Whether you’re looking for a wine for a special occasion, a few reasonably priced favorite foods to have on hand, a mid-week wine to top up the wine rack, or something off the beaten path, 2021 has given us some great options. .
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As the year draws to a close, here’s what we tasted and noted in 2021, and would love to drink again and again …
1. Cambalala Grenache Blanc 2020, Western Cape, South Africa, £ 6.49, Aldi
A lively fruit salad of tangy green fruits, ripe guava, spicy juicy pear and lemon zest, this South African gold nugget really hits the mark, with a brilliant balance of concentrated flavors and a refreshing acidity ending. the final. Tasty, friendly and a top drop with spicy seafood or grilled Cajun shrimp. Intense and downright delicious.
2. Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay 2020, South Australia, £ 9, Tesco
What winemakers like to call a contemporary chardonnay – fruit and oak are in total harmony with enticing acidity – it’s a fresh, fruity style from Australia’s best winery, famous for its cult reds. With floral aromas mingled with yellow fruits and a crunchy and juicy palate of ripe citrus fruit and a hint of pineapple, it is perfectly balanced and will transform everyday life into a delicious drop of sunshine.
3. Pyramid Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019, North Canterbury, New Zealand, currently £ 14.99 (was £ 18.99), Waitrose
Marlborough may have put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map, but this succulent and vibrant white from the South Island’s Waipara Valley has a wonderfully pure taste and is worth seeking out. A fabulously fruity scent affair with bright, fleshy tropical fruit, think ripe melon and passion fruit with subtle herbal touches, herbal highlights, balanced acidity and a long, rounded finish. Exceptionally good.
4. Marimar Estate Acero Chardonnay 2018, Russian River Valley, CA, USA, £ 26.50, Fareham Wine Cellar
California is a gold mine for world-class chardonnay that rivals the best of Burgundy, and this one is surprisingly elegant and rich. Especially when you consider that “Acero” means steel in Spanish – and highlights the fact that this wine has no oak influence, showcasing the grape in all its bare, unoaked splendor.
Aromas of baked apple and orange blossom are joined by a hint of lemon zest, with an appealing rich and creamy palate supported by refreshing acidity, taking the wine to another dimension with hints of wet stone fruit. Quite delicious from the start, it’s bright, beautiful and dangerously easy to drink.
Rosés to remember
5. Maison Mirabeau Belle Anne Rosé 2020, Vin de France, France, £ 10, Tesco
Beautiful in name and nature, Mirabeau’s quest for excellence is reflected in its entry-level rosé, launched last year. The award-winning Provencal producer has several plush roses on the shelves, but what we love about this perky rose is its sheer drinkability – and its price tag. With lovely floral and apricot aromas, it is slightly fruity with a core of pink grapefruit framed by orange blossom, strawberry and rose petals, with citrus undertones and a crisp, fresh finish.
6. Lady A Rosé 2020, Provence, France, £ 14.95, Spirit.ed
Another label to love and pretty enough to turn heads, Lady A Rosé is notable for being a collaboration between Chateau La Coste – an iconic Provence estate famous for its world-class art and outdoor exhibitions – and the club exclusive for Soho Loger members only.
The label designed by Damien Hirst and social butterflies can now savor this stunning rosé on their own sofa. An attractive and beautifully fresh pale peach with pretty florals, citrus and peach flavors with a core of pink grapefruit, a hint of raspberry, fine acidity and a refreshing long finish.
7. Aldi Gravevine Shiraz, Jumilla, Spain, £ 3.69, Aldi
A large winter drink that impressed the judges at The Drinks Business Global Syrah Masters 2020 so many, this inexpensive Spanish gem won a silver medal. Fresh, fruity and a lot of fun, it’s packed with crisp red fruit accompanied by subtle notes of strawberry, sweet peppery spice and a sweet, smooth and simple finish. Perfect for bangers and mash with red onion sauce, and fantastic for under a five.
8. M&S found Xinomavro Mandilaria 2019, Greece, £ 9.50, Marks & Spencer stores
A delicious find with the drink me now character, xinomavro is one of the most popular red grape varieties in Greece (from the mountainous north), and this unoaked style has been skillfully blended with mandilaira, a bold red variety from the islands of the Aegean Sea to the south. Seductive from the start, there is a nice floral lift as the wine draws you in with fragrant black fruits, bramble and fresh herbs, then rewards with a trail of expressive raspberries, blackberries and red fruits. Herbaceous, complex and utterly divine.
9. Zuccardi Los Olivos Malbec 2019, Mendoza, Argentina, £ 10.99, Taurus Wines
A leader, Zuccardi produces some of the country’s most exciting Malbecs, and he’s a glorious example of how silky and pure wines can be. Soft as a velvet cushion, with seductive aromas of fresh berries and violets, a generous core of cassis, blackberry and plum topped with a touch of pepper, it is beautifully balanced with great depth and a lovely long final.
10. Donna Elvira Settemazze Anglianico 2018, Campania, Italy, £ 18, Campania wines
As the saying goes, Italians live to eat – and wine lovers will love this garnet gem made from the Anglianico grape, cited as the southern nebbiolo. A gourmet fiesta of flavors, there is a beautiful intensity, with magnificent aromas of forest fruits which unfold in the mouth, of spicy cherry, a note of liquorice, soft tannins and a lot of finesse on the lingering finish. One for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, or black grouse with game chips.
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