONOMA COUNTY SONOMA COAST UV-SL 2021

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2021
Score
99
Pie crust with brioche, lemon meringue, lime leaf, and blackboard chalk. Very aromatic. Full-bodied, with terrific structure and incredibly complex on the finish with seaweed and umami. Sea breeze, iodine and oyster finish. Superb wine. Drink or hold.
 
 

78

THÖRLE RIESLING RHEINHESSEN HÖLLE TROCKEN 2021

Country Germany
Region Rheinhessen
Vintage 2021
Score
98
Welcome to the soul of the apricot! Breathtaking concentration, gigantic salty-minerally intensity and racy brilliance. Medium-bodied with an extremely long, succulent finish, flamboyant, expressive and extravagant. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
 
 

79

SCHLOSSGUT DIEL RIESLING NAHE BURGBERG GG 2020

Country Germany
Region Nahe
Vintage 2020
Score
98
What a beauty this 2020 dry riesling is. Nearly ideal balance of vibrant, crisp pear, yellow apple and ripe lime, together with stacks of fine tannins and elegant mineral acidity. Super-long, pristine wet-stone finish. Drink or hold.
 
 

80

FORADORI TEROLDEGO VIGNETI DELLE DOLOMITI GRANATO 2019

Country Italy
Region Northeast
Vintage 2019
Score
98
Somehow this manages to be very powerful and concentrated, expressive and wild all at once. Violets and wet earth mingle in the complex and very youthful nose. What a breathtaking interplay of fruit, tannin and mineral freshness this has on the compact, but only medium-bodied palate. Enormous vitality at the firework-display finale! From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.
 
 

81

TORBRECK SHIRAZ BAROSSA THE STRUIE 2020

Country Australia
Region South Australia
Vintage 2020
Score
98
The black ink and lead pencil aromas are impressive with blackberry and raspberry aromas that are intense and fresh. Full-bodied, blackberry, blueberry and crushed stone. Flavorful and chewy. Lots of center palate here. Wow. This needs time to soften. Great structure and length. Better after 2026.
 
 

82

HEYMANN-LÖWENSTEIN RIESLING MOSEL UHLEN ROTH LAY GG 2020

Country Germany
Region Mosel
Vintage 2020
Score
98
The tremendously deep nose transports you to a spice market in East Asia. Also delicate notes of tropical fruit. Yet, on the palate this great dry Mosel is very compact and tightly wound. Only medium-bodied, but there’s enormous concentration, married to hauntingly austere beauty. The very finely chiseled and slatey finish extends out towards infinity. From organically grown grapes with Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
 
 

83

FATTORIA LE PUPILLE MAREMMA TOSCANA SAFFREDI 2020

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2020
Score
98
Impressive aromas of fresh herbs from the Tuscan coast, such as sage, mint, rosemary and thyme. Blackcurrants, too. Full-bodied with fine, chewy tannins that show beautiful length and consistency. Racy and beautiful, with lots of subtle and refined character. Slightly more cabernet sauvignon this year, which adds class to the wine. 80% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 10% petit verdot. Give this about three or four years of bottle age. Try after 2027.
 
 

84

QUINTESSA NAPA VALLEY RUTHERFORD 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
99
So much earth and spice with walnut and wet earth. Like fog laying over the valley in the morning. Black fruit. Medium-to full-bodied with super-fine tannins that are long and persistent, with graceful progression and length on the palate. So long, with real definition. September 2022 release. From biodynamically grown grapes. Hard not to drink now, but will age wonderfully.
 
 

85

EVA FRICKE RIESLING RHEINGAU SCHLOSSBERG 2021

Country Germany
Region Rheingau
Vintage 2021
Score
98
Incredibly fine white-peach and mirabelle nose with very delicate jasmine and lemon-blossom aromas. Super-vibrant, compact and precise, with tons of lemon-zest freshness. Totally crystalline finish, with so much energy and wet-stone minerality it takes your breath away. Decades of aging potential ahead of it. From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Drink or hold.
 
