Secret Stuff in A Perfect, 100 point Wine

Revealing the Hidden Pleasures Experts Find in 100 Point Wines

My friends at list 32 different wines that earned 100 points, a perfect score from wine experts.

Needing to take a break from various fact checking articles and today’s tweet storms, I decided to study the reviews and try to pinpoint what is in a wine that makes critics declare they have found perfection, Nirvana in a glass.

This seemed like a useful study to share since most normal wine loving people wouldn’t cough up the big bucks needed to buy most of those listed. The prices of these 32 perfect wines ranged from $115 to $1,249.99 a bottle. The cheapest was from Chile. The most expensive was actually on sale.

Most are red wines, so they like most good reds were loaded with blackberry, cherry, and plum fruit, with lots of violets and rose aromas, and had notes of various spices up the wazoo.

And off course the 100 pointers were ultra-ripe, plush, seamless, hedonistic, and smoother than a baby’s bottom. Some jump out of the glass which is a bit frightening. Another was built “like a brick house” which is good, I think.

But what else makes the 100 pointers different from the other red wines are three key ingredients:

  1. Dirt and Dust


Yes, dusty and dried things are frequently cited, so hold your breath.

The following are part of expert descriptions capturing the joys and pleasure to be found in 100 point wines:


…”hints of iron ore and dusty earth.”

…”raspberries and wet rocks.”

…“wet pebbles”

…”scorched earth”

…”dusty earth”

…”singed iron and chalky minerality”

  1. Smoke

No, this component was unrelated to recent wine country fires. But maybe critics should have had those masks handy because many perfect wines have these notes:

..”a.hint of barbecue smoke”

…”cedar and charcoal”

..”.a well-roasted frame of alder and juniper”

…”with wafts of dried roses, unsmoked cigars and tilled soil”

…”smoldering tobacco, charcoal and licorice”


  1. Truly strange stuff

“notes of creosote”

“beef drippings and cloves plus a hint of underbrush”


There you have it!

If you weren’t so frugal, you could be savoring a 100 point wine and enjoying every nuance of its dusty, dried, scorched earth aromas with enticing smoky barbecue and charcoal flavors culminating in creosote and beef drippings.

Then again, think of all the money you are saving.

True confession: I had to google “fenugreek,” and so will you, if curious.