Kelly Stevenson is no stranger to recommending wines in the sky. As the director of JetVine, a drink and travel consultancy founded in 2020, Stevenson offers advice to the drinks trade and travel industry. Her role there follows a long haul as wine and beverage manager for British Airways, where she was responsible for selecting anything from high-end wines in First Class to great tasting options in Economy.
Back on ground level, she was asked to help rate wines from across the northern hemisphere as a judge for the IWSC 2021. Stevenson blind-tasted her way through a variety of styles, and now that the results have been announced, we’re able to share which bottles she prized most highly from those tasting sessions.
Not one but two Amarone della Vallpolicellas made it into Stevenson’s top ten. ‘The Corte Canella had a beautiful, intense character from a very warm vintage , shown with lots of alcohol and generous, cooked fruit,’ said Stevenson. ‘By contrast, the Silvano Piacentini from 2016 was more restrained, but the fresher red fruits harmonised perfectly with notes of chocolate.’
A number of Sherries shone brightly, too, particularly the Williams & Humbert Dos Cortados Aged 20 Years Palo Cortado VOS NV, which judges praised for a mineral and saline edge, along with notes of rich dried fruit peel, mocha and salted caramel.
Finally, of the sweet wines she tried, an Icewine from Niagara was the most memorable: ‘The complexity is what stood out: marmalade, pineapple, ripe peach, floral honeysuckle all vibrant and bright and underpinned by a rich and creamy texture. I remember tasting this wine and the notes lingered for a very long time.’
Read on to see Kelly Stevenson’s top 10 northern hemisphere wines from the IWSC 2021.
Top Rated Bottles
Peller Estates Winery, Andrew Peller Signature Series Riesling Icewine 2019
Williams & Humbert, Dos Cortados Aged 20 Years Palo Cortado VOS NV
Corte Canella 2015
González Byass, Matusalem NV
Inniskillin Niagara, Riesling Icewine 2019
Premium Wine Selection, Silvano Piacentini Riserva 2016
Harveys, Very Old Palo Cortado Blend Medium VORS NV
Jaume Serra, Gran Reserva Chardonnay Brut Nature 2016
Arterra, Epoca 2018
Emilio Lustau, Pedro Ximénez VORS NV
Wine Handpicked by IWSC
Award-winning Italian red wine
Wine The Collection
The best Amarone della Valpolicella to drink now
Wine Handpicked by IWSC
The Wine Society’s Freddy Bulmer selects eight top bottles from ‘The Cradle of Wine’
Lost in the memories of the Sherry Triangle
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