 

86

MAZZEI TOSCANA SIEPI 2020

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Vintage 2020
Score
98
Graphite and lead pencil is coming through, together with violets and blackberries. Some tar and asphalt, too. Full-bodied, yet creamy and crunchy, with agile liveliness that goes on for minutes. Fabulous length. Drinkable already, but will age gracefully for decades.
 
 

87

VASSE FELIX CHARDONNAY MARGARET RIVER HEYTESBURY 2021

Country Australia
Region Western Australia
Vintage 2021
Score
98
A dense and structured white with white peaches, honeysuckle, lemon tree, and hints lime. Full-bodied with a gorgeous center palate and intense and lively finish. So wild and energetic. Wonderful depth and focus. Drink or hold. Can age beautifully. Think where it will be. Screw cap.
 
 

88

DOMAINE VALENTIN ZUSSLIN RIESLING ALSACE GRAND CRU PFINGSTBERG 2018

Country France
Region Alsace
Vintage 2018
Score
98
For a dry riesling from the exceptionally warm 2018 vintage, this is amazingly fresh and also very smoky and flinty on the nose. Enormous concentration and enveloping richness on the expansive palate, then the salty mineral power builds and builds with a great crescendo at the amazingly vibrant and focused finish. The stone-fruit aromas only emerge slowly in the glass, slowly expanding and expanding. Enormous aging potential. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
 
 

89

MARQUÉS DE RISCAL RIOJA TAPIAS DE MARQUÉS DE RISCAL 2019

Country Spain
Region La Rioja
Vintage 2019
Score
98
The deep and dramatic nose of damson plum, soy sauce and cocoa powder pulls you into this enormous, rich and very concentrated Rioja. The tannins are so fine that this already feels silky, in spite of all the power. Seriously dry, but almost perfectly balanced at the long, chocolatey finish. The French oak is impeccably integrated. Delicious now, but great aging potential! The first vintage of this wine. !00% tempranillo from a 2.5 hectare section of the high-altitude, terraced Tapias site in Rioja Alavesa. Drink or hold.
 
 

90

MONTES CARMENERE PETIT VERDOT VALLE DE COLCHAGUA PURPLE ANGEL 2019

Country Chile
Region Valle Central
Vintage 2019
Score
98
Consistently one of the best and most layered carmeneres from Chile and, indeed, the world. Intriguing Cuban cigar and roasted bay-leaf character to the blackcurrants, blackberries and exotic spices. Some sandalwood, black chocolate, cedar and baked red chili pepper, too. Full-bodied, creamy and voluptuous, but still fresh and juicy, with dried-leaf, dark-olive and finely ground cocoa-powder character. Dusty tannins and a long, refined finish. A blend of 92% carmenere from Apalta (46%) and Marchigue(46%) and 8% petit verdot from Apalta. Drink or hold.
 
 

91

MT. BRAVE MERLOT NAPA VALLEY MOUNT VEEDER 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
98
Aromas of violets and blackberries with some black olives follow through to a full-bodied palate with finesse, polish and great length. Velvety tannins. Incredible finish. Great class here. Drinkable now, but better to hold for about five or six years.
 
 

92

CHÂTEAU ROCHEYRON ST.-EMILION 2019

Country France
Region Bordeaux
Vintage 2019
Score
98
What a wonderful nose of blackberries, limestone, minerals and dried violets. Full body and very fine tannins that are sophisticated and tailored, with a really fine texture and liveliness. The length is fantastic and refined. Try after 2026, but impressive to taste already.
 
 

93

EMRICH-SCHÖNLEBER RIESLING NAHE HALENBERG GG 2021

Country Germany
Region Nahe
Vintage 2021
Score
98
The vibrant white-peach, wild-herb and floral bouquet of this stunning GG makes a serious statement. Very compact and concentrated, it’s only just beginning to reveal its abundant treasures. Super-focused and precise, it grows and grows as it shoots over the palate at great speed. Incredible depth of wet-stone minerality at the super-long finish. Drinkable now, but best from 2025.
 
