Photo by Ashton Worthington / Styling by Megumi Emoto
Wine collecting isn’t all about investing in the latest Bordeaux futures or snagging highly allocated cult Napa Cabs. It isn’t even solely relegated to those who have the space and capital for temperature-controlled home storage complete with floor-to-ceiling racking. Sure, those things can be part of wine collecting. But at its base level, the act of storing wine for later enjoyment might be something that you already do.
A “wine cellar” is just a fancy name for the place you squirrel away bottles. If you’ve ever bought any wine with the intent of not drinking it immediately, then we’re here to tell you that you’ve caught the wine collecting bug.
Whatever space you have for stashing bottles, the other half of the equation still remains: What’s the best way to fill it? Thankfully, Wine Enthusiast is here to help.
Each year, we release the Top 100 Cellar Selections list, a ranking of the best wines tasted throughout the year that exhibit pedigree, structure and staying power—the hallmarks of ageworthy wines. All these bottles will stand the test of time, of course to varying degrees depending on region, variety, vintage and style, yet look to the reviews from our expert tasting panel for insight on when best to pop the cork.
Classic examples from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo and Napa are well represented, yet there are also many exciting discoveries, like Syrah from New Zealand, Cabernet Sauvignon from Northeast Spain and Mataro (a.k.a. Mourvèdre) from California’s Central Coast.
Red wines aren’t the only cellar-worthy options. Some white and sparkling wines also shine best with a bit of age. In fact, our top pick this year is a Napa Chardonnay that delivers the complexity, longevity and finesse many look for in white Burgundy.
This list boasts nine 100-point wines, some of which cost hundreds of dollars, but don’t let these high-flying prices deter you. More than half of the selections clock in $70 and less, with a third between $20–50. With prices like this, what are you waiting for?
Click here for a downloadable PDF of Top Cellar Selections of 2021.