What to Drink

Top 50 Wines of 2021

Add award-winning wines to your list, having been tried and tasted by Master Sommeliers at the 2021 USA Wine Ratings.

Make way for these breathtaking wines as they come fresh out of the 2021 USA Wine Ratings with labels held high.

The USA Wine Ratings aims to recognize, reward, and promote wine brands that have been formed with the intent to reach out to selected wine drinkers. In order to make their way to a retailer’s shelf and retain their spot, wine labels need to have a comprehensive approach to be marketable and consumer-driven. The awards help in adding value to wine brands that not only deserve a spot in the market but also meet the demands of wine drinkers.

Covering an extensive list of varietals and wine brands from over 20 countries, the 4th annual USA Wine Ratings saw the majority of wines come in from the United States, Spain, Italy, and Portugal respectively.  

A leading panel of top-level wine buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility (Sommeliers, Master of Wine, Master Sommeliers, Wine Buyers, and other wine experts) judge the entrants on the basis of quality, value, and packaging. Once the wines are blind-tasted, scores in each category are compiled to award gold (90 points or above), silver (80-89 points), and bronze (70-79 points) medals with other special category awards.

With over 1000 entries in the 2021 USA Wine Ratings, here are the top 50 golden winners that shone brightly.

Shottesbrooke Reserve Series ‘Eliza’ Shiraz

97 points

An out-and-out winner, Shottesbrooke Reserve Series ‘Eliza’ Shiraz expresses brooding dark fruit aromas on the nose with dried plums, rich blueberry, bing cherries, toasted wood spice, bramble, and light coffee notes. Crowned the Wine of the Year, Red Wine of the Year, Best in Show by Country (Australia), and Best in Show by Varietal (Shiraz), Shottesbrooke ‘Eliza’ Shiraz stole the show at 2021 USA Wine Ratings. Along with these accolades, Shottesbrooke also claimed the title of Winery of the Year.

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Murviedro Pasión White

96 points

The Murviedro Pasión White will rope you in with its perfumed tart lemon peel and apple blossoms. It is a dry and zesty wine, which was awarded White Wine of the Year, Best in Show by Country (Spain), and Best in Show by Varietal (Chardonnay) at the competition. The bouncing tropical fruit, peach, and herbal notes on the palate make it an impeccable drink to go with roast chicken drumsticks with parsley and garlic.

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Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico

96 points

A full-bodied vintage with blackcurrant, ripe morello cherry, violet, and plum nuances, Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico grabbed the Best in Show by Country (Italy) at the 2021 USA Wine Ratings. The rich and intense red wine has a long and harmonious finish, and pairs well with red meats, roasts, grills, hard cheeses, and spicy dishes. We recommend you to age this one for 3-5 years in the cellar for best results.

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shottesbrookeresrveserieselizashiraz murvierdopasionwhite amaronedellavalpolicellaclassico

Quinta d'Aguieira Red 2017

95 points

Another wine that evolves into a masterpiece after cellaring, Quinta d'Aguieira Red 2017 displays an intense nose of baking spices and fruit characters. The plush and velvety wine is made from high-quality Touriga Nacional grapes, rightfully bagging Wine of the Year by Quality, and Best in Show by Country (Portugal). Pair this red wine with a mushroom risotto or a red meat dish.

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Diora La Belle Fête Rosé

95 points

Sweet strawberry and cherry flavors highlight rose petals and red fruit fragrances of Diora La Belle Fête Rosé. The Rosé of the Year and Best in Show by Country (United States) wine from Diora is fermented in stainless steel, while a small portion is barreled in neutral oak for a touch of creaminess on the palate.

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Jaraman Shiraz

95 points

Aging well under ideal conditions, Jaraman Shiraz should be decanted before drinking. The gold medal-winning wine combines peppery notes with sweet blueberry and blackberry pie nuances for a bold finish.

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Alb de Purcari

95 points

Enjoy the best Moldovan wine on the list with semi-ripened cheese on crust; fillet of cod with asparagus and hollandaise sauce. Glowing with floral aromas, the Best in Show by Country (Republic of Moldova) winner is a white wine with grapefruit rind, lemon blossom, and light butter notes. Alb de Pucari is 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Grigio, and 5% Pinot Blanc.

