Just last month, the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) named its wine producers and products of the year. The list of trophy winners provided a snapshot of wine trends, as well as flagging up some key bottles to seek out, and the winemakers well worth keeping an eye on.
But with such a diversity of wine entered into the competition this year, we thought it made sense to take a look beyond the trophies in order to deliver a list of 40 of the highest-scoring wines from around the world.
In the IWSC’s top 40 wines of 2021, you’ll find a strong showing of port, sweet and fortified wines – just in time for some last-minute Christmas shopping. Of course, you’ll find Champagne on the list, but there’s also a handful of English sparkling wines in the top 40, proving that the relatively youthful style is continuing on its ascent. And in terms of fellow wine regions on the rise, you’ll find a rosé from China and an orange wine from Georgia in the list below, too.
The wines in this top 40 all picked up a gold medal from the IWSC 2021, with northern hemisphere judging carried out in the spring and medals for southern hemisphere wines dished out in the autumn. To decide on which wines were worthy of a gold, a full suite of expert judges who work within the industry blind-tasted their way through styles from across hundreds of regions before scoring each wine out of 100; to achieve a gold medal, wines had to score 95 points and up.
So, without further ado, dive into the best wines of 2021 according to the IWSC.
The top 40 wines from the IWSC 2021
- Sogevinus Fine Wines, Kopke Colheita 1957; Portugal. 98/100
- Emilio Lustau, Oloroso VORS NV; Spain. 98/100
- Nyetimber, Blanc de Blancs Brut 2013 (Magnum); England, West Sussex. 97/100
- Rare, Champagne Brut 2008; France, Champagne. 97/100
- G.D.Vajra, Lagarbiana 2016; Italy, Piedmont, Barolo. 97/100
- Famille Carabello-Baum 2018; France, Burgundy, Corton Grand Cru. 97/100
- Peller Estates Winery, Andrew Peller Signature Series Riesling Icewine 2019; Canada, Niagara Peninsula. 97/100
- Sogrape Vinhos, Sandeman 20 Year Old Tawny NV; Portugal. 97/100
- Sogevinus Fine Wines, Kopke Colheita 1978; Portugal. 97/100
- Williams & Humbert, Dos Cortados Aged 20 Years Palo Cortado VOS NV; Spain. 97/100
- Emilio Lustau, Palo Cortado VORS NV; Spain. 97/100
- Campbells Merchant, Prince Rare Muscat NV; Australia, Rutherglen. 97/100
- Palmer & Co, Brut 2012; France, Champagne. 96/100
- Court Garden, Ditchling Quartet Brut 2014. England, East Sussex. 96/100
- De Saint-Gall, Orpale Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008; France, Champagne. 96/100
- Roger Goulart, Josep Valls Gran Reserva Extra Brut 2014; Spain, Cava. 96/100
- Petaluma, Chardonnay 2019; Australia, South Australia, Piccadilly Valley. 96/100
- Eddystone Point Chardonnay 2019; Australia, Tasmania. 96/100
- Mád, One 2018; Hungary, Tokaj. 96/100
- Castelli, Il Liris Chardonnay 2019; Australia, Western Australia, Denmark. 96/100
- Sella & Mosca, Monteoro 2019; Italy, Sardinia, Vermentino Di Gallura. 96/100
- Teliani Valley JSC, Glekhuri Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2019; Georgia, Kakheti. 96/100
- Corte Canella 2015; Italy, Veneto, Amarone Della Valpolicella. 96/100
- Takahata Winery, Arkadia Select Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2017; Japan, Yamagata. 96/100
- Les Domaines Paul Mas, Château de Crès Ricards Stécia 2019; France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Terrasses Du Larzac. 96/100
- La Togata, Dei Togati 2016; Italy, Tuscany, Brunello Di Montalcino. 96/100
- Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima 2017; Italy, Tuscany, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. 96/100
- Tenuta San Giorgio, Brumanera 2015. Italy, Veneto, Piave Malanotte. 96/100
- Church Road, McDonald Series Syrah 2019; New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay. 96/100
- Vilafonté, Series C 2007; South Africa, Western Cape, Paarl. 96/100
- Origin Wine, Tesco Finest Shiraz 2020; South Africa, Swartland. 96/100
- Dopff Au Moulin, Gewurztraminer 2019; France, Alsace, Brand – Grand Cru. 96/100
- Inniskillin, Niagara Cabernet Franc Icewine 2019; Canada, Niagara Peninsula. 96/100
- Weingut Rabl, Riesling 2017; Austria, Niederösterreich. 96/100
- Quady Winery, Essensia Orange Muscat 2019; USA, California, Madera. 96/100
- Twill Cellars, Chardonnay 2018; USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley. 95/100
- Hua Guo Ri Wines (Beijing) Ltd., Art Series Rosé 2019; China, Shandong. 95/100
- Kavaklidere Saraplari, Prestige Bogazkere 2018; Turkey, Eastern Anatolia. 95/100
- Richard Bruno, Petite Sirah 2018; USA, California, Clarksburg. 95/100
- Stoneleigh, Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2020; New Zealand, Rapaura. 95/100
HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE WINES?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
HOW DO WE SCORE THESE WINES?
Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
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