This year, Wine Enthusiast’s global tasting panel reviewed more than 16,500 wines, in every style and at every price point imaginable. In our November issue, we published our Top 100 Best Buys, the year’s top wines for $15 or less. In our December issue, we published our Top 100 Cellar Selections, the year’s most age-worthy and collectible wines. Now, the big one is here.
The Enthusiast 100 is the pinnacle of our yearly roundups—wines we think are remarkable for a multitude of reasons. The wines featured here are all top-scoring wines, but beyond numerical ratings, they are wines that boast exceptional quality-to-price ratios, drinkability and availability. They represent the incredible diversity available in the market today—the best wines in an array of styles, made from a wide range of grape varieties, and from wine regions all around the world.
These are the standout wines we value for their uniqueness, their balance and individuality, their unquestionable appeal and the sheer delight we experienced in tasting them.
In essence, The Enthusiast 100 is a carefully culled selection of 2013’s must-drink wines that we can’t wait for you to discover and enjoy with us. Cheers!
Aromas of dark forest berry, smoke, cigar-box spice and tobacco leaf immediately waft from the glass of this forward and robust Pinotage. The wine’s boldness continues to shine on the full palate, loaded with gripping tannins and layers of blackberry, boysenberry, roasted cocoa nib, pepper and toasted oak flavors. Drinkable now, but should benefit from some time in…— L.B. (5/1/2013)
Structurally, this is near perfect, with sturdy yet supple tannins and bright acids that perk up the flavors of blackberry jam, milk chocolate, red currants and crème de cassis. This is classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon; it’s great to drink now, but it will also slowly evolve in the bottle over the next decade.— S.H. (4/1/2013)
This small-production Sauvignon Blanc (700 cases) overdelivers on its price by a factor of two or three times. It gets going with crisp, crystalline aromas of passion fruit and briny grapefruit. A pure, juicy, ripped palate offers lime, grapefruit, tangerine and herb flavors, while the finish is minerally and clean.— M.S. (9/1/2013)
Riserva La Poderina presents an impenetrable wall of aromatic intensity with dark concentration and lovely density in the mouth. You’ll recognize dark fruit, polished mineral, leather, tobacco and powdered spice notes. The wine lasts long on the palate, driven by its bold structure.— M.L. (5/1/2013)
Dense and dark, this heady red is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 13% Syrah. Powerful aromas and flavors of wild blackberry, cassis, cigar-box spice and licorice root abound on the nose and in the mouth, and carry on through the long finish. The structure is firm and gripping, but perfectly matched to the intense fruit flavors. This wine is…— L.B. (9/1/2013)
Wood and fruit tannins push through strongly in this powerful wine. It has weight and plush fruit texture, and behind the tannins, dark chocolate and licorice flavors. It’s dense and concentrated, needing several years, at least 5–6, to shine.— R.V. (6/1/2013)
Blackberry, cassis and earthy accents define the bouquet on this blend of Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The palate is as solid as a boulder, but not overtly hard. Prune, berry, toast and cocoa flavors set up an elegant, rich and round finish with nice residual flavors and mouthfeel. Drink now–2016.— M.S. (9/1/2013)
An aromatic knockout with notes of peach, papaya, lychee and brown sugar. At 250 g/L of residual sugar, it’s dense and rich with carmelized sugar flavors and a lengthy finish.— S.S. (12/1/2013)
This partnership continues to turn out marvelously complex wines from inland Victoria. Savory, herbal and intriguing on the nose, with hints of raspberry, mushroom and smoked meat, this is a medium-bodied, supple wine. Dusty tannins impart a silky quality to the finish. Drink now–2018.— J.C. (2/1/2013)