What does it take for a wine to be included on annual our Enthusiast 100 list, where we feature the best of the best in the past year of wine? On Facebook Live, Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa dove into the process with Managing Editor and Tasting Director Lauren Buzzeo, discussing how our tasting panel went about selecting the top 100 wines from nearly 23,000 reviewed in 2017. What we learn is that there’s something for everyone, which is what makes putting together this list so exciting.
We’re highlighting two of our Top 100 wines from the each following categories: sparkling (both classic Champagne and upstart English), white (one fresh and light, one full-bodied), red (smooth and lush, rustic and complex), sweet/fortified wines from opposite ends of Europe, and two “wildcards” that Kostrzewa and Buzzeo are currently obsessed with.
Note: Numbers 1-10 on the left correspond to the bottle’s placement in the Facebook Live talk. Numbers on the right in parentheses represent the wine’s spot on The Enthusiast 100 list.
For those who like the classics: Duménil 2012 Premier Cru Special Club (Champagne); $65, 95 points. (#39)
For those who want to take a chance on a fun alternative: Chapel Down 2011 Three Graces Sparkling (England); $50, 95 points. (#26)
If you’d rather something fresh and light: Tornatore 2016 Bianco (Etna); $30, 93 points. (#60)
If you’re looking for rich and full-bodied: Gary Farrell 2015 Russian River Selection Chardonnay (Russian River Valley); $35, 95 points. (#1)
Smooth and lush from the Pacific Northwest: K Vintners 2014 The Boy Grenache (Washington); $50, 94 points. (#67)
Rustic and complex from across the Atlantic: Celler Pasanau 2012 Finca La Planeta Red (Priorat); $43, 94 points. (#65)
If you prefer dark and fortified: Taylor Fladgate NV 325 Anniversary (Port); $40, 94 points. (#9)
If you’d rather botrytized and sweet: Chateau Dereszla 2009 Aszú 5 Puttonyos (Tokaji); $43, 95 points. (#20)