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Global Drink Wine Day: 20 wines to discover

To celebrate Global Drink Wine Day, we highlight a selection of truly exciting, 95+ point wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 for those feeling adventurous...

The catch-all wine appreciation day, Global Drink Wine Day is held annually on 18 February.

Familiar favourites like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, red Burgundy or Argentinean Malbec might come to mind as your celebratory wine of choice – and there are many top examples to choose from when searching DWWA 2020 results – but for those looking to discover something new, we have put together a list of some of the competition’s top-scoring wines from perhaps less familiar regions and grape varieties.

Tasted and rated by our expert judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 last August, here you can explore a selection of 95+ point sparkling, white, red and sweet wines worth seeking out…

Global Drink Wine Day: 20 wines to discover

Sparkling

Caves Transmontanas, Vértice Bruto, Douro, Portugal 2012

Platinum, 97 points
40% Gouveio, 30% Viosinho, 30% Rabigato
Wonderful toasty brioche, apricot and citrus underpinned by a chalky, limey core; rich and elegant with a sublime, almost creamy acidity, a smooth, velvety mousse, and a stunning, long, melt-in-the-mouth finish with soft herbal influences.

Dveri-Pax, DP Šipon Brut, Štajerska Slovenija, Podravje, Slovenia 2016

Gold, 96 points
100% Furmint
Expressive Furmint nose with salinity, minerality, quince and baked apples. Delicious with an impressive mousse, tons of fresh apple juice and lemon flavours and lovely energy and lift.

Štampar, Urban White Extra Brut, Zagorje – Međimurje, Continental, Croatia NV

Gold, 95 points
100% Moslavac
Serious nose with tons of complex lemon, acacia and honey. Quince, lemon and creamy hints on the palate with lovely depth, length and harmonious acidity.

White

Cantina Valle Isarco, Aristos Kerner, Alto Adige Valle Isarco, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy 2018

Best in Show, 97 points
100% Kerner
Kerner is a crossing of Riesling with Schiava Grossa – which makes it all the more appropriate that the Kerner we picked out for our Best In Show selection this year comes from Alto Adige, the birthplace and home of the Schiava family. Fans of Kerner always adore its aromas, and they are rarely realised with more fresh-grass zest and rose-petal precision than here. Sometimes the flavours can seem a little woolly after that come-hither charm, but not here: this wine flies straight and true as an arrow, all the way to a clean spice finish backed, nonetheless, by some supporting glycerous wealth. Remarkable work and a fine varietal benchmark.

Villa Baulieu, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France 2016

Best in Show, 97 points
60% Rolle, 40% Sauvignon
Provence’s finest white wines are one of France’s wine secrets: little lauded, amidst all the attention given to rosé and prestige reds, but quietly compelling, as those who take the trouble to discover them will find, and more diverse than you would think, too. This point of difference in this outstanding example from Coteaux d’Aix en Provence is the Sauvignon Blanc component, freshening and lending a nut-leaf complexity to the richer, more succulent fruit from the Rolle (Vermentino), always at home around the Mediterranean rim. Look out, too, for the pithy, zesty finish with its attractive and cleansing note of soft bitterness.

Erdevik, Omnibus Lector Chardonnay, Fruška Gora, Srem, Serbia 2015

Platinum, 97 points
100% Chardonnay
A fantastic, multi-layered wine characterised by a real intense profile. On the nose there is a powerful expression of chalk and smoke, followed by green melon, peach and nectarine flavours. It’s well integrated and finishes lengthily. Really impressive.

Kozlović, Selekcija Malvazija, Hrvatska Istra, Coastal, Croatia 2017

Platinum, 97 points
100% Malvasia Istriana
Stunningly clean and impressive mineral and saline nose. The palate is crisp, bright and fresh, with some elegant grip. The finish is very persistent and delivers plenty of flavour, with prickly lime and herbal notes. Superb wine!

Teliani Valley, Glekhuri Kisi Qvevri, Kakheti, Georgia 2018

Platinum, 97 points
100% Kisi
Rather exotic smoked/dried mango aromatics. There’s some sweetness here to alleviate a little the purging bitterness that leaves the mouth clean, like marmalade made from grapefruit skins, leaving an almost Sichuan pepper numbness. Exhilarating, exceptional stuff!

Ščurek, Up Rebula, Goriška Brda, Primorska, Slovenia 2016

Platinum, 97 points
100% Rebula
Noticeable generosity on the nose, with oranges, pears, spices and some slightly floral notes. The palate is ripe, broad, generous and rounded with a lovely structure and plenty of apple and cinnamon spice characters. Really impressive!

Provins, Les Domaines Chapitre Heida, Valais, Switzerland 2018

Gold, 96 points
100% Païen
Beautiful nose of lifted floral Alpine flower, rose apple, lime leaf and tobacco, while the palate is laced with warm fruit and polished acidity.

