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Wines of the Year 2021: top-scoring bottles

The results are in! Our experts around the world and the Decanter team nominated the wines that impressed them most in 2021, and they have been retasted blind by our three judges to select the best of the best. Combining classics, offbeat wines and value options, here's the assessment of the tasting and the list of top scorers.

With 40% of entries scoring 95 points or more, this was undoubtedly the most successful Wines of the Year tasting Decanter has ever held.

Our trio of judges, Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW, Matt Walls and Stefan Neumann MS were unanimous in their praise.

‘It was overwhelming to taste so many fantastic wines – it was hit after hit!’ said Walls.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the 27 Wines of the Year 2021 that scored 96 points or above

‘Given the line-up was so diverse, it was notable how much we agreed on our scores,’ commented Cherutti-Kowal. ‘That just shows the sheer quality and class of the wines put forward for this tasting.’

While for Neumann, it was a landmark occasion: ‘This is the first time I’ve ever given 100 points! My average score was probably the highest ever, too.’

To select the wines, Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chairs, key contributors and staff nominated the three wines that most impressed them during 2021, under the categories of Classic (a premium, textbook wine style), Offbeat (unusual grape, winemaking method, region or unearthed gem) and Value (£25 or under).

See tasting notes and scores for the top-scoring Wines of the Year 2021:

The list below shows the sparkling, white, red, sweet and fortified wines that all scored 96 points or above.

The judges

Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW is a wine consultant, judge and writer as well as a WSET educator, and the DWWA 2021 Regional Chair for Veneto.

Stefan Neumann MS is an independent wine consultant, director of wine for Michelin two-star Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a master sommelier since 2017 and a DWWA judge.

Matt Walls is an awarded wine writer, author and consultant, and the DWWA Regional Chair for the Rhône. His latest book, Wines of the Rhône, was published in January 2021.

Thank you to the following people who contributed their recommendations:

Sarah Ahmed, Jane Anson, Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW, Amanda Barnes, Richard Baudains, Laura Bianco, Jim Budd, James Button, Bob Campbell MW, Yohan Castaing, Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Alistair Cooper MW, Peter Csizmadia-Honigh, Charles Curtis MW, Markus Del Monego MW, Michael Denton, Natalie Earl, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Simon Field MW, Aldo Fiordelli, Elizabeth Gabay MW, Michael Garner, Tina Gellie, Rosemary George MW, Caroline Gilby MW, Charlotte Hale, Georgina Hindle, Stephen Hobley, Huon Hooke, Andy Howard MW, Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, Susan Hulme MW, Yiannis Karakasis MW, Justin Knock MW, James Lawther MW, Fiona McDonald, Thierry Meyer, Michela Nassiz, Rupert Owen, Barbara Philip MW, Alessandra Piubello, Anthony Rose, Ronan Sayburn MS, Julie Sheppard, Greg Sherwood MW, Cesar Soler, Sonja van Praag, Matt Walls, Beth Willard, Amy Wislocki, Sylvia Wu

Related content:

Best Champagnes tasted by our experts in 2021

Top-scoring wines of 2021: 100-point wines

Charles Curtis MW: My top 10 Burgundy wines of 2021

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