2020 Wine Spectator top 100 wines revealed

Each year since 1988, the influential and prestigious US Wine Spectator magazine has released its Top 100 list, where the editors select the most exciting wines from the more than 11,000 they reviewed during 2020. Its influence is substantial; many wines that feature highly in the list sell quickly in following months, often at increased prices.(The selection prioritises quality (based on score), value (based on price) and availability. These criteria are applied to the wines that rated outstanding (90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale) to determine the Top 100 for the year.

For the third year in a row, a widely known European wine took top honours, with the 2010 Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial ($120.00) from Rioja taking up the mantle from the 2016 Léoville-Barton ($180.00) and 2015 Sassicaia ($325.00), the 2019 and 2018 victors.

I was pleased to see a number of wines from Dundee Hills and the Willamette Valley in Oregon featured as I reviewed these wines in a previous Blog when I visited in 2017.

But lets face it. All top wine lists are subjective. For instance Penfold’s Grange has been selected number one in previous lists but this year did not make the top 100. Instead its 2018 Bin 28 Kalimna shiraz ($40.00) came in at 41st. Another surprise was Central Otago’s 2018 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir (75.00) at 14th.  This wine does not enter the NZ wine shows so no comparison can be made to other Central Otago pinot noirs.

Among the other Australasian  wines to win gongs were Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet, 46th ($39) and for Sauvginon Blanc drinkers, Marlborough’s 2020 Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc 23rd ($15.00) and 2019 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 73rd ($18.00).

Hold your hats!  Of all the Shiraz produced in Australia it was the Fowles 2018 Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch from the Strathbogie Ranges ($32.00) who scraped in at 97th position leaving Elderton and Henschke in its wake.

There are good quality bargains among this subjective lot to seek out. Enjoy and leave your comments.


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