10 Highest Rated Wines of The Year


Based in California wine country, the Andrew Harper's Wine Concierge samples more than a thousand collector-level wines annually to provide honest, unbiased recommendations for our avid oenophiles.

Below is a list of his current favorite boutique-production wines ranging in price from $65 to $450 per bottle. Each of these acclaimed vintners from around the world has released exceptionally high quality, age-worthy wines scoring 97–100 points in the past year. These rare wines also represent relative values, because they have not yet been discovered by mainstream wine critics and collectors.

Contact our Wine Concierge today or call (415) 454-2115 for personal assistance, including sourcing new vintages from these wineries or any other favorites from Napa, France or Italy.

Top 10 Highest Rated Wines of the Year

1. Arietta

Coveted Napa Valley Cabernets from superstar winemaker Andy Erickson, whose Screaming Eagle 2007 scored 100 points and sells for $2,500. I recently rated their 2012 Reserve level Cabernet “Classic 97” points.

2. Bernard Magrez

My favorite “Bordeaux meets Napa” Cabernet, as this famed Frenchman has compiled an all-star winemaking team to craft supremely delicious and age-worthy reds. Magrez shares vineyard sources with "Cult" Cabernet David Abreu, which sells for more than triple the price of these undiscovered wines. In the past year I’ve rated two vintages “Classic 97” and “Classic 98” points.

3. Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon

Majestic Napa Valley Cabernet crafted by "rock star" winemaker Celia Welch, most famous for her 100-point Scarecrow bottling, which recently sold at auction for $4,000 per bottle (seriously). I awarded the Buccella Reserve Cabernet a “Classic 97” point rating and the Cuvee Katrina Eileen Cabernet bottling a “Near-Perfect 99” points.

4. Camille Giroud Corton-Charlemagne

This superstar Burgundian vigneron has the Midas touch, sourcing from many of the most prized vineyards in this region. I just awarded their Meursault Charmes a “Classic 97” points rating and their Corton Charlemagne “Classic 98” points.

5. Castello di Ama L’Apparita

Recognized as one of Italy’s "first growths" by wine cognosenti, this was my favorite tour and tasting in an undiscovered winery anywhere in the world thanks to the unique setting, superb wines and unparalleled hospitality in the heart of Tuscany! These delectable wines rival bigger name "trophy" bottlings such as Ornellaia and Sascicaia. The secret is getting out now that the Wine Spectator included this winery’s Chianti Riserve in their Top 10 “Wine of the Year” awards. In the past year I’ve rated two vintages of the L’Apparita bottling “Classic 97” and “Classic 98” points.

6. Chateau Boswell

Stunning Napa Valley Cabernets and Chardonnay crafted by up-and-coming winemaker Russell Bevan, whose eponymous wines just garnered 100-point ratings from Robert Parker. This gorgeous winery offers private cave tours and barrel tastings that are a member favorite. I recently rated their prized Oakville reserve Cabernet a “Near-Perfect 99” points. Furthermore, I have been consistently impressed with Chateau Boswell’s Ritchie vineyard Chardonnay, awarding it “Classic 97 – 98” points rating the past three vintages.

7. Domaine Le Clos du Caillou

One of my most beloved Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone Valley) producers. I’m stunned that they are still relatively undiscovered, considering Caillou is the closest neighboring winery to Chateau Rayas, arguably the most coveted wine on Earth. While Rayas remains rarer than a unicorn, Caillou is relatively approachable stylistically (and financially) within 5 to 10 years of release. In the past year, I’ve rated the Caillou Reserve bottling “Classic 98” points and added several to my personal cellar.

8. Dumas TK Reserve

A true “Hideaway Cabernet,” this secret bottling is sourced from the most acclaimed vineyard in Napa Valley. I’ve been sworn to secrecy to protect the gentleman’s agreement here, which means these bottles are priced significantly lower than other "trophy"-level Cabernets from this same vineyard source. I rated the 2012 vintage “Classic 98” points and am confident it will evolve to an even loftier judgment in the next decade.

9. La Gravette de Certan Pomerol

This hidden treasure hails from the right bank of Bordeaux near celebrated Château Angélus and "garagiste" icon Le Pin. I rated their most recent import “Classic 97” points, admiring the deftly balanced tannins and dark, sinewy fruit structure that portends well for aging at least another decade.

10. Vérité La Muse

Although Verite California Cabernet blends have garnered more “Perfect 100” point ratings (Robert Parker) than any other wines in the world in the past decade, they remain an enigma to virtually all connoisseurs due to draconian distribution limitations. I’ve been fortunate to sample every vintage since 1998 and have rated the last three “Classic 98 – 99” points. These bottlings win my vote for the most age-worthy Cabernet blends in California.

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By Hideaway Report Staff

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