Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines we've reviewed over the past 12 months and select the most exciting for our Top 100.
In 2008, we reviewed more than 19,500 wines from around the world in blind tastings. More than 5,300 of them earned outstanding ratings (90 points or higher on our 100-point scale). We then narrowed the list down based on four criteria: quality (represented by score); value (reflected by release price); availability (measured by case production or cases imported); and an X-factor we call excitement. But no equation determines the final selections: These choices reflect our editors' judgment and passion about the wines we tasted.
Fourteen countries are represented, making the 2008 list the most diverse group in the history of the Top 100, which debuted in 1988. Quality remains high, with an average score of 93 points, consistent with the past two years. With the dollar weak early in the year, however, prices increased, pushing this year's average to $52 per bottle. We hope that you enjoy this list of exciting values, emerging stars and classic wines and that our Top 100 of 2008 leads you to more deeply explore the world of wine.