Readers often ask where they can find the best values.
Beyond the obvious starting point, price, one area I suggest is to look for wines in the 88-point range.
These are wines that we consider very good, or excellent, but shy of outstanding. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to move up a point or two and be outstanding.
These wines are often overlooked in the hunt for 90-point-plus wines.
Young wines often need time in the bottle to round out rough edges.
Young Rieslings, Sauvignon Blancs or Chardonnays often have a slight green edge in their youth. Give them six months to a year in bottle and you might find they’re smoother and more complex and offering more fruit character.
With reds, such as Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, new releases are often tight and tannic. They too will gain a little weight and depth with a few more months in bottle.
As you learn more about evaluating young wines you’ll find that they do change and often for the better.
Don’t overlook the 88s, especially if the price is right.
Morewine Bishar — Del Mar, California — June 15, 2006 2:38pm ET
Robert Gott — Doral/Florida — June 15, 2006 5:23pm ET
Anthony Clapcich — June 16, 2006 7:57am ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — June 16, 2006 8:03am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — June 16, 2006 9:30am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — June 16, 2006 9:32am ET
William Newell — Buffalo, NY — June 16, 2006 1:58pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — June 16, 2006 2:03pm ET
Anthony Clapcich — June 16, 2006 2:21pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — June 16, 2006 2:28pm ET
William Newell — Buffalo, NY — June 16, 2006 3:22pm ET
Chris Seiber — Newport Beach, CA — June 16, 2006 4:56pm ET
Douglas Johnson — Appleton, WI — June 16, 2006 10:16pm ET
Scott Cheney — Michigan — June 20, 2006 3:24am ET
Russell Quong — Sunnyvale, CA — June 20, 2006 5:51pm ET
Chris Alexander — Moraga California — June 27, 2006 6:27pm ET
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