Vintage quality is an important factor to consider whenever you buy fine wine, but when you buy Barolo, it’s absolutely essential. That’s because the quality of Barolo significantly impacts its aging potential, and a fine aged Barolo is truly a special experience. A well-made wine from a top-quality vintage will taste astoundingly complex at age 20 or 30. Even some of the best wines from the 1950s and 1960s are still drinking well today. However, for Barolo to be this long-lived, it must be high in quality and perfectly balanced.
Sauternes and Tokaj wines are some of the most sought-after in the world. Both regions are famous for producing sweet, concentrated white wines that can age for decades–some can even age for centuries under the right conditions. These wines share similarities–botrytized grapes are used in both regions, for example–yet comparing Sauternes vs. Tokaji reveals that these are two very different wines. For one thing, they don’t have the same flavor profile. Fine Sauternes is known for tasting rich and honeyed, while Tokaji Aszú is often much fruitier and more acidic.
The reason it’s so hard to rank the best grand cru Burgundy is that personal taste plays a huge role. It also comes down to what you value most. Are you looking for a wine with a high quality-to-price ratio (QPR)? Is flavor complexity the most important factor? Or do you want to buy wine that you can resell for a profit? No matter which quality you value most in a wine, this guide will sort–and in some cases rank–grand cru Burgundy according to a few different criteria.
Wines from Pauillac receive top scores from critics and can age for very long periods of time. Although producers from this area only make traditional Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends, there’s still plenty of diversity of flavor in these wines, making the tasting experience very exciting. If you want to start your own Pauillac wine collection from scratch or you’re looking for new wines to add to an already extensive collection, then this guide will help you discover the best wines that this region has to offer.
While you can show that certain vintages, labels, or producers are better than others using metrics like tasting scores, price performance, and bottle value, ranking the top-rated California Cabernet is still a subjective process. In this guide, we’ve identified some of the highest quality producers, vintages, and wine labels on the market today. While these rankings are by no means definitive, they are designed to help you gain a better understanding of which wines most collectors find worthwhile so you can add top-quality Cabernet to your collection.
Wine Enthusiast’s Michael Schachner says, “To say the Priorat has boomed is an understatement.” The Priorat wine region has become very fashionable over the past few years–and for good reason. This area is home to some of the best wine producers in the world and the most popular bottles are gaining significantly in value on the secondary market. If you want to start your own Priorat wine collection, this guide will help you get started.
The reason so many wine enthusiasts adore Meursault wine is that it is opulent yet approachable. These wines taste luxe and silky even in their youth, making them some of the easiest wines in the world to collect. You don’t have to worry about opening your Meursault too early, as even the youngest wines have spectacular balance and layers of flavor. Whether you’re starting a Meursault collection for the first time or you want to explore a few lesser-known producers or styles from this area, this guide will help you discover all that this region has to offer.
What I love most about Super Tuscans is how diverse these wines are. Some are almost purple in color, with bold, fruit-forward flavors, while others are bright red, finessed, and racy. No matter what type of wine you prefer to drink, there’s a Super Tuscan out there that is perfect for you. However, this diversity also makes these wines more difficult to shop for based on vintage alone. When you drink a red Bordeaux blend or a white Burgundy, you usually know exactly what to expect before you uncork the bottle, based on what critics have said about the vintage. But with Super Tuscans, finding the best vintages isn’t always so clear-cut. The best vintage for a bold Syrah blend, for example, might differ from that for a Sangiovese blend. To find the highest-quality Super Tuscan vintages, you need to take into consideration the weather conditions and how they affected the primary grape varieties in the blend.
After your first experience with the best Southern Rhône producers, it’s hard not to fill your cellar up with these incredible bottles. One of my colleagues started buying Barroche Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Pure in 2004, and she has continued to buy this label ever since. The wine’s fine tannin, elegance, and perfectly ripe fruit flavors draw her back to this producer year after year, and she has also started collecting some of the estate’s other delicious wines, like the Signature label.
A few years ago, I attended a retrospective tasting event of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at a local wine bar. We sampled wines from some of the best years for Napa Cabernet, and it was easy to see which vintages everyone enjoyed the most. The 2007 wines in particular were a huge hit among the crowd. The man sitting next to me gushed over a glass of intense, incredibly complex 2007 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, saying it was one of the best wines he’s ever had. Most of the 2007 wines received similar praise; it was clearly the winning vintage of the night.
The 2018 Napa harvest ended on a high note this fall. Most winemakers across the region are reporting superb grape quality, high yields, and low sugar concentration in the fruit. Hudson Vineyards director Kelly MacLeod says, “This year, it really was a winemaker’s dream. They got to consciously choose exactly what they wanted.” While it’s still too early to tell how these wines will develop over time, all of these factors could result in a collectible, age-worthy vintage. If you’re looking for flavorful New-World wines that are well-balanced with comparatively restrained alcohol, the 2018 vintage may be your dream year, too.
Usually, winemakers in Bordeaux are hesitant to call a vintage superb until all of the grapes have been picked and the wine has finished fermenting. This year, however, winemakers across the region are thrilled with the quality and ripeness of the grapes–they’re already calling the 2018 Bordeaux harvest one of the most successful of the past decade. While it’s still too early to make any definitive predictions about the investment potential of the 2018 vintage, based on the health of the grapes picked so far, you can expect to see plenty of age-worthy, intense wines. This is a vintage that you’ll want to keep a close watch on as it develops over the next few months.