The Best of 2021 - QWine Reviews

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The Best of 2021

2021 has certainly been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Everyone has had a very different Covid experience but it has been wonderful to see the human spirit in these unforeseen times. In the wine sector, so many were challenged once again be it in the vineyard, winery, cellar door and on-premise. In times like these, the best thing you can do as a consumer is to reach out and support small business. As I wrote back in March 2020, the small businesses are the ones putting their children through school, paying off mortgages, paying growers for their fruit, etc as opposed to large chain companies whose focus is on profitability for their stakeholders. Here's to a more prosperous 2022!

I am often asked to name the top wines I come across. So for 2021, here is a snapshot. Mind you, trying to narrow the field from all the wines tasted this year is no easy feat, but I'll give it a go... 

Over 640 wines have been reviewed on this site (plus another 155 in my new book Grenache - Barossa Grown), so to say it was a busy year would be an understatement. What else would you do in a pandemic than write a book, right?

Some regulars have come across the bench and some new labels too. It's quite a thrill to be able to indulge in the exploration and creativity of so many talented winemakers as they express themselves through the humble grape. Above all, consumers are the winners given the rich diversity we now have for our tastebuds.

Above all, a big shout out to you, my readers, for your ongoing support. I thoroughly enjoy the chat and banter on the socials and it's thrilling to help people drink better. Your support is appreciated - thank you. Thank you also to the wineries, winemakers and PR staff for your samples, willingness to share your knowledge and for your time.  

For over ten years this site has been free to access and no income is generated from the reviews. If you can spare a dollar or two to keep this site going with minimal ads and to keep access free for all, a donation would be gratefully appreciated. I do receive a small commission on sales from LangtonsWine SelectorsThe Wine CollectiveVinomofo and Catch so if you do consider buying from any of these, please access via the links and a little pocket money gets thrown my way from any sale made as a result. Graci. 

But to the business! A recap of some of the top wines that stood out in 2021:

Best White Under $20 - Langmeil Three Gardens Viognier Marsanne Roussanne 2020

Best Red Under $20 - Berton Vineyard Metal Label Black Shiraz 2020

Soaking up the sun at Rancho Relaxo - Oliver's Taranga Vermentino 2021

Pool Wine - Tim Smith Eden Valley Riesling 2021

Get In My Belly - Somos Pinot Meunier 2020

Can't Get Enough Award presented by Barry White - Eldridge Estate Gamay 2019

Interest for days - Yelland & Papps Limited Cuvée Roussanne 2016

Impress with something a little left of centre - De Iuliis LDR Shiraz Touriga 2019

Shelf Appeal Award - The labels from Lienert Estate (Barossa Valley) literally jump off the shelf. Nicely done. Penley Estate follows closely behind.

Best Emerging Variety White - Hahndorf Hill Gru Gruner Veltliner 2021

Best Emerging Variety Red- Ballandean Estate Saperavi 2018

Producer to Watch - Arila Gardens (Barossa Valley). Never heard of them? Best you introduce yourself. 

Best White - Oakridge 864 Funder and Diamond Chardonnay 2019

Best Rosé - Turkey Flat Rosé 2021

Proxime Accessit - Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard The Peake Cabernet Shiraz 2019

Best of 2021 - Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Shiraz 2016

Many thanks and best wishes for 2022!

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