The year’s wines: six top drops that left a lasting impression


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The 2020 year is coming to a close. Sam Wylie-Harris reveals which wines she would like to try over and over again.

So many different wines, so little time! Variety is the spice of life, but we’re sure we could narrow it down if we had to pick a couple of favorites.

These accessible styles will impress experienced wine drinkers and newbies alike when it comes to reaching for more.

We have compiled a short list of 10 wines we would love to drink again and again, from the finest fizz Down Under to tried-and-true classics, secret gems and top drops off the beaten path….

1st Jansz Premium Cuvee NV, Australia, Tasmania, £ 19.50, Direct Wine.

A luxury Australian bubbly in a rich, hedonistic style – the closest thing to a bottle of Champagne is definitely this sparkling wine. Produced using the conventional Champagne process (although they call it “Methode Tasmanoise”), there’s the perfect combination of freshness and opulence with a touch of bakery. With hints of nougat, sugar, peaches, apricots and toasted almonds, it is thick, creamy and toasty.

2. 2019 sorcova pinot grigio, Romania, 7.99 pounds, Waitrose.

A star purchase and evidence that an everyday Pinot Grigio can be easy to sink into, but deliciously easy. It’s new, fruity and pleasant with bold tropical fruit and lush floral aromas, a strong balance of citrusy acidity supporting the ripe melon and apple flavors. It pairs well with a linguine of creamy fish, garlic butter shrimp, and dressed crab.

3. Sauvignon blanc Yealands 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand, £ 8, Sainsbury’s.

On New Zealand’s sunny South Island, Mother Nature has taken Marlborough to her core – and this award-winning winery is setting the pace by making some of the best Sauvignon Blancs around, considered a standout vintage in 2019. With all the citrus and herbal characteristics you might ask for, guava and tropical fruit spring out of the glass with a clean, crisp, mineral finish and airy freshness.

4th Vineyard Range of Klein Zalze Chenin Blanc 2018, Stellenbosch, South Africa, £ 11.99, Luvians.

A beautifully perfumed and softly oaked Chenin from the Cape. With citrusy characters balancing the lush, ripe berries, fresh pear, apricot, glazed peaches and tangerines galore. Completely delicious and a shining instance of how shellfish harmonize with Chenin Blanc. Sip as you wait to turn pink on the succulent grilled shrimp.

5. Adnams Provence Rose 2019, France, GBP 64.99 for Adnams, a six-bottle case.

Who would have thought it would bring so much joy to a pale, almost transparent pink? You can almost picture the beautiful lavender fields and untamed countryside with the exquisite aromas of dried flowers. Emmanuelle Baude, a winemaker, is known to be passionate about her vineyard, and this exquisite organic rosé is distinguished by its juicy red fruits, its beautiful purity and its charming, silky texture.

6. Domaine du Gros Nore 2017, Lay & Wheeler, Bandol Rouge, France, £22.

Provencal Rosé, isn’t that your thing? Prepare to be overwhelmed by one of the best-kept secrets of the Riviera – the ravishing red wine of Bandol village. A rare beast and a strong blend of grapes (it is only grown in limited quantities) (predominantly Mouvedre). These wines are rich, nuanced and finely balanced, with sun-drenched fruits and spices blended with herbs along the way. Splendid from beginning to end, sip and savor as you read.


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