Wine Spectator TOP 100 in 2010

Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines we’ve reviewed over the past 12 months and select the most exciting for our Top 100.

This annual list, which debuted in 1988, reflects significant trends, spotlights successful regions and recognizes outstanding producers. In 2010, we reviewed more than 15,800 new releases from around the world in blind tastings. More than 3,900 of these wines earned outstanding or classic ratings (90 points or higher on our 100-point scale). We 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 an X-factor we call excitement. But no equation determines the final selections: These choices reflect our editors’ judgment and passion about the wines we tasted.

The major trend in 2010 was an increase in expensive, limited-production wines at one end of the spectrum and inlarge-volume, value brands at the other. Looking for values, wine lovers sought out less-familiar regions and grape varieties. In this year’s list, 14 countries are represented, and quality remains high, with an average score of 93 points. The average price per bottle is $48. We hope that you enjoy this list of exciting values, emerging stars and time-honored stalwarts and that our Top 100 of 2010 leads you to more deeply explore the world of wine.

No. 10 in 2010:

Clos des Papes – Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2009

  • 95 points / $100
  • 1,000 cases made, France

Clos des Papes is widely recognized for its red cuvée (its 2005 earned Wine of the Year in 2007), but this estate alsoproduces one of the appellation’s best whites. From the Southern Rhône’s excellent 2009 vintage, this wine blends equal parts Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Picpoul and Bourboulenc. To retain freshness, Vincent Avril fermented the wine in stainless steel tanks and avoided malolactic conversion. This white will benefit from a few years in the cellar.

Source: Wine Spectator