We did it folks, we made it to the end of 2021. This year went by like a blur and also as slow as molasses. There were some weird times but there were also some great times! Know what was great the whole year?
So without further ado, we give you our roundup of the top 10 wines of 2021, from a wide variety of our favorite sources based on our criteria for good wine (like expert ratings, affordability, and production region). Check your local shops to get your bottles of these beauties!
94 points, $85
Out of Sonoma, the East Ridge Pinot Noir is one of the most unique wines offered at Hirsch. Produced with some of the oldest vines on the vineyard, this red luxury is very fruit forward and low alcohol due to the phylloxera that stresses the vines themselves, allowing for a more concentrated flavor.
94 points, $44
The Château Carbonnieux is a legendary white wine, attracting fame in the 18th century with the Sultan of Constantinople. It’s traditionally a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and this vintage is noted to be very fresh and intense in the best way.
95 points, $49
Made from Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan, the Priorat Desti is helping the small but mighty appellation of Prioriat make itself an example of high standards for Spanish wine. This vintage is aged in French oak barrels which creates a delicious herb and spice palate with a mineral accent.
90 points, $78
This red delight is a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah / Shiraz and is definitely the best of all of those varietals. It boasts rich levels of tannins with a spicy aroma that is almost meaty but with fruit forward accents. This is an ideal bottle to pair with a big hearty feast with plenty of roasted meats and dense vegetables.
93 points, $40
Chalone Vineyard is in the Central Coast of California and this is a beautiful representation of the California Pinot. It’s full of berry flavors like blackberry and raspberry, plus interesting notes of tart cherry, herbs, and vanilla to truly round out the experience.
91 points, $26
Fiano is an Italian white wine varietal that is delightful with its stone fruit and honey flavors. This particular vintage has won six separate competitions throughout 2021 and is a prize of Oak Farm Vineyards. They hand pick the grapes and ferment in oak barrels for 5 months.
92 points, $30
We usually hear about Pinot Noirs out of the Willamette Valley region but Teutonic is flipping the script with their 2018 Pinot Gris. It’s a white wine often cast off for a mass-produced reputation but in Oregon, this winery is changing that name with their balanced and refreshing version.
95 points, $105
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a gorgeous region for wine and the Grand Vin from Château de Nalys is no exception. This deep ruby wine is full of silky tannins with dark fruit aromas, and is partially aged for 18t months in oak vats and barrels. It is complex and noble, just like its namesake.
93 points, $39
Here is a true Willamette Valley Pinot Noir which has been rising in fame over the last few years. The 2018 vintage of this exceptional classic is structured and elegant with notes of violet, raspberry, and spice. The vineyard itself houses some of the oldest vines in the state, including the old vine Pinot Noir that goes into this bottle.
91 points, $15
Wine Enthusiast actually called this the #1 best buy of 2021 for it’s value in comparison to the very low price point. It’s a complex and versatile blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet Franc – such a phenomenal roster of grapes that you know it’s bound to be wonderful.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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