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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The 7 Greatest Wines of All Time?

Wine-Searcher finds just seven wines that score 99 or 100 points across all critics.

Wine critics don’t always agree. Sometimes, they disagree entirely: the clash over the 2003 Château Pavie remains the most memorable discrepancy in recent years. Robert Parker scored the St-Émilion wine a 95-100 out of 100 while Jancis Robinson MW awarded it a meager 12 out of 20.

But on the odd occasion, wine reviewers reach a unanimous verdict on the greatness of a wine. Wine-Searcher mined its database of 1.5 million scores from more than 30 critics in search of these wines and found that just seven have an aggregate of 99 or 100 points. But perfection comes at a price.

The cheapest drop of perfection is $2,789 (excluding sales tax) for the 2003 Domaine Louis Chave Ermitage Cuveé Cathelin. Parker has tasted this wine twice and awarded it 100 out of 100 both times. Parker’s most recent tasting of the wine reads: “Chave’s 2003 Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin merits a perfect score. I know several excellent tasters who think this is the single greatest wine they have ever tasted, and it is difficult to disagree. This was an extraordinary vintage at Chave, with outrageously high alcohols, but unbelievable balance.” Similarly Stephen Tanzer reviewer Josh Reynolds gave it a 99 plus in February 2007, describing it as “thick, chewy and almost ridiculously sweet, with the concentration, weight and fruit intensity of a great vintage port, yet with amazing freshness and energy.”

The most expensive of the wines in the list is the 1811 Château d’Yquem. While there are no bottles currently available for sale, Christian Vanneque, the former head sommelier at the restaurant La Tour d’Argent told Wine-Searcher that he had paid the equivalent of $120,000 for the bottle and plans to drink the bottle in 2017 with his wife and friends, pairing it with foie gras.

There are many other wines that were perfect in the eyes of a number of critics that aren't included in the list: the 1961 Château Latour achieved a whopping four 100-point scores, However, its Wine-Searcher rating was affected by lower scores from a number of other critics, coming out with a 97 aggregate. Similarly, Château Margaux's 2000 vintage has three 100-point ratings but a Wine-Searcher average of 96. Many critics have rated these two wines, making it harder to achieve a 99- or 100-point consensus, using Wine-Searcher's aggregate tool.
The table below shows the wines that made the grade.

Key: RP: Robert Parker; JR: Jancis Robinson MW; RVF: La Revue du Vin de France; JG: Jamie Good; Jeannie: Jeannie Cho Lee MW

Source: www.wine-searcher.com