The 90+ Club welcomes Treasury Wine Estates
Year after year, membership in this club is earned, by impeccable standards and rare excellence. From a diversity of grapes, regions and producers, these wines have one thing in common-the recognized quality of a 90+ rating. As savvy wine lovers know, 90 points marks the difference between wines that are very good and those that are truly outstanding.View the new additions
Explore The Brands
Hewitt Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
"Combines power with finesse, offering a rich core of dark berry, mocha, chocolate, dusty oak and loamy earth. Gains depth and refinement on the finish, where the flavors linger pleasantly. Drink now through 2030." 10/2015
Wine Spectator - 94pts, James Laube
Hewitt Vineyard produces only estate Cabernet Sauvignon from its extraordinary property and is a leader in Rutherford's winemaking renaissance.Explore Hewitt Vineyard
Etude 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
"A charming style, with distinctive hints of mint and bay leaf. Offers firm, ripe and juicy cherry, plum, graphite and mineral flavors, ending with firm, lively acidity and good length. Drink now through 2028." 11/2015
Wine Spectator - 90pts, James Laube
Located in the esteemed Carneros Appellation, Etude is renowned for its 30 year legacy of producing high quality Pinot Noirs, as well as its collectible Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons.Explore Etude
Acacia 2013 Chardonnay Sangiacomo Vineyard
"Rich and creamy in both texture and flavor, with ripe, citrus-laced apple, melon and green fig notes. Long and sleek on the finish, revealing subtle nuances. Drink now through 2019." 4/2015
Wine Spectator - 92pts, James Laube
Acacia debuted in 1979 and remains tightly focused on producing high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines showcasing terroir through all tiers of wines.Explore Acacia
Beaulieu Vineyard 2012 Georges de Latour Cabernet Saugvignon
"The deep ruby/purple-colored 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is BV's flagship wine. It boasts sweet notes of charcoal, burning embers, vanillin, tar and copious quantities of blackcurrant fruit. In keeping with this generously endowed vintage, the wine is supple, full-bodied, multidimensional and opulent. It will drink beautifully young and last for 20-25 years..." 10/2014
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 94pts, Robert Parker
Founded in 1900, surviving prohibition, a depression, WWII, and phylloxera twice, Beaulieu Vineyard is still known 100 years later for legendary winemaking, producing legendary winemakers and for putting Napa Valley Cabernet on the map.Explore Beaulieu Vineyard
Stags' Leap Winery 2012 The Investor Napa Valley
"Named after the founder of Stags Leap Winery, the outstanding 2012 Proprietary Red The Investor is a blend of 40% Merlot, 40% Petite Sirah and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit intermixed with notions of chocolate, lavender, unsmoked cigar tobacco and underbrush are present in this meaty, chewy, attractive, velvety textured 2012. Enjoy this well-made red over the next decade." 10/2014
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 90pts, Robert Parker
Established in 1893, Stags' Leap Winery is one of California's earliest wine estates. Winemaker Christophe Paubert practices traditional winemaking techniques creating wines of a more traditional old worlds style with elegance and finesse.Explore Stags' Leap
Beringer 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
"...The sensational 2012 (10,000 cases) boasts an opaque purple color along with abundant aromas of charcoal, burning embers, cr&eac;me de cassis, chocolate, blackberries and licorice. The long, complex, compelling, full-bodied texture along with terrific purity and a savory, rich mouthfeel result in a classic, quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to drink now and over the next 20-25 years." 10/2014
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 96pts, Robert Parker
The longest continually operating winery in California, Beringer has been Napa Valley's benchmark producer since its establishment in 1876.Explore Beringer
Wynns 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label
"Fresh, expressive and medium-weight, with nubby tannins around a taut core of black fruit, licorice and floral flavors that come together with intensity on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 2,000 cases imported." 8/2015
Wine Spectator - 90pts, Harvey Steiman
A wine of style and stature, and a perennial favourite in auction circles, the 'Black Label' is one of Australia's most collectable wines and Australia's benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon.Explore Wynns
Penfolds 2012 St. Henri Shiraz
"...Deep garnet-purple colored, it displays a gorgeous nose of commendable purity and intensity with notes of red and blackcurrants, freshly crushed blackberries, menthol, cinnamon stick, bacon fat and cloves. Rich and already expressive on the palate, it is nonetheless built for the long haul with firm, ripe and grainy tannins carrying the fruit to a long and layered finish. This should be a long-lived St Henri that should cellar gracefully for at least 2 decades." 9/2015
