RECOMMENDED = I like it, would buy it again, and probably have. :-) (If my impression changes on subsequent occasions, I note it on the original review.)

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED = I like it very much and keep it in stock as a go-to favorite.

EXQUISITE = One of my favorite wines of the year. So far in 2011 I’ve called two “exquisite.” I snap up every bottle of these wowzers I can, keeping them in stock as Special Occasion wines.

After some soul-searching, I decided not to publish negative reviews. We’ve all had wine we didn’t care for. Yes, the idea here is to save you time and money by sharing recommendations, but I’m figuring you’d prefer to spend time reading about what’s good, rather than waste time reading about what isn’t.

I don’t like the points system, and neither use it myself nor report others’ numerical scores of wines. It’s degrading and depersonalizing, I think—like awarding a “10″ to one beautiful woman and a “7″ to another. Wines are individuals with quirks, charms, strong points, and differences. My ultra-favorite wine of this year received a mere 89-90 from The Powers That Be, while some of the most ho-hum wines on the planet have received scores significantly higher than 90.

4 Responses to Ratings

  1. harry krumrie says:

    enjoyed this site.. looked up gen 5 cabernet comments for 2009.. purchased a case of this wine based on what you said and wilfred wong… paid $95 for the case… do you recommend drinking now or can i cellar it for a few years? keep up the good and needed work !!!! harry

    • Harry, thank you for your kind comments. As to cellaring the Gen 5, I rarely try to predict which wines will age well, particularly those with cork closures. I’m sure that if the wines are stored in a cool, dark place, they’ll be fine for a while — a year or two? But personally I would enjoy that case on special occasions and go through it within a few months. When a wine is this good now, why risk cellaring it on the off chance it might get a little bit better? :-)

  2. Rick says:

    Will you compare 14 Hands Chardonnay vs Beringer California Collection Chardonnay? I am trying to decide on a “house” white.

    • Rick, apologies for taking so long to respond — I’ve been thinking about your question for a while. I would suggest that you compare the two Chards yourself, b/c only you know your tastes, preferences, and what you’ll typically be pairing your whites with. There are SO many styles of Chardonnay, ranging from crisp and unoaked, to buttery and heavily oaked, and both styles are popular among some people and controversial among others. For me, a middle-of-the-road, very reliable (every vintage tastes the same), somewhat oaky/buttery (but not over the top) Chard is simply the Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve, easily found in the grocery store and liquor stores for around $12. You can always count on what you’re getting. If you want a stunning, inexpensive, and off-the-beaten-path white, please try the white blend called “Borealis” from Montinore in Oregon. STUNNING and around $13.

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