Top 100 Wines of 2018 – James Melendez

The great race to name the top 100 wines is like Christmas/winter holiday retailers putting out their assortments earlier year over year.  So too is James Suckling on November 5, 2018 and Wine Spectator November 19, 2018.  Next year I predict that each will start releasing in October, then September…

I like to wait and, of course, I have to work much harder than both to get samples.  I do put out my wish tasting wish each start of the year and I get some samples and I then start to ask importers and US producers directly for samples.  I, of course, don’t get all that I want.  My chief aim of each year is to taste wines from all wine regions on the planet.

I do pound the pavement to look for opportunities to taste if I don’t get a sample.  I write up and record my tasting throughout the year and take plenty of pictures.  I also exercise patience to publish this list.  I want to publish in December and not before–I want to wait for most of the year to be behind me and be as genuine in my top 100 list.

My list is different.  It is in alphabetical order.  Number one is because of alphabetical ranking and not on an unrealistic ranking of some paramount number one.  It is not realistic to name one wine is the highest ranking wine of the year.  I do not know of a method to out rank all other wines but again I don’t believe in 100 point awards because I do not know what perfect looks like.  Simply because perfection doesn’t exist.

What does exist are fine wines, wines of great imagination and that are set apart from wines of the same region or the same varieties in other regions.  I do believe in the scale I use but have sworn off of using 100 points and perhaps someday I will taste a 100 point wine but I am not convinced that will happen at this point.

I want this top 100 to be more accessible and not pin each producer to a certain number but to revel being in the same company.  I also don’t believe in listing just the latest releases of each respective region but old vintages –not just because they are old but because it is because in 2018 they are remarkable.  There is a 1929, 1976, 1977, 1990, 1995, 1997, and 1999 are the older vintages of the particular wine listed.



Distribution of wines from the following countries:

US 25
France 23
Italy 19
Portugal 12
Spain 6
Argentina 3
Germany 3
Australia 2
Chile 1
New Zealand 1
South Africa 1
Luxembourg 1
United Kingdom 1
West Bank 1
Hungary 1

And the wines are composed in the following manner:

  • Red 41
  • White 29
  • Dessert 18
  • Sparkling 11
  • Rose 1

Here is the list of 2018 top 100 wines (below this list I will add the videos to those that I created a video review)