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Louis Latour 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

95 points

Hailing from the famous family of Latour wines, Louis Latour 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru won the Best in Show by Country (France) with its white fruit flavors of vanilla, peach, apple, buttercream, and lemon. It breathes fresh almond and lime blossom aromas and holds a subtle saline aftertaste. Pair this wine with shellfish, lobster, and fish dishes for a fine dining experience.

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Dundalgan Wine-Based Irish Country Cream

95 points

Lingering with gingerbread hints, Dundalgan Wine-Based Irish Country Cream is well balanced in sweetness, making it a suitable pick to add to an espresso martini. Overall, it is a rich and creamy Irish blend.

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Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon

94 points

If you are looking to pair a wine with a meat dish, try the 2021’s Best Wine of the Year by Value, Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon from Aldi. The retail giant has taken home quite a few medals for their private label wines this year. On the nose, the wine opens with notes of caramel, blackberry, cherry, currant, and plum. The award-winning palate is driven by savory nuances of white pepper, tomato leaf, and cedar.

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Ochoa Calendas Tinto

94 points

An easy-to-drink unoaked red wine, Ochoa Calendas Tinto is a bit spicy and earthy on the body. Rosemary, lavender, and thyme aromas intensify the red and black juicy berries, making it pair well with flatbreads, seasonal pizzas, and rice dishes. The wine was awarded Best in Show by Varietal (Tempranillo) at the awards.

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Bobal Blanc de Noir

94 points

The Bobal Blanc de Noir has a well-balanced acidity on the palate, rounded by vibrant aromas of wild strawberries, lemon blossom, thyme, and white flower. The wine is pale yellow with a reddish hue, consisting of a rich texture.

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Pedroncelli Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

94 points

Pedroncelli Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is versatile with a fresh acidic palate made of round tannins, plum, cherry, and blackberry. Dive into this full-bodied wine with ripe berry aromas of red currants and figs, finishing off on a spicy note.

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Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon

94 points

Posing sweet licorice on the nose and an intense palate with nuances of ripe raspberry, mint candy, chocolate, coffee, Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon balances the ripe fruit flavor of Clare Valley. A fine tannin with lifted mint character and velvety finish, best describes the gold medal-winning wine.

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Côtes de Femme Cabernet Sauvignon

94 points

A stylish bottle inspired by the curves of a sexy woman, Côtes de Femme Cabernet Sauvignon represents the elegance of dark berry nuances with zippy refreshing hints of vanilla and cinnamon. Red cherry and strawberry tones layer the sweet palate.

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Saddlebred Cellars Pinot Noir

94 points

Saddlebred Cellars Pinot Noir has hints of smoked bacon with bright red fruit flavors dancing around the palate. Immerse yourself in the fruity nuances of ripe cherry, strawberry, and raspberry of this Best in Show by Varietal (Pinot Noir) award winner.

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St. Francis Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

94 points

Sweet on the nose and savory on the palate, St. Francis Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
is generously structured. Exuding flavors of bramble, blackcurrant, tomato leaf, and vanilla, the Best in Show by Varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) has a lengthy and vibrant finish.

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Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2016

94 points

The expansive bouquet of Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2016
opens up bright ripe fruit and raisin nuances with the palate displaying spicy notes of light wood rose and freshly roasted coffee. Overall, it is warm and well-balanced on the finish.

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Otazu Premium Cuvée

94 points

Otazu Premium Cuvée displays notes of plum, blackberry, green bell pepper, and sage that benefit from a further 3-5 years of aging. Pair the bold and intense cherry red Merlot with cheese, charcuterie, or a variety of roasted meats.

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Outlander Meritage Red Blend

93 points

An opulent red wine, Outlander Meritage Red Blend has vanilla hints attached to it. Expressing bold flavors of blackberry, plum, bing cherry, light coffee, and juicy cassis on the body, the wine pairs well with beef tenderloin, prime rib, or pasta with red sauce.

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Vara Vermut Seco

93 points

Vara Vermut Seco has a dry lemon peel nose with sweet nuances of honey, chamomile, and white tea, opening up intriguing and perplexing notes of alpine herbs, citrus, and mint on the palate.

