Without apologies, this is by and large a list for collectors with deep cellars and fat wallets. Although the interpretation of what constitutes a Cellar Selection varies somewhat from reviewer to reviewer, these are wines that require time in a temperature- and humidity-controlled cellar to reach their maximum potential. These are often among the highest-rated wines of the year, and price is less important in compiling this Top 100 list than for any of our others. That said, price and availability are still factors, which is why you won’t find the 100-point 2005 Château Petrus ($6,000-plus, limited production) on the list. Instead, numerous other 2005 Bordeaux made the cut, including this year’s Number One Cellar Selection. Keep in mind that many of these wines are limited in production, and just like wines on our other Top 100 lists, some may have sold out or increased in price since our initial reviews were published.
The nature of this list intrinsically favors those parts of the world known for producing intense, cellarworthy wines, with a heavy emphasis on France (30 wines) and Italy (16 wines), highlighting the excellence of 2005 in Bordeaux and 2004 in Tuscany. In general, the New World wines on the list—while still demanding time in the cellar—will require less aging than their European counterparts.
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