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Global Drink Wine Day: 15 wines to discover

To celebrate Global Drink Wine Day, we highlight a selection of 97-point wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards to discover classic styles and global benchmarks.

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

Familiar favourites like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Barolo 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 results but to narrow down the selection, we have put together a list of some of the competition’s highest-scoring wines from classic regions and grape varieties, as well as some perhaps less familiar styles to discover.

Tasted and rated by our expert judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022, here you can explore a selection of 97-point sparkling, white, rosé, orange, red, sweet and fortified wines from across the globe well worth seeking out…

Global Drink Wine Day: 15 wines to discover

Sparkling

Coates & Seely, Reserve Brut, Hampshire, United Kingdom NV

Best in Show, 97 points
There’s no rule that English sparkling wines must feature in our Best in Show selection; quality is all. Year after year, though, it is precisely the quality of those English sparkling wines submitted to the DWWA that keeps impressing our final-round judges and insisting on inclusion. What distinguishes this wine is that it’s not a vintage or late-disgorged speciality, as with previous Best in Show winners, but a non-vintage blend of the three classic varieties. It’s pale gold in colour, with a steady stream of fine bubbles; aromatically you’ll find ultra-freshness and a distinctive sappy cool infusing the shy orchard fruits, like a sniff of an early spring morning before the mist has lifted. It’s taut, tight and stony on the palate, in bracing aperitif style but the quality of the fruit, teased to ripeness over the long-houred English summer, is there for all to taste. Alc 12%

Dominio de la Vega, Finca Cerro Tocón Blanc de Noirs Reserva Brut, Cava, Spain 2016

Platinum, 97 points
Superb developed scents of biscotti, spice, herbs and candied citrus. It has an excellent depth of flavour with savoury, spicy tones, biscuity complexity and some herbal bitters in the background. It retains vitality, great purity, a cool acid line and noteworthy persistence. Skilfully assembled and seamless. Alc 12%

Ščurek, Zero Brut, Goriška Brda, Primorska, Slovenia 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Showing some lovely development, with bready characters, hazelnut paste, nuts, and yeasty notes. There’s a very fresh fruit complexity, with freshly peeled apples followed by a dry, delicately vibrant, slightly spicy finish. Alc 12.5%


White

Orlando, Lyndale Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2019

Best in Show, 97 points
You’ll have no trouble telling our two Antipodean Chardonnay wines in the Best in Show selection apart — which is exactly as it should be, as place-related differences step to the fore in winemakers’ thinking and craft. This wine is more green silver than gold, and packed with aromatic floral lime, underscored by a swirl of cream from barrel-fermentation. It’s vivid and fresh without being skinny, lean or over-taut — clearly a Chardonnay at ease with its cool climate. Yet the layers are there, too, like exposed sedimentary strata, giving the wine a vertical dimension which will carry it effortlessly through a meal. Alc 13.3%

Weingut Bruendlmayer, Langenloiser Ried Kaeferberg 1oetw Gruener Veltliner, Kamptal, Niederösterreich, Austria 2018

Platinum, 97 points
Refined and elegant, appealing nose of restrained fruit with earthy spiciness and hints of a very distinct minerality. Serious on the palate, multilayered, showing tension and a very long yet austere finish. Alc 14.5%

Gustave Lorentz, Vieilles Vignes Riesling, Grand Cru Altenberg-de-Bergheim, Alsace, France 2017

Platinum, 97 points
Vibrant and inviting, with gorgeous aromatics of honey, ginger, chalk and grapefruit, then on to a plush palate layered with lush, roasted pineapple, bright acidity and a saline minerality. Alc 13.5%


Rosé & Orange

Clos De Caille, Clarisse, Côtes de Provence, France 2021

Platinum, 97 points
Rhubarb, white currant, cool yellow fruit, pencil shavings and flint aromas are followed by a richly textured palate of mixed red berries and cream, giving a mouth coating quality. This is a very fine wine indeed. Alc 13.5%