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Vara Tempranillo ESP

93 points

Vara Tempranillo ESP’s palate is made up of ripe dusty red cherries, strawberries, light leather, and earth with hints of vanilla and nutmeg. Finishing with savory tones of tomato leaf, olives, and dried herbs, gold medal-winning wine presents with a generous mouthfeel. Pair the wine with grilled or roasted meats, sausages, barbeque, stews, and casseroles.

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Loscano Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

93 points

Argentina’s Loscano Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is driven by a complex nose of herbal notes and violet accents. The wine is ripe and assertive, benefiting from a further cellaring of 2-4 years.

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Porta da Ravessa Grande Escolha

93 points

The blackberry, vanilla spice, and dark boysenberry scents give Porta da Ravessa Grande Escolha a distinct profile and character. Well-integrated nuances of ripe berry lead to a dense mouthfeel, with the wine having the ability to age for a further 4-6 years.

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Quest One

93 points

Taking home Best in Show by Country (South Africa) and Best Wine of the Year by Packaging, Du Toitskloof’s Quest One is a spicy red wine with aromas of blackberry, bing cherry, plum, toasted wood, and light vanilla. The wine’s ripe and silky palate makes it a suitable pair with cheese and charcuterie boards.

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Quinto Elemento Cabernet Sauvignon

93 points

Quinto Elemento Cabernet Sauvignon possesses notes of bell pepper and vanilla spices on the nose, mixing savory herbs with purple fruits in an elegant fashion on the body. The palate is juicy, but not overly sweet.

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Tide Chaser by Shottesbrooke Shiraz

93 points

Another gold medal winner from Shottesbrooke, Tide Chaser by Shottesbrooke Shiraz bursts with raspberry, fresh olive, and black pepper notes. The cherry bouquet makes up a juicy palate, suitable to consume with slow-roasted Mediterranean lamb.

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Late Harvest Traminer

93 points

Bouncing with nuances of light quince, golden raisins, fig, lychee, and rose, Late Harvest Traminer is a great wine to enjoy with dessert. The wine expresses slightly spicy notes.

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Sidewood Estate Sparkling Pinot Noir

93 points

Sidewood Estate Sparkling Pinot Noir showcases a subtle palate of wild strawberries and cranberry, blended 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Enjoy this light-bodied wine with light appetizers.

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Serafino Black Label Shiraz

93 points

Intertwined flavors of blueberry, bramble, loganberry, coffee, Swiss dark chocolate, and fine-grained tannins provide Serafino Black Label Shiraz with different layers of texture. The palate is ripe and lightly dusty.

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Rotari Brut

93 points

Revealing a pineapple and white flower nose, Rotari Brut balances sweet nuances of honey and stone fruits with spicy tones in harmony, finishing on a dry note.

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Ransom Jigsaw Pinot Noir

93 points

Black cherry, black tea, and smoked meat nuances make Ransom Jigsaw Pinot Noir velvety and a mouth-watering addition to your list. An ideal pair with a sautéed mushroom dish, the wine has a savory and herbaceous finish.

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*310 Altitudine Traminer - Riesling

93 points

A product of Fautor Winery, *310 Altitudine Traminer - Riesling acclaimed Best in Show by Varietal (Riesling) at the 2021 USA Wine Ratings. The white wine is fresh on the mouthfeel, having scents of lychee, light sage, and white apricot. It left the judges impressed with its juicy peach finish.

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rotaribrut ransonjigsawpinotnoir *310altitudinetraminerriesling

Nedori

93 points

Nedori means Born of Gold, which the wine portrays with aromas of honeysuckle, white flowers, and almond skin. The palate holds flavors of guava and fresh white flowers, leading to a toasted cedar finish.

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Cuvelier Los Andes / Grand Vin

93 points

The powerful Grand Vin is Cuvelier Los Andes’ flagship label, taking home Best in Show by Country (Argentina) accolade at the awards. Crafted with hand-selected grapes, the wine scents of cola, ripe strawberry, and boysenberry jam on the nose. Age this wine for a further 3-5 years for best results.

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Cuvelier Los Andes / Cabernet Sauvignon

93 points

Basking in intense red ruby color, Cuvelier Los Andes / Cabernet Sauvignon dives into rich black fruit nuances with aromas of powdery bitter cocoa. The creamy texture makes up for a good mouthfeel, finishing with a long concentration of black pepper notes.

