Every year since 1988, Wine Spectator has compiled a list of the most exciting wines they’ve reviewed over the past 12 months. These 100 wines reflect significant trends, recognize outstanding producers and spotlight successful regions and vintages around the world.
From Wine Spectator:
“In 2012, our list was selected from more than 17,000 new releases our editors rated in our independent blind tastings. More than 5,500 of these wines earned outstanding or classic ratings (90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale). We narrowed the list down based on four criteria: quality (represented by score); value (reflected by release price); availability (measured by cases made or imported); and what we call the “X-factor”–the excitement generated by a rising-star producer, a benchmark wine or a significant milestone for a wine region. But no equation determines the final selections: These choices reflect our editors’ judgment and passion about the wines we tasted.
In this year’s list, 13 countries are represented. The average score remains consistently strong at 93 points, and the average price per bottle is $46, just $2 more than in 2011. We hope that you enjoy our 2012 list and that it leads you to more deeply explore the world of wine.”
$60. Relentless, a riveting blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, is a groundbreaking red from a region and a winery better known for producing stellar Cabernet Sauvignons. From his first vintage in 1978, founder John Shafer, joined by his son, Doug, steadily built the family winery into one of Napa’s elite; their signature Hillside Select Cabernet is one of California’s most sought-after reds.
Tasting Notes: “The aromatics are full and distinct, with loads of dark berry and charcoal, then this unfolds touches of black cherry, raspberry and red and black licorice on the palate, sailing along and firming nicely on the finish. Shows all the muscle, density, richness and range of flavor found in many Shafer reds, yet takes it to another level in this vintage. The best Relentless yet. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Best from 2013 through 2023. 3,300 cases made. –JL”