W.H. Smith 2008 Maritime Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)
92 Points Cellar Selection

There's a very good wine in here, but the winery has released it far too early, which shifts the burden of cellaring to the buyer. Right now it's all primary fruit, acidity and oak. But the fruit is beautifully layered in tiers of roasted blackberries, grilled cherries and cola, and the oak is splendid. This dry, silky wine desperately needs to be held until at least late 2010, and should drink well through 2014.

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  • Alcohol
    13.5%
  • Bottle Size
    750 ml
  • Category
    Red
  • Date Published
    12/31/2009
  • User Avg Rating
    Not rated yet [Add Your Review]
About the Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide

Tasting Methodology and Goals

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.

About the Scores

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a product’s special characteristics.

    • 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 in casual, less-critical circumstances.

Products deemed Unacceptable (receiving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.

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Special Designations

Editors' Choice wines are those that offer excellent quality at a price above our Best Buy range, or a wine at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention.

Cellar Selections are wines deemed highly collectible and/or requiring time in a temperature-controlled wine cellar to reach their maximum potential. A Cellar Selection designation does not mean that a wine must be stored to be enjoyed, but that cellaring will probably result in a more enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimum time for cellaring will be indicated.

Best Buys are wines that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. There are no specific guidelines or formulae for determining Best Buys, but they are generally priced at $15 or less.

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How to Submit Wines for Review

Wine Enthusiast Magazine tastes, rates and reviews wines, spirits and beers for publication in our Buying Guide, both in print and online. If you are interested in submitting samples for review and publication, please click here.

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