Armenia Wine Factory, Tariri, Aragatsotn, Armenia 2017

Gold, 95 points
50% Kangun, 25% Chenin Blanc, 25% Aligoté
Youthful scents of nuts, lemons and hints of honeysuckle and beeswax. Fresh and zesty on the palate with a creamy and slightly nutty finish with lively, mouthwatering acidity.

Red

Secret Spot, Douro, Portugal 2016

Best in Show, 97 points
100% Field Blend
This dark, innately complex red wine is a testament to the astonishing potential of the Douro valley’s schist soils – and to the genetic old-vine patrimony which lies hidden there, deeply rooted and just waiting for sensitive vinification in order to find expression. That’s exactly what this wine has had. It’s not pretentiously oaky or shimmering with ambition; the fruited aromas, indeed, are almost gentle and discreet. The more you look, though, the more you will find. On the palate, too, the wine is relatively light-bodied and nimble on its feet, without a massive tannic presence. It’s that fruited complexity, once again, which hallmarks the wine’s quality, and which emerges with slow and meditative examination in the glass. This is a Douro classic of great purity and finesse.

Moretti Omero, Sagrantino di Montefalco, Umbria, Italy 2016

Best in Show, 97 points
100% Sagrantino
If you’ve never tried a Sagrantino di Montefalco, you’re in for a surprise – or a shock. This indigenous Umbrian speciality is hugely characterful, and perfectly illustrates Italy’s almost limitless capacity for wine intrigue. It’s a dark wine, and this oaked example smells brooding, almost smoky but complex, too: the smell of the hills in autumn. It’s deep and fiercely intense as well as amply tannic – but not harsh for all that, since the wild forest plum fruits are sweet and sumptuous, and those tannins bond happily both to the fruits as well as to the wine’s glycerol and oak chamfering. It is, in sum, a complete original – but our judges loved it, so there’s a good chance that readers might too.

Familia Torres, Grans Muralles, Conca de Barberà, Spain 2016

Best in Show, 97 points
33% Garnacha, 33% Cariñena, 33% Querol
Perhaps it’s the 33 per cent Querol component, but from the very first moment you approach this brooding, black-purple wine, something marks it out as exceptional and different from its regional peers. There’s drama in the aromas; the sweet black fruits also seem to smell of crushed stone and seed spice. Once in the mouth, the wine is close-knit, vital with inner gathered force. The fruits are more complex than the aromas had suggested once on the palate; they are gently acid-sustained, and those crushed-stone flavours are present on the tongue, too. This is an unusually complete and commanding Conca de Barberà with plenty of cellar years ahead of it.

Teliani Valley, Winery 97, Unfiltered Saperavi, Kakheti, Georgia 2019

Platinum, 97 points
100% Saperavi
This has very primary, spicy black cherry/mulberry aromatics. The palate has grainy tannins, nice freshness, subtle oak and juicy, very ripe fruit. Consider laying this youthful wine down as a test of fortitude and patience.

Jungić, Premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Bosnia – Herzegovina 2015

Gold, 95 points
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Classy and perfumed bold nose of cassis, black cherry and smart oak. Concentrated palate of red and black fruits with intense and supple tannins; smart wine.

Shiloh Winery, Mosaic Exclusive Edition, Shiloh, Judean Hills, Israel 2017

Gold, 95 points
38% Syrah, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot
Lifted, floral violet, luscious red berry fruit and spice aromas on the nose, while the palate is graced vibrant fruit, leather and a beautiful mineral finish.

Niki Hills, Yuhzome Zweigeltrebe, Yoichi, Hokkaido, Japan 2018

Gold, 95 points
100% Zweigelt
Resplendent scents of herbs, spice, pepper and red stone fruits. The palate is gamey with a herbal note, chalky tannins. Very long finish. Bravo!

Sweet

Provins, Les Domaines Tourbillon Sélection Grains Noble, Valais, Switzerland 2015

Best in Show, 97 points
100% Petite Arvine
An exceptional showing from Switzerland in this year’s DWWA presented our judges with a panoply of exciting specialties. In the end, the wine which made it through to our Best In Show selection was this gracious, nuanced and decidedly Alpine dessert wine made from the indigenous Valais variety Petite Arvine. The colour is a rich and glowing yellow, yet the aromas seem to bring a breath of fresh mountain air with them, full of the herbs and flowers of the high pastures. It’s amply sweet (enough to partner desserts), yet that freshness and poise never leaves it, and there is even a hint of herb and blossom in the final candied note.

Denbies, The Brokes Botrytis Ortega, Surrey, United Kingdom 2016

Gold, 96 points
100% Ortega
Dense and concentrated, with excellent fruit. This is elegant, complex and rounded, revealing nectarine, honey, candied lemon and brown sugar, with enlivening acidity giving it a moreish character.


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