We finally present our list of the world’s best wines, chosen by critics.
While the word best is never a relative term, some would argue that it is at least a subjective term when it comes to wine.
Everyone’s wine experience is different. Even the most admired critics admit that context can change the perception of a wine. The time of day, our surroundings, and even the company we’re in can subtly influence how wine tastes at that particular moment, in that particular location.
Even those of us who aren’t as noble as we are, like when we open a bottle of wine we bought while on vacation (often in an incredibly beautiful small Mediterranean village) and drink it among the well-worn bottles. You’ve probably experienced the disappointment of discovering that it just doesn’t have the same magic. A rainy Wednesday night in November in my apartment.
However, we need some way to classify the quality of wine, and effectively all we are left with is a 100-point (or equivalent) scale that ultimately determines the aesthetic excellence of a wine. It drops to a mediocre few digits. That’s not a complaint, just a reflection of reality.
What’s interesting about the idea of scores is the division they create in the wine industry. On the other hand, some people complain that a mere number does not fully capture the nuances of a wine, and that simply putting a big sticker with the number 93 on the label is vulgar and arrogant. This is a valid argument, but it’s usually made by people who already know enough about wine to not need scores for their tastes.
On the other hand, some people love wine scores. Often these people are producers, and if one of their wines gets a decent score, sales will immediately increase, even if the wine is not actually produced. I know it’s possible. This allows you to charge more for your wine, building both your reputation and your price base.
The scores also make the intentionally esoteric and unfathomable world of wine much easier for the vast majority of people who actually buy and drink wine, rather than discerning investors or compulsive collectors. Because they love them too. They don’t know or care that Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir is shaped like an amphitheatre, or that the Kimmeridgian subsoil has less limestone than many of its neighbors. . It bothers me that someone has a sticker on the shelf or bottle that says he scored 93 out of 100. do I know everything else.
So how do we rank the “Best Wines” series? The aggregated score is based on all available critic scores for each vintage of wine collected. These are averaged across all vintages and the scores are weighted according to the number of critics who have reviewed each wine and the number of scores they have given across different vintages. This way we arrive at the hierarchy of lists.
We also consider wines with sufficient critic scores to be represented. There are wines out there with better scores. There are wines with 100 points and 99 points, but they only have 2 or 3 scores, so they are not reliable enough.
Availability should also be mentioned. The best wines ever made, by whom and where, almost inevitably reside in private cellars and are unavailable to consumers. Therefore, such wines have no meaning at all, except as a footnote to some strange historical wine. All of the wines listed below may not be affordable, but at least they are available.
Wine-Searcher’s world’s best wines:
One interesting thing to note this year is that Burgundy’s influence seems to be declining slightly. The main reason we don’t often publish “Best Burgundy” lists is because they are usually also “Best Wine” lists by default.
However, this year there are three non-Burgundy wines on the list, up from two last year. Quinta do Noval Nacional maintains its place among the elite, while Harlan and Screaming Eagle move into the top 10, cementing Napa’s place among the elite.
Another difference from last year is that there is one more white wine on the list. Traditionally, critics have tended to focus on red wines, but Chardonnay certainly seems to be gaining traction last year.
But the price is terrible. Still, the global average retail price for Leroy Musigny is an additional $4,000 more, although the price is actually a little lower. In fact, last year’s list included seven wines with five-figure prices. Although there are only five this year, the “cheapest” wine on the list, Nacional, is still significantly more expensive than last year’s cheapest wine.
Still, we’re talking about the best here, so why quibble about price? And no matter how subjective wine opinions may be, the above list is hardly debatable.
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