13 ‘Perfect’ 100-Point Cabernets You Can Buy Right Now
Say what you will about the reliability of the 100-point scale for evaluating wine (and I have, questioning whether a 94-point wine can possibly be objectively better than a 93, say), but when a respected critic goes all the way to 100, it’s absolutely worth sitting up and taking notice. A 100 is an unequivocal statement that, in that reviewer’s mind, the wine—from that place and time—couldn’t possibly be any better.
The descriptions backing recent “perfect” scores for Northern California Cabernet Sauvignons, from some of the most prominent critics of the region, make it clear that wines eliciting the elusive 100 manage seemingly incompatible disparities. They’re immensely powerful but elegant. They’re fresh and focused but rich and complex. They’re built to age for decades yet tempting to drink right now. And they invariably have an indefinable quality beyond known descriptors that renders the reviewers a little breathless—unbelievable, possibly, considering that these critics taste hundreds, even thousands, of wines every year, but ironically, also believable because they do.
Perfection doesn’t come cheap, of course. But if this year has depleted the first-string bottles in your cellar a little faster than usual, here is a collection of 100-pointers poised to fill those vacancies, with the arguments made in the critics’ own words. And, amazingly, they’re available (the wines, not the critics).