Rating System

As of 2015, all wines reviewed in this space have been published at Wine Enthusiast magazine using the 100-point system. Wine Enthusiast's definitions for its scores are as follows:

Classic 98–100: The pinnacle of quality
Superb 94–97: A great achievement
Excellent 90–93: Highly recommended
Very Good 87–89: Often good value; well recommended
Good 83–86: Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value
Acceptable 80–82: Can be employed in casual, less critical circumstances.

Reviews for wines deemed commercially unacceptable (receiving a rating less than 80 points) are not published.

See information about the rating system previously used at Washington Wine Report prior to 2015 here; see the Washington Wine Report Tasting Note Database with notes from 2007-2014 here; see an explanation of database fields here).

Special designations at Wine Enthusiast

In addition to its ratings, Wine Enthusiast also has certain special designations, namely Editor’s Choice, Cellar Selection, and Best Buy. The text that describes these designations is below:

Editors' Choice wines are those that offer excellent quality at a price above our Best Buy range, or a wine at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention.

Cellar Selections are wines deemed highly collectible and/or requiring time in a temperature-controlled wine cellar to reach their maximum potential. A Cellar Selection designation does not mean that a wine must be stored to be enjoyed, but that cellaring will probably result in a more enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimum time for cellaring will be indicated.

Best Buys are wines that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. These wines are priced at $15 or less.

Of note, Editor’s Choice and Cellar Selections are selected at my discretion. Best Buys are at the discretion of the magazine.