Wine Spectator Reveals #1 Wine of the Year + Top 10 Wines of 2014
Wine Spectator has announced Dow’s Vintage Port 2011 as its 2014 Wine of the Year. Like all Ports, Dow’s Vintage Port 2011 hails from the Douro River Valley in north central Portugal. This one was made by the Symington family, who has been making Port since 1882 and is the region’s single biggest landowner.
In 2011, Port surged to remarkable heights of quality, with some vintners declaring it the best vintage in 50 years. The Dow’s Vintage Port 2011 was the highest-scoring wine of the vintage at 99 points, or “classic” on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale. It is a fine value for its category at $82 a bottle, and 5,000 cases were made.
The wine stands as a monument to quality and the modernization of the Douro over the past two decades. Due to its combination of power, quality and fair pricing, and for being the best of the best of an amazing vintage, the 2011 Dow’s Vintage Port is Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year. Two other Portuguese wines from the Douro cracked the Top 10 this year, and a total of six Portuguese wines are ranked in the Top 100 of 2014, capping the nation’s best performance to date.
Dow’s Vintage Port #1, Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 2014
2. Mollydooker | Shiraz McLaren Vale Carnival of Love 2012 | 95 points | $75 | 4,729 cases made | McLaren Vale, Australia
3. Prats & Symington | Douro Chryseia 2011 | 97 points | $55 | 4,000 cases made | Douro, Portugal
4. Quinta Do Vale Meão | Douro 2011 | 97 points | $76 | 2,300 cases made | Douro, Portugal
5. Leeuwin | Chardonnay Margaret River Art Series 2011 | 96 points | $89 | 600 cases imported | Western Australia
6. Castello di Ama | Chianti Classico San Lorenzo Gran Selezione 2010 | 95 points | $52 | 8,000 cases made | Tuscany, Italy
7. Clos des Papes | Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012 | 97 points | $135 | 6,000 cases made | Southern Rhône Valley, France
8. Brewer-Clifton | Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2012 | 94 points | $40 | 1,226 cases made | Santa Barbara, California
9. Concha y Toro | Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Don Melchor 2010 | 95 points | $125 | 10,100 cases made | Maipo, Chile
10. Château Léoville Las Cases | St.-Julien 2011 | 95 points | $165 | 8,330 cases made | Bordeaux, France
These wines were selected from a pool of 18,000 wines by Wine Spectator editors in the magazine’s independent blind tastings. Selections are based on four criteria: quality (represented by score), value (reflected by release price), availability (based on the number of cases made or imported into the U.S.) and what Wine Spectator calls the “X-factor”—or, in other words, the excitement generated by the wine.
The Top 10 Wines are now featured on www.top100.winespectator.com, with the full Top 100 list to be unveiled online on Monday, November 17. The list will also be published in Wine Spectator’s special Top 100 issue, on newsstands on Dec. 2.
About Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches more than 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms, and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 15,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Impact.