Dvorska Šoškić, Haiku, Plešivica, Continental, Croatia 2019

Platinum, 97 points
A rounded and well-balanced wine with interesting herbal details and some broad spicy tannins. There is a charming creamy texture that adds to the mouthfeel giving it generosity and character. Alc 13.3%


Red

La Palazzetta, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Tuscany, Italy 2016

Best in Show, 97 points
Brunello’s Riserva category is sometimes called into question in the region – is it, given the long ageing requirements for ‘ordinary’ Brunello, really needed? Riserva certainly showed its worth in this year’s DWWA, where the ‘normale’ versions mainly hailed from the difficult (though not impossible) 2017 vintage. 2016 was always going to provide wonderful Riserva wines while we wait for their younger siblings, and this darkly translucent example, fragrant with refined red fruits, provides seductive proof. It is settled and softly articulated on the palate, long and quietly pulsing with transmuted red fruits, summer forest warmth and the visceral allure of game, illuminated with the glowing acidity of 2016. The tannins melt away as you hold the wine in your mouth. Alc 14.5%

Longaví, Glup Cinsault, Itata Valley, Chile 2021

Value Platinum, 97 points
Floral, red cherry aromas with a touch of eucalypt and spice. The palate offers a juicy acidity, fine tannins, and a long, focused, and refreshing finish. Lovely stuff! Especially at the price. Speaks of its variety and region, and is all pretty seamless. Alc 13%

Stellenbosch 1679, The Legacy, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2018

Platinum, 97 points
The gentle plum pudding and spice characters on the nose open into a deeper, more earthy tones palate of blackcurrants, pomegranate, cherry, clove, and smoky cigar. A quite austere, grippy tannin is balanced by fruit concentration and freshness. Alc 14%

Trefethen, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, California, United States 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Dark, sleek cassis fruit, ripe and layered, with notes of tobacco leaf, coffee bean, mocha and dried violet. Pretty, floral palate with a slightly smoky character. Ripe tannins, refreshing acidity and lovely eucalyptus and menthol on the lingering finish. A great example of the power and freshness of Cabernet Sauvignon. Plenty of time ahead. Alc 14.1%


Sweet & Fortified

Jackson-Triggs , Okanagan Estate Reserve Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada 2018

Platinum, 97 points
Perfumed and inviting, with gorgeous aromatics of lifted, floral rose, plus apricot and lush mango leads on to a textured, honeyed palate of zesty tangerine, supple, inviting caramel and all underpinned with a laser like acidity. Top class! Alc 9%

Weingut Hans Wirsching, Iphöfer Kalb Gewürztraminer, Trockenbeerenauslese, Franken, Germany 2018

Platinum, 97 points
Aromatic, and true to the varietal character, with rose water, Turkish delight, fresh grapes, and lychee with hints of Oriental spices. The palate shows opulent sweetness, yet is balanced by a noble acidity. A peacock’s tail in the glass brings vibrancy, depth, colour, and constant evolution to the reverberating finish. Alc 6.5%

Agri-Roncão, DR, Vintage, Port, Portugal 2017

Best in Show, 97 points
Historically speaking, the port laureates in our Best In Show selection have tended to be fine old tawnies – burnished, silk smooth and shimmering with fragrant allusions. This year it’s different — not least because this Vintage Port laureate comes from the magnificent 2017 vintage, unquestionably one of the greatest in the last four or five decades. It’s a dense black-purple in colour, with a powerful mill of aromas which evokes not just black fruits like sloe, damson and mulberry but vegetal and spice notes, too and even a little fragrant pine. On the palate, it is rich, dense, powerful and close-textured as vintage port must be in youth, luscious with those same black fruits, fragrant with tea leaf and petitgrain, and supported by extravagant but toothsome, chewy tannins. This is an attractive price for a port of this quality. Of course it needs longer – but it is also exciting to try now in its first, thrilling flush of youth. Alc 20%


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