top dozen best buys from the northwest

Monday, October 15, 2012

A short while ago Wine Enthusiast magazine published the annual Top 100 Best Buys list (I blogged about it on October 5th). I was especially pleased to see that 16 wines from Washington, Oregon and Idaho were included – an excellent showing for any region, let alone one as small as this.

Those 16 wines were chosen based on reviews that I had submitted over the past year. I thought it would be interesting, using the tools available on the free, online database, to see what my personal Top Dozen Best Buys would turn out to be, based simply on the criteria of price and score. In this type of ranking, I look first for the highest scores, and then rank them by price. A lower priced wine will rank higher than a wine with the same score and a higher price.

Note that the magazine sets the standards for Best Buy designation. The wines must be priced no higher than $15, and the score to price ratio determines if it qualifies.

I did a search of all my Best Buys from November 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. There were 84 wines in all. Here are the Top 12 in order:

1) The Eyrie Vineyards 2010 Estate Pinot Gris (93 points, $15)
2) Bridgman 2011 Riesling (92 points, $11)
3) AntoLin Cellars 2010 Glacier Estate Vineyard Riesling (92 points, $14)
4) Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Riesling (91 points, $9)
5 (tie) Pacific Rim 2011 Dry Riesling (91 points, $11)
5 (tie) Hogue 2010 Gewurztraminer (91 points, $11)
7 (tie) Waterbrook 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (91 points, $12)
7 (tie) Jones of Washington 2011 Estate Pinot Gris (91 points, $12)
7 (tie) Upland Estates 2009 Gewurztraminer (91 points, $12)
10) Oak Knoll 2009 Pinot Gris (91 points, $14)
11 (tie) O•S 2011 Riesling (91 points, $15)
11 (tie) Mercer 2010 Riesling (91 points, $15)

Not a red wine among them! Six rieslings, three pinot gris, two gesnortramoaners and a sauv blanc. Two from Oregon, 10 from Washington. What does this prove? Well, you can draw all kinds of conclusions, but what this sort of statistical forensics provides mostly is entertainment, as in sports statistics. But it’s pretty clear that, at least for me, the best values in Northwest wines are white wines, and specifically rieslings.

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