This year, our team of tasters reviewed more than 25,000 wines. But only nine bottles from Champagne and Bordeaux in France, and Port’s 2017 vintage, were the epitome of perfection and deemed worthy of being scored 100 points. Most of these wines also made our Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2019 and all are perfect for adding to your wine collection.
Here are the nine wines that earned a perfect score in 2019.
Billecart-Salmon 2002 Le Clos Saint-Hilaire Brut (Champagne); $500. From just over two acres of old vines in the producer’s home village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, this pure Pinot Noir Champagne is magnificent. A toasty flavor is balanced by concentrated white fruits, with a touch of tannin adding texture. It’s an unforgettable wine. Enjoy in the near term. Billecart Salmon USA. Editors’ Choice. –Roger Voss
Château Angélus 2016 Saint-Émilion; $400. This is a rich, perfumed wine, with dense tannins and intense layers of black plum and spice. The palate is firmly built yet broadened out by plump dark-fruit tones and honed by a solid, dry core. Drink from 2025. K&L Wine Merchants. Cellar Selection. –R.V.
Château Haut-Brion 2016 Pessac-Léognan; $650. Immensely tannic, this is a great Haut-Brion, one of the finest for many years. It shows the severe side of this estate, with a dense structure to match the powerful black fruits. Rich with berry flavors and lifted by enough acidity, the wine will age for many years. Drink from 2026. Millésima USA. Cellar Selection. –R.V.
Château Palmer 2016 Margaux; $330. Powerful tannins and hugely rich fruit balance together in this superb wine. The velvet texture belies the power behind the concentrated, ripe black-fruit flavor, with vibrant acidity giving ample lift. The wine’s structure will ensure aging for many years. Drink from 2024. K&L Wine Merchants. Cellar Selection. –R.V.
Château Pontet-Canet 2016 Pauillac; $159. A voluptuous wine, this is rich and fruity yet properly balanced by a magnificent structure. Pure, crisp and packed with a black currant flavor, this will be a remarkable wine as it develops. Still young, it needs many years to develop. Don’t think about drinking before 2025. K&L Wine Merchants. Cellar Selection. –R.V.
JCP Maltus 2016 Le Dôme (Saint-Émilion); $235. This 80% Cabernet Franc wine may be massive, but it is also perfumed with swathes of opulent black fruit. It comes from a great year for Cabernet Franc, which forms 75% of this vineyard. Juicy acidity gives the wine a velvet character that is enticing. It needs time, so wait to drink from 2026. World’s End LLC. Cellar Selection. –R.V.
Louis Roederer 1996 Cristal Vinothèque Brut (Champagne); $1100. A re-release from one of the legendary vintages of the last 30 years, this Champagne still shows some of the intense acidity that marked that year. It has gained maturity, but it’s an ageless, magnificent wine. Although it is ready to drink, it will hold well through 2029. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. Cellar Selection. –R.V.
Sandeman 2017 Quinta do Seixo (Port); $70. This is going to be a major, impressive wine. All the elements are there: ripe blackberry fruit, powerful acidity, dense tannins and spice. It has the structure to live on for decades. Drink from 2030. Evaton, Inc. Cellar Selection. –R.V.
Taylor Fladgate 2017 Vargellas Vinhas Velhas (Port); $250. This is a magnificent, opulent wine, with rich tannins and equally rich black fruits. While it has plenty of ripeness that gives it a generous character, it never wavers in its firm structure. It will have an immensely long, impressive life. Drink from 2030. Kobrand. Cellar Selection. –R.V.