1 Acústic Braó Montsant 2007 94 Points
2 Addendum Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 95 Points
3 Albert Bichot Domaine du Clos Frantin Gevrey Chambertin 2014 94 Points
4 António Maçanita Arinto dos Açores 2015 94 Points
5 Askos Masseria La Veli Salento iGT Susumaniello 2015 93 Points
6 Bainbridge Vineyards Puget Sound Siegerrebe 2017 92 Points
7 Barbeito Malvasia Madeira 2004 94 Points
8 Barth René Alsace Pinot Blanc 2014 93 Points
9 Benjamin Silver Saviezza Santa Barbara County Sangiovese 2010 94 Points
10 Boveri Derthona Timorasso 2015 94 Points
11 Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2015 94 Points
12 Ca’Viola Sottocastello di Novello Barolo 2012 94 Points
13 Cairdeas Yakima Valley Marsanne 2017 93 Points
14 Cantina Orsogna Civitas Terri di Chieti Pecorino 2016 93 Points
15 Catena Alta Historic Rows Malbec 2013 94 Points
16 Cellers Capafons-Ossó Auseta Montsant 2016 93 Points
17 Cellers Sant Rafael Montsant Solpost 2003 94 Points
18 Champagne André Jacquart Rosé de Saignée – NV 93 Points
19 Champagne Barrat-Masson Les Margannes Brut Nature 94 Points
20 Champagne Bollinger Rosé 2016 94 Points
21 Champagne Bruno Paillard Rosé MV 95 Points
22 Champagne Collet Brut Rosé NV 94 Points
23 Champagne Dom Perignon 2006 96 Points
24 Champagne Jeaunaux Robin Extra Brut NV 93 Points
25 Champagne Phillioponnat Clos de Goisses Brut 2007 94 Points
26 Château Dauphiné-Rondillon Loupiac 2011 95 Points
27 Château du Cros Loupiac 2014 – 94 Points
28 Château Filhot Sauternes 2015 94 Points
29 Château Gaudiet Loupiac 2016 94 Points
30 Château La Dominque Grand Cru Classe 2013 94 Points
31 Château La Reme Sainte-Croix-du-Mont 2015 95 Points
32 Château Lapinesse Sauternes 2016 94 Points
33 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 94 Points
34 Château Rauzan-Ségla Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux 2015 94 Points
35 Christian Moreau Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2016 95 Points
36 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – 95 Points
37 Cornerstone Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 94 Points
38 Corte Sant’Alda Valmezzane Amarone della Valpolicella 2012 95 Points
39 Cremisan Star of Bethlehem West Bank White Wine NV 92 Points
40 D’Oliveras Boal Madeira 1977 95 Points
41 D’Oliveras Malvazia Madeira 1990 95 Points
42 D’Oliveras Tina Negra Madeira 1929 96 Points
43 Domaine Carneros Le Rêve 2011 93 Points
44 Domaine de Papolle Côtes de Gascogne Gros Manseng 2017 93 Points
45 Domaine Denis Race Premier Crus Chablis 2015 94 Points
46 Domaine Vinsmoselle Crémant de Luxembourg Brut NV 93 Points
47 Donnafugata Floramundi Cerasuolo di Vittoria Episode #2624 2016 94 Point
48 Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese 1997 94 Points
49 Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Goldkappel 1995 96 Points
50 Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Sonnenuhr 1976 97 Points
51 Drouhin-Vaudon Premier Cru Chablis 2014 94 Points
52 Duncan Savage West Cape White Wine 2016 93 Points
53 Elvio Cogno Anas-Cëtta Langhe Nascetta 2016 93 Points
54 Far Niente Oakville Chardonnay 2006 94 Points
55 Framingham F-Series Old Vine Marlborough Riesling 2017 93 Points
56 Goosecross Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 93 Points
57 Gramercy Cellars L’idiot du Village Columbia Valley Mourvèdre 2015 93 Points
58 Hall Kathryn Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 96 Points
59 Hartford Stone Côte Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2015 93 Points
60 Hawk & Horse Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 94 Points
61 Henriques & Henriques Madeira 20 year Malvasia 94 Points
62 Henriques & Henriques Madeira 15 Year Verdelho 94 Points
63 Henriques & Henriques Maderia Saveiro Tinta Negra 95 Points
64 Jack Winery Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 94 Points
65 Joseph Phelps Vin du Mistral Napa Valley Syrah 1986 94 Points
66 Káli-Kövek Rezeda Balaton­felvidék Olaszrizing 2017 94 Points
67 Lancaster Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 94 Points
68 Leeuwin Estate Margaret River Chardonnay 2016 93 Ponits
69 Lüscher-Ballard Vineyard Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 95 Points
70 Manz Dona Fatima Lisboa Jampal 2015 94 Points
71 Mas de l’Abundància Montsant 2013 94 Points
72 Olho de Mocho Alentejo Reserva White Wine 2014 93 Points
73 Pavillion Blanc du Chateaux Marguaux 2015 94 Points
74 Planeta Menfi Chardonnay 2017 94 Points
75 Planeta Noto Santa Cecilia 2005 94 Points
76 Planeta Noto Santa Cecilia 2007 94 Points
77 Presqu’ile Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay 2016 94 Points
78 Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Savannah Verdelho Special Blend 94 Points
79 Renato Ratti Marcenasco Barolo 2005 95 Points
80 Ridgeville Fitzrovia Rose NV 93 Points
81 Ronchi di Cialla Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso 2000 94 Points
82 Ronchi di Cialla Schioppettino di Cialla 1983 96 Points
83 Ronchi di Cialla Schioppettino di Cialla 2000 95 Points
84 Salentein El Tomillo Vineyard Mendoza Malbec 2015 94 Points
85 Salentein Los Basaltos Vineyard Mendoza Malbec 2015 94 Points
86 Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina Alghero 2013 94 Points
87 Smith Madrone Spring Mountain District Riesling 2015 94 Points
88 Smith-Madrone Cooks Flat Spring Mountain District Red Wine 2013 94 Points
89 Soalheiro Melgaço Alvarinho 2015 94 Points
90 Spring Mountain Spring Mountain District Elivette Red Wine 2014 94 Points
91 St Paul Alto Adige Südtirol Lagrein ’17 93 Points
92 Tablas Creek Adelaida District Paso Robles Vermentino 2017 93 Points
93 Troon Kubli Bench Applegate Valley Sangiovese 2016 93 Points
94 Trujillo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 93 Points
95 Tyrells Hunter Valley Semillion 2017 93 Points
96 Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Terre di Chieti Pecorino 2016 93 Points
97 Vinyes Domenech Rita Montsant 2014 94 Points
98 Vinyes Domenech Teixar Montsant 2014 94 Points
99 Wente Nth Degree Livermore Valley Chardonnay 2016 94 Points
100 Zorzettig Colli Orientali del Friuli Tocai Friulano 2006 94 Points

Wishing you the best of the holiday season!  I hope you can taste some of these wines!

Cheers and Santé,


Top 100 Wines of 2017 – James Melendez

Top 100 Wines for 2016 – James Melendez

Top 100 Wines for 2015 – James Melendez




James the Wine Guy

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About James Melendez

II love wine and business. I am obsessed with the subject, the art, the history, the sciences, organization management, and making things less complex I have been a former national wine marketing manager for a large off-premise food and wine retailer (280+ retail locations in 30 US States); the love for wine taught me the good practice of using the best methodologies to right side a business which unto itself is complex. Further complexity is wine. Wine simple to enjoy and yet profoundly complex because of many factors: Many grape varieties States of wine: sparkling, still and fortified wines Vintage Blends Regions/AVAs/DOCs etc. Many producer styles Many producers Limited supply Limited and often restricted distribution My experience is still a lot of intimidation with respect to wine. Wine means many things to many people; status, fear, success, ‘you’ve arrived’, enjoyment, good times, tradition and even ceremony. I have consulted with wine producers and association. I have spoken on Wine and Social Media, Wine and Video and The Business of Wine in conferences in the United States and Europe. Beer and spirits do have the same dynamics–there are many producers but compared to wine there is no other consumer product like it. I have been writing about since November 2006 on my site and I have over 2,890 wine videos on my YouTube channel talking about general wine subject matter as well as specific educational topics on wine and reviews. I have been a wine judge and have traveled to many wine countries in the new and old world. Wine has taken me to great places. Life is tough for most of us and it is nice to celebrate life with those near and even far. What wine is really about is sitting around a table with family and friends raising your wine glass and saying—to life! I love to write about travel, food, technology and business–please subscribe! Salute, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine © 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
This entry was posted in Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Top 100 Wines, UK, US. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Top 100 Wines of 2018 – James Melendez

  1. Pingback: December 2018 Wine Reviews – James Melendez | James the Wine Guy

  2. Ester Corbi says:

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