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2018 Pinot Noir & Chardonnay All-Americans

In the final issue of the PinotFile I name the All-Americans, my favorite domestic Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays reviewed over the past year. In 2018, 24% of the wines received a score of 94 or above and were considered extraordinary. These were spellbinding wines that elicited emotion.

I score both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay using the 100-point scoring system with guidelines as follows: 94-99 Extraordinary, 90-93 Outstanding, 86-89 Very Good, and 82-85 Good. Wines scoring less than 82 including flawed wines do not merit publication in the PinotFile (there are very few of these submitted for review in the current marketplace). All reviewed wines in the PinotFile scoring 94 or above are awarded the Pinot Geek icon for Pinot Noir and the Golden Geek icon for Chardonnay.

Wines in the Value Priced All-American category offer an exceptional price to quality ratio. My cutoff for this class of wines is $40 or below that also receive a score of 89 or above. All reviewed wines within this category are awarded the Pinot Value icon for Pinot Noir and the Golden Value icon for Chardonnay.

The All-Americans are the highest scoring wines judged independently of price, case production, vintage or wine region of origin. For Pinot Noir, the average price of wines scoring 89 or less was $38.66 and the average price for wines scoring 90 or above was $55.95. Most of the wines tasted in 2018 were from the excellent 2015 and 2016 vintages. I believe it is somewhat unfair to compare wines from disparate vintages, but the evaluation of each wine is taken on its own merit in the context of the vintage.

Only finished bottled wines that are formally reviewed in controlled, and therefore, comparable circumstances at my home office are candidates for All-American consideration. Wines tasted at dinners, festivals or wineries are not included. All wines are culled from unsolicited winery submissions with the exception of a few wines that are rarely submitted for review and were purchased.

To search for the complete review of each All-American wine, visit the Home Page at Click on Winery Directory, then the producing winery, and read the review among those listed.

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