WineHandpicked by IWSC

Master Sommelier Svetoslav Manolev’s top northern hemisphere wines

Fine wine manager and Master Sommelier Svetoslav Manolev has held positions at some of the UK's most prestigious hotels and restaurants. Here, he selects his favourite wines from the IWSC 2021

Words by Vahan Agulian and IWSC judges

Svetoslav Manolev MS on a vineyard background
Handpicked by IWSC

Svetoslav Manolev MS, has been recommending wines in some of the UK’s greatest wine establishments for some years now. Recently, he took up a position as fine wine manager for Berkmann Wine Cellars, but before that Manolev was a sommelier on London’s fine-dining circuit – with his most recent posting as head wine buyer and sommelier for Flemings Hotel in Mayfair.

Manolev is also known for being the first Bulgarian to be named a Master Sommelier. While he always has an eye on his native country’s vinous output, his exposure to and knowledge of wine is broad, to say the least.

Svetoslav Manolev holding up brunello at iwsc 2021 judging

As a judge for the IWSC 2021, Manolev sadly didn’t sample any Eastern European wines worthy of taking a place on his top ten list. But the judge doled out some high scores during blind tastings – and to one famous region, in particular.

‘The highlight for me was definitely the 2008 Rare Brut Champagne. It’s an absolutely stunning wine, with great texture, excellent fruit concentration and superb balance,’ Manolev said. He also enjoyed the Rosé Brut by Rare and Jacques Picard’s Art de Vigne Extra Brut 2007, scoring both a very respectable 96/100.

Manolev was also very impressed with the Brunello di Montalcino wines he sampled, noting how consistently excellent they were. ‘The standout for me was certainly the 2016 La Togata, perfumed and elegant with layers of ceylon tea, red cherry, cedar and cranberry, and an earthy undertone. It’s a great classic example that must be tried,’ he said.

Read on to see Svetoslav Manolev MS’s top northern hemisphere wines from the IWSC 2021.