You Can Buy These 5 Perfect 100-Point Wines Right Now
Finding the top-rated wines can be difficult, but we've made it easier.
Even if wine critics' scores don't sway you in a meaningful way, some thresholds do matter in terms of wine ratings. Shop shelves are in decent shape if a bottle has a 90 on a 100-point scale, but drop one point, and it languishes; no one is looking for an 89. A score of 95 or higher is a landmark: it is downright impressive when you are halfway into the 90s. If the critics agree that the wine is terrific north of 95, they might quarrel about nuance and style.
A perfect-100, of course, is the most compelling achievement. Having fully realized the bragging rights and marketing bonanza that come with it, critics don't take it lightly. Having put so much thought and effort into it, it's the score they can back up with meaningful high praise for.
In light of the aforementioned marketing bonanza, 100-point wines are rarely found, unicorn bottles. These are the prize for collectors who snag ground-floor memberships with promising producers. Some bottles are perfect, and you can also order them right away. Our recent finds range from Napa Valley to Italy. We periodically scan the market for bottles deemed perfect by one or more of the most respected critics. In terms of their arguments for getting 100 points, let's let the critics speak for themselves.
Accendo Cellars 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
This Cabernet Sauvignon is insanely beautiful right out of the bottle. It is inky, rich, explosive, and has stunning depth. This rich, explosive Cabernet exemplifies its pedigree with blackberries, mocha, licorice, red plum, spice, leather and cedar. It is by far the finest wine I have yet had at Accendo. It is going to take several years for the Accendo Cabernet to be its best. It will not be an easygoing 2018 for me. Vine Hill Ranch, Sleeping Lady, DMVH, and Ecotone are the vineyard sources, which is pretty much as good as it gets. It is quite clearly one of the wines of the vintage.
Tor 2019 Vine Hill Ranch Pure Magic Red Napa Valley
As its name suggests, the 2019 Vine Hill Ranch Pure Magic certainly lives up to its name. It has an incredible pure character, and it is nothing short of magnificent. Upon opening, this wine bursts open to an array of exotic spices, violets, herbs, tilled soil, and even hints of blueberries that come together and explode from the glass to envelop the palate with seductive aromas of ripe dark currants, black cherries and even hints of blueberries. With its lush full-body that is dense and concentrated, this wine continues to impress with its remarkable freshness and striking overall balance as layers of beautifully ripe dark fruits cascade down the long, supple finish. It is no longer just an absolutely stunning wine today, but it also shows tremendous promise for a brighter future ahead. Drink: 2021–2025. Pure Magic is an absolute gem of a wine from Tor this vintage.
Louis Roederer 2008 Cristal Rosé Champagne
A fine example of this cuvée from Lécaillon, as well as one of the finest wines produced by any Champagne house in the last few decades. In addition to smelling wild strawberries, tangerines, warm pastry, and crisp green orchard fruit, the 2008 is deep and concentrated, boasting a spine of acidity that is beautifully integrated, a multidimensional core, and a searing chalky finish.
Cliff Lede Vineyards 2018 Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
This 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry, made up of 88 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 percent Merlot, 5 percent Petit Verdot and 1 percent Cabernet Franc, opens with impressive aromas of blackberry compotes, blueberry preserves, candied violets, and black currant pastilles, followed by hints of dried roses, menthol, powdered cinnamon, aniseed and cedar chest. Featuring layers of crunchy black fruits, exotic spices, and floral hints, the palate is full-bodied, yet maintains compelling restraint, framed by firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and seamless freshness, ending with epic length and depth. A 2018 Napa Cabernet that will blow your mind!
Quilceda Creek 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
As good as Washington Cabernet Sauvignon gets. In addition to the beautiful crème de violette and crème de cassis tones, blackberry cordial, exotic spices, and dark chocolate shavings complement the delicious wine. The palate is bursting with blueberries, graphite with tar, and sweet pipe tobacco woven together with black forest cake. This wine is a perfect blend of finesse and texture. The wine will not disappoint over the next 20-plus years, even at the three-year mark. Best to drink between 2021 and 2040.