 

94

SCHÄFER-FRÖHLICH RIESLING NAHE FELSENECK GG 2021

Country Germany
Region Nahe
Vintage 2021
Score
98
Gigantic, flinty nose that makes you feel like you are licking the moist underside of a piece of vineyard slate on a hot summer day. Yellow-grapefruit, blood-orange and guava aromas. Enormously concentrated and vibrant, with almost supernatural energy, this dry riesling lifts off and heads straight out of the solar system. At the extremely long finish, the minerality really doesn’t want to stop! From organically grown grapes with Fair'n Green certification. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.
 
 

95

GUT HERMANNSBERG RIESLING NAHE KUPFERGRUBE GG RESERVE 2017

Country Germany
Region Nahe
Vintage 2017
Score
98
An avalanche of smoky and stony minerality rolls over you, together with aromas of lemon curd and grilled lemon. Huge structure, but neither massive nor domineering, this has finesse that invites you to sit down and study it, if possible with a partner. Stunning finish, in which a hint grapefruit pith adds an extra burst of energy at the enormously mineral finish. From organically grown grapes with Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold.
 
 

96

DUMOL PINOT NOIR SONOMA COUNTY RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY ESTATE VINEYARD 2018

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2018
Score
98
Lovely aromas of red cherry, thyme and white chocolate. Medium-bodied with dusty, slightly tight tannins. Crystal-clear red fruit and berries with sweet herbs. Harmonious, bright and driving. Pleasantly plummier at the finish. Fantastic length and fine, powdery tannins at the finish. Deep, dark earth too. Coiled and agile. Delicious now, but this is a wine for long-term aging. Best after 2026.
 
 

97

ALMAVIVA PUENTE ALTO 2020

Country Chile
Region Valle Central
Vintage 2020
Score
98
Fresh and deep nose, full of blueberries, minty cassis, mussels, cigars, dark spice and roasted sesame oak, which will need a year or two to fully integrate. A medium-to full-bodied Almaviva with supple, silky tannins and a wealth of black and blue fruit that provides a lot of charm now. Voluptuous and flattering on the palate, hallmarked by its tension and taut texture. Very long. This is the 25th anniversary bottling. 68% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 6% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drinkable now, but better from 2024.
 
 

98

SEÑA VALLE DE ACONCAGUA 2020

Country Chile
Region Aconcagua
Vintage 2020
Score
98
Complex, with savory, spicy character, showing tobacco, salted plums, olives, black cherries, cassis and a hint of white pepper on the nose, followed by a refined, savory, balsamic accent. A full-bodied Seña with juicy fruit chiseling into the tight, extremely fine-grained tannins. Long, bright and still elegant from this warm vintage. 53% cabernet sauvignon, 25% malbec, 15% carmenere and 7% petit verdot. A wine with lots of harmony now, but better to drink from 2025.
 
 

99

REALM CELLARS NAPA VALLEY THE BARD 2019

Country United States
Region California
Vintage 2019
Score
98
Fantastic aromas of blackcurrants and graphite, then plums, licorice and violets. Medium to full body with a cashmere quality to the tannins. Length and true beauty. This has a really luxurious feel to it. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot and 5% petit verdot. Drink or hold.
 
 

100

HENSCHKE SHIRAZ EDEN VALLEY HILL OF GRACE VINEYARD 2017

Country Australia
Region South Australia
Vintage 2017
Score
99
A rather refined Hill of Grace with roasted meat, smoked meat, and juicy plums. Some mushroom and forest-flower character, too. It’s medium- to full-bodied, juicy and savory. Light white pepper at the end. Underlying finesse and elegance to this. The flavor does not go away. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold. Screw cap.