Every year since 1988, Wine Spectator has compiled a list of the wines reviewed over the past 12 months. These 100 wines reflect significant trends, recognize outstanding producers and spotlight successful regions and vintages around the world.
In 2011, the list was selected from more than 16,000 new releases the editors rated in independent blind tastings. More than 5,400 of these wines earned outstanding or classic ratings (90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale). They narrowed the list down based on four criteria: quality (represented by score); value (reflected by release price); availability (measured by cases made or imported); and what is called the “X-factor”–the excitement generated by a rising-star producer, a benchmark wine or a significant milestone for a wine region. But no equation determines the final selections: These choices reflect the editors’ judgment and passion about the wines tasted.
In this year’s list, 12 countries are represented, and quality remains high, with an average score of 93 points. The average price per bottle dipped from last year from $48 to $44, compared with a $70 average for 90-point wines reviewed this year.
Of the Top 100, for domestic wines, only a few were from outside the typical U.S. states represented (CA, OR, WA):
- #43 - 90 points, $14 Gruet - Blanc de Noirs New Mexico NV
- #72 - 90 points, $16 Ravines - Riesling Finger Lakes Dry 2009
Congratulations to those two wineries! Did I overlook any? Let me know.