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 96+pts, Robert Parker
Penfolds has been producing an impressive array of wines since 1844 and indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine into the modern era.Explore Penfolds
Chateau St. Jean 2012 Cinq Cépages
"Centered on pure, rich red berry and blackberry flavors, with dusty, cedary fresh earth scents in the background, this is very Bordeaux-like and restrained. Ends with a subtle mix of complex flavors and subtle, fine-grained tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2023." 10/2015
Wine Spectator - 90pts, James Laube
Founded in 1973 in the Sonoma Valley, Chateau St. Jean is the quintessential Sonoma winery, producing an extensive portfolio of Sonoma County wines as well as vineyard designated wines.Explore Chateau St. Jean
Sterling Vineyards 2012 Reserve Chardonnay
"Gorgeous fruit, rich and creamy, with tiers of spicy pear and lemon flavors, complemented by a kiss of oak. Ends with honeydew and honeysuckle notes on the finish. Drink now. 950 cases made." 7/2015
Wine Spectator - 94pts, James Laube
Established by visionary Sir Peter Newton in 1964, Sterling Vineyards sits at the top of Napa, one mile south of historic Calistoga.Explore Sterling Vineyards
How Wine Spectator & Wine Advocate Rate Wines
Wine Spectator Tasting Procedures
Wine Spectator editors review more than 15,000 wines each year in blind tastings. Every issue of Wine Spectator magazine contains 400 to 1,000 wine reviews with detailed tasting notes and drink recommendations. We set stringent standards for ourselves and rely on the proven ability and experience of our editors as tasters and critics. (Read our Statement of Ethics.) Below are the guidelines we follow in order to maintain the integrity of our tastings.
Why We Taste Blind: A Letter from Marvin R. Shanken and Thomas Matthews
What do we review each year?
Each year, more than 15,000 wines from around the world are blind-tasted by our editors.
The majority of these reviews are published in issues throughout the year, in the Buying Guide section of the magazine.
Additional reviews are posted exclusively on our website. Wine Spectator primarily serves a national audience, and we therefore prefer to review wines that are widely available. Where do the wines we review come from?
The majority of the wines we taste are submitted to us by the wineries or their U.S. importers.
Additionally, we spend thousands of dollars each year to
buy wines that are not submitted, at all price levels.
Where do we review the wines?
Tastings take place in our offices in Napa and New York, and in the vineyard regions of Europe. Each office has dedicated tasting rooms and staff to coordinate the tastings.
The European tastings are organized and conducted at independent
sites by Wine Spectator staff.
Who reviews wines for the magazine?
Each editor generally covers the same wine regions from year to year. These "beats" remain constant, allowing each lead taster to develop expertise in the region's wines. Other tasters may sit in on blind tastings in order to help confirm impressions. However, the lead taster always has the final say on the wine's rating and description.
A taster's initials at the end of the tasting note indicate that the rating and review were created by that taster in one of our blind tastings.
Wines that do not include initials at the end of the tasting note are wines that were reviewed by two or more tasters. These tastings are conducted in the same blind setting and are monitored and guided by the lead taster for that region.
While the vast majority of our wine reviews originate from blind tastings-in private, under controlled conditions-and result in official scores, as described above and on our Tasting Format page, we occasionally review wines in other formats.
The Wine Advocate Rating System
Robert Parker's rating system employs a 50-100 point quality scale (Parker Points®). It is my belief that the various twenty (20) point rating systems do not provide enough flexibility and often result in compressed and inflated wine ratings. The Wine Advocate takes a hard, very critical look at wine, since I would prefer to underestimate the wine's quality than to overestimate it. The numerical ratings are utilized only to enhance and complement the thorough tasting notes, which are my primary means of communicating my judgments to you.
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.
90 - 95:
An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
80 - 89:
A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70 - 79:
An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
60 - 69
A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.
50 - 59:
A wine deemed to be unacceptable. Scores in parentheses indicate that the wine was tasted from barrel.