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Clare Tooley MW: My top 10 wines of 2021

As this tumultuous year draws to a close, Decanter’s California correspondent reflects on the wines ‘that have been so beautiful as to remind me there is always a reason to smile’.

Only 10? I feel a little like I do when faced with a hefty restaurant wine list. So many lovely wines, so little time to do them justice. My mind tracks the names, vintages and regions in fleeting time, flipping like a kaleidoscope. The effort is always accompanied by that nagging worry you’re missing the absolute gem. All the while, your dinner date is itching simply to get on and tuck into the evening with a good glass of wine.

The Tooley household has been through a lot in 2021, including some memorable highs and some please-let-us-forget lows. We consumed a lot of wine, tasted and annotated even more. Work life has been a constant amid 12 months of vivid change, and I am fortunate that wine links both. With gratitude, therefore, we are approaching year-end together as a family, scarred yet stronger than ever, our glasses full.

Little wonder the wines that make my top 10 in 2021 are those I have found to be the most alive and the most joyful. They are the pours that have renewed my energy, topped up my hope tank, or celebrated the present moment. They are the wines that have been so beautiful as to remind me there is always a reason to smile.

Scroll down for Clare Tooley MW’s top 10 wines of 2021

Clare Tooley MW’s top 10 wines of 2021

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