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Wine Champion Reds of 2021
One of our members' favourite clarets, Château de la Grave’s plump berry-fruited 2018 won Wine Championship plaudits for its scented perfume, ripe generous palate and savoury notes on the finish. A lovely vintage from the Bassereau family.
The first 2021 Wine Champion to emerge from this incredibly high-scoring session was this lovely, fragrant claret from the successful 2018 vintage. Made in a modern, sweet but accomplished style, it’s brimming with ripe damson fruit.
Summing up this traditionally styled, plump and friendly grenache-syrah blend in a single word, Jo Locke MW singled it out for its ‘integrity’: made from fruit grown on both banks of the river (hence the name), this offers an authentic and affordable taste of a stunning Rhône vintage. In short, a Wine Champion in 2021.
This year our buyers agreed with the many members who buy this popular, punchy and plump Spanish garnacha. Juicy, generous and satisfying, its hint of pepper spice made it stand out in a strong line-up at our Wine Champions tastings.
A silky red from the Mediterranean coast, delivering ample and admirable southern French warmth without an edge in sight. A Wine Champion in 2021, this is a lovely option to enjoy by the glass, but with plenty of hearty food-matching potential too.
Ehrlich, bodenständig, gut (‘honest, down to earth, good’) is how the Mantler family describe this wine, which was first launched as one of our limited-edition ‘Bin Series’ releases. An apt summary. With crunchy red fruit complemented by hints of liquorice and black pepper, this is a delight, and a 2021 Wine Champion to boot.
Sicily’s credentials for vinous value were displayed admirably in 2021’s Championship. This was a great success, balancing big bold juicy berry fruit with energetic freshness and a hint of cedar.
A high point in a tasting full of great-value 2021 Champions, this velvety, dark-berry fruited Italian really enthused our exacting tasters. Pure pleasure in a glass, its full-flavoured fruit is complemented by a little leather and oak, while a seam of acidity on the finish opens up all manner of food-pairing possibilities.
A fittingly friendly and deservedly popular Champion from California’s Pedroncelli family. A soft, ripe and expressive blend of merlot, syrah and zinfandel, its juicy raspberry and blackberry fruit and luxurious mocha and vanilla notes conspired to earn a comfortable victory.
A 2021 Wine Champion. As buyer Matthew Horsley put it, ‘the standard of Beaujolais this year was amazing’, and this exciting taste of the 2020 vintage showed why it’s a great opportunity to get acquainted or reacquainted with the wines. After two fuller-bodied vintages, the freshness of this well-balanced, cherry-fruited favourite certainly perked up the tastebuds.
Finding such easy-drinking pleasure at this price can be a tricky business for a wine buyer, but when our team tasted the second vintage of this generous, fruit-filled Society wine blind during our Wine Champions sessions, we knew it had the x-factor. A bargain.