It’s been a challenging year. The coronavirus pandemic caused upheaval in all facets of our lives, with restaurants, bars and tasting rooms particularly hard hit as they were forced to limit service or close. Nonetheless, wine lovers continued to enjoy wine at home, with retail sales helping support the industry.
As always, Wine Spectator’s mission is to draw readers’ attention to the most exciting wines our editors discovered in their blind tastings. We reviewed more than 11,000 wines during the past year. Nearly 50% of those rated an outstanding 90 points or higher on our 100-point scale. From this pool, we selected our Top 100, evaluated for quality (based on score), value (price), availability (cases made or imported into the United States) and, importantly, the back story of the wine, what we call the X-factor.
The Top 100 is a snapshot of the year in wine. You’ll find some of the best wines from leading grape varieties and famous appellations, particularly in our Top 10. Comfort wines from producers with reliable track records figure prominently on our list this year, a nod to staying home and enjoying your favorite reds, whites, sparklers and rosés in safety. Sauvignon Blanc occupies its largest slice ever of our honor roll since the inaugural list in 1988, a testament to the exciting styles and high quality achieved by vintners around the globe.
We hope you enjoy this thoughtful list of stellar wineries, new discoveries, reliable favorites and terrific values that make up Wine Spectator’s 2020 Top 100.