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Vale D. Maria Douro Superior Red 2019

93 points

Displaying sweet tones of plum, strawberry jam, and blackberries on the palate, Vale D. Maria Douro Superior Red 2019 is an easy midweek go-to wine. The finish is long, ending freshly.

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VEGA

93 points

With pleasant earthiness complimenting the red fruit (strawberries and red cherries) palate of VEGA, a persistent elegant finish follows. Despite being youthful, it shows the complexity of a great wine.

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Emporium Appassimento

93 points

Emporium Appassimento is a 2019 vintage with smoky and fresh aromas of red plum, strawberry, cherry, raisins, with a spicy note on the finish. The wine pairs nicely with cheese and charcuterie.

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St Andrews Shiraz

93 points

Dominant flavors of ripe blueberry, tomato leaf, graphite, violet, fragrant cedar, and light vanilla cream make St Andrews Shiraz enormously flavorsome and rich in dark fruit characters.

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Masterstroke Shiraz

93 points

The opulent oak expression of Masterstroke Shiraz holds together a broad palate. Subtle floral characters and a smack of vanilla lie beneath dried plums, blueberries, blackcurrant, pepper spice, and coconut coffee notes. Pair this wine with rich meats for a truly remarkable experience.

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Tattoo Girl

93 points

A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, Tattoo Girl introduces hints of black cherry, blackberry, plum, violet, tomato leaf, and light vanilla with a juicy mouthfeel. The gold medal-winning wine is a great pair with roasted nuts, cheese, and grilled meat.

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Fontaine de Chocolat

93 points

Either add it to a warm winter beverage or sip with a sumptuous chocolate dessert, Fontaine de Chocolat will move effortlessly with balanced flavors of marzipan and chocolate gelato. The chocolate-flavored wine grabbed Best in Show by Country (Germany) and Best in Show by Varietal (Fortified) awards at the 2021 USA Wine Ratings.

Vinette premium wine - Rosé

93 points

Strawberry and cranberry nuances pop up on the Vinette Rosé Wine’s palate, making it ideal for a summertime picnic. It does well with Greek-style lemon chicken, calamari, and ratatouille.

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Los Frailes Sinergia Cabernet Sauvignon

93 points

Indulge in the full-bodied Los Frailes Sinergia Cabernet Sauvignon, an opulent red wine representing cassis, ripe blackcurrant, blueberry, toasted cedar, and vanilla characters. The wine pairs relatively well with rich meats, highlighting a smooth mouthfeel.

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fontainedechocolat vinettepremiumwinerose losfrailessinergiacabernetsauvignon

Louis Latour 2017 Beaune Vignes-Franches 1er Cru

93 points

Historically, the owner of this wine did not have to pay tax, hence the name Vignes-Franches (free wines). Louis Latour 2017 Beaune Vignes-Franches 1er Cru blossoms with sweet ripe berry and raspberry aromas on the nose, leading to a palate driven by cherries, mushrooms, and dried roses. Serve the wine at 15-17 degrees Celsius temperature with a Beef Bourguignon for the best experience.

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Theave Rosé of Pinot Noir

93 points

Theave Rosé of Pinot Noir is composed of lovely fruity aromatics like ripe blueberry and raspberry jam. The generous ripe fruit flavors are filled with hints of orange citrus blossoms, elevating a plush finish.

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Rosecreek Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOP

93 points

A Bordeaux wine with vanilla, cocoa, sweet tobacco, and ripe plum odors, Rosecreek Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOP has a palate made of smoked meat, ripe berry, and fresh herb impressions.

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Otazu Reserva

93 points

Highly structured with notes of blackberry, red cherry, red currant, and plum, Otazu Reserva hailed as a 2015 vintage from Spain. The dry red wine has a palate made up of toasted cedar and vanilla flavors.

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Vara Vermut Dulce

92 points

Sweet ripe orange peel, honeysuckle, and jasmine flower aromas incite a robust dried fruit and nutty palate, coating the tongue with fruit marmalade and fresh flower flavors. Vara Vermut Dulce has a generous mouthfeel, expressing a lengthy finish of warm baking spices.

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