Ever since the 2000 Bordeaux vintage spike in price following praise from Robert Parker, wine lovers have expressed concerns about 100 point scales and the power of a few palates to set trends (and pricing). Vivino has alternative. Today, the popular wine app/digital community released their top bottles in 149 categories via their crowdsourced, five point scaled 2018 Wine Style Awards.
Vivino founder and CEO, Heini Zachariassen, stressed the importance of allowing the app’s 26 million users each contribute to the ratings. “The Vivino Wine Style Awards showcase the democratization of the wine world, by putting the power into the people’s hands, said Zachariassen. “The award-winning wines we’re celebrating today have been selected by everyone – from wine experts to wine novices – proving that if you drink wine then you deserve to have a say on it.”
Despite the break in methodology, the top of the Vivino list looked very familiar. Grail wine, 1976 Chateau d’Yquem topped the list with a 4.92 (out of 5) score. In a shocking upset, Paul Hobbs’ Argentine Malbec, Viña Cobos Volturno 2010 landed in second. Napaphile favorite Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, perennial Parker pick Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réservé 2005, and the always dreamy Domaine de La Romanée-Conti La Tâche 2006 rounding out the overall top five.
Nationally, France dominated the list, placing in 39 different categories. (Uruguay and Brazil fared the worst, each placing in only one category.) The most popular categories overall were Non-Vintage French Champagne, Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentinian Malbec, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Chianti, Chilean Carménère, Portuguese Vinho Verde White and Spanish Rioja Red according to Vivino.
However, one French classic and traditional reviewer favorite did not fare well. The tenth place overall 2009 Château Lafite Rothschild was the only First Growth Bourdeaux to crack the top 25. Likewise, Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut 1996 was the only champagne represented in the top tier.
On the other hand, five Italian wines ranked in the top 25. As one would expect, three Amarones made the list followed by a Brunello. One Super Tuscan – Bolgheri’s Massetto also entered the tier, but oddly, no Barolos hit the elite level.
The Sherry Mafia will pleased to learn that Spanish Sherry’s growing popularity earned the beverage a category for the first time this year. Palo Cortado Tradicion Vors 30 Years, Amontillado Tradicion Vors 30 Years by Bodegas Tradicion, and Matusalem from Gonzalez-Byass ranked amongst the leaders in the field.