What to Drink

Top 50 Wines of 2020

Make your next bottle of wine count, picking one from these excellent award-winning wines.

With over a thousand wines tasted by Sommeliers, Master Sommeliers, and wine experts at the 2020 Sommeliers Choice Awards and USA Wine Ratings, we’ve picked out the top 50 for you to try. 

1. Kalaris Pinot Noir

98 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

kalaris_pinot_noir

Sommelier’s Choice Awards’ Wine of the Year, Kalaris Pinot Noir evolved from the winemaker Gus Kalaris’ passion for producing California wines reflective of the uniqueness and beauty of their terroir. On the nose, the wine boasts fresh and inviting aromas of moss, dried leaves, and red currants leading to red cherry, red plum, cranberry, and wild strawberry flavors on the palate. This American Pinot Noir was also crowned with three other titles ‘Red Wine of the Year by the glass’, ‘Wine of the Year by Country’, and ‘Wine of the Year by Varietal’

2. St Andrews Riesling

97 points, USA Wine Ratings

st_andrews_riesling

Australia’s St. Andrews Riesling by Wakefield Taylors Wines is a fine blend of bright crisp green apple, orange blossoms, and racing brightness. The wine shares aromas of citrus components and steely minerals like crushed wet rock, slate, and oyster shell lending it versatility. Named ‘Wine of the Year’ at the 2020 USA Wine Ratings, the bright white was also named ‘Best in show by Country’, ‘Best in show by Varietal’, and ‘Best wine by Quality’. 

3. Matilde Malbec

97 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

matilde_malbec

Rising from Agrelo, a small wine-making region in Argentina, LaMadrid Estate Wines is home to this beautiful red. Judges at the Sommeliers Choice Awards have described this wine to be ‘potentially world class’ and ‘having a huge value for the price’. On the nose, this wine gives off aromas of fresh and dried currants, figs, cedar, and cocoa. The palate is known to be big in its intensity and power, exhibiting the taste of fig, sour cherry, plum, and blackberry flavors. 

4. Ehlers Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon

97 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

ehlers_estate_cab_sauv

Double gold-medalist and ‘Wine of the year by Varietal’, Ehlers Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon is an impressive 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from different blocks on the property. On the nose, the wine gives out aromas of cassis, wild blackberries, licorice, herbs de Provence, cedar, and tobacco leaf. On the palate, the wine boasts notes of rick blueberries and cinnamon - creating a rich, full-bodied blend. 

5. Doña Silvina Reserva Malbec

97 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

dona_silvina_malbec

An approachable Argentinian red wine integrated and balanced with bright fruit notes and also notes of baking spices. The Doña Silvina Reserva Malbec by Bodegas Krontiras is elaborated by the press/skin contact method, then completes its fermentation with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks. Of bright salmon color with tile reflects, its white flower aromas are followed by strawberry notes, leading to a crisp, long finish.

6. Cannonball ELEVEN Chardonnay

96 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

cannonball_eleven_chardonnay

ELEVEN Chardonnay is grown in the Sonoma Coast where the cool climate fruit strikes a balance between opulence and elegance. The wine is full of notes of subtle butter, canned corn, white flowers, butterscotch, and baked golden delicious apples; very elegant on the palate with touches of ripeness but creates an overall silky texture. This Chardonnay shone at the Sommeliers Choice Awards, grabbing the title of ‘White Wine of the year by the glass’ and ‘Wine of the Year by Varietal’, making it 2020’s best Chardonnay

7. Sidewood Estate Mappinga Chardonnay

95 points, USA Wine Ratings

sidewood_mappinga_chardonnay

Coming from Australia’s Sidewood Estate, the Mappinga Chardonnay was crowned ‘Best in show by Varietal’ at the USA Wine Ratings. This luscious and opulent wine displays a great length and fruit flavor intensity of lemon and lime citrus, honeydew melons with hints of nutmeg spice. Long and delicious with a wonderful line of acid, balanced by an incredible softness. 

8. Thick Skinned Red Mountain

95 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

thick_skinned_red_mountain

Crafted in Washington, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot is crafted with separate handpicked lots from Kiona’s “Heart of the Hill” vineyard and fermented in 3-5 ton fermenters. A Bordeaux style blend of bold character, Thick Skinned represents everything exceptional that Red Mountain has to offer.

9. Quest Chenin Blanc

94 points, USA Wine Ratings

quest_chenin_blanc

The grapes selected for this type of Chenin Blanc by Du Toitskloof are handpicked in the early morning hours from a single vineyard in the Breedekloof Valley in South Africa. Wooded in French and American oak, the wine shows elegant and delicate tannins whilst respecting the fruit. Pair with rich fish cakes and baby potatoes covered in sour cream and fresh chives from the garden, or pork chops with crispy fat next to a wild rocket, apple, and walnut salad. 

10. Argonza Cellars 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

94 points, USA Wine Ratings

argonza_cellars_cab_sauv

Handcrafted in the Napa Valley by Argonza Cellars, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon emphasizes the wonderful aspects of the region like flavors of baking spices like allspice, and clove, backed by notes of sweet leather, herbs, and tobacco leaves Intense and powerful on the palate. A gold-medalist at the 2020 USA Wine Ratings, this wine is known for being smooth, rich, and complex. 

11. Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay

93 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

ladies_who_shoot_their_own_lunch

Subtle in its approach, the Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Chardonnay is perfumed by lily, apple blossom, green apple, gala apple, lemon meringue, brioche, and honeysuckles. On the palate, this 93 points gold medal winner wine boasts a rich stone fruit and elegant oak maturation characters. Seamless integration of fruit, oak, and acidity gives a mouth-filling richness on the finish.

12. Trimboli Family Wines Salvatore Trebbiano

93 points, USA Wine Ratings

trimboli_family_wines

Another gold-medalist rising from Australia, the Salvatore Trebbiano by Trimboli Family Wines is an exceptional dry white wine that earned 93 points at the 2020 USA Ratings, based on its quality, value, and packaging. The wine has flavors of green apple, stone fruit that are bright and pleasant on the palate. A very refreshing light-bodied wine that has great acidity.

13. Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

93 points, USA Wine Ratings

louis_martini_cabernet_sauv

Made in Sonoma County, this red wine has dark-fruited flavors of plum, blackberries, and black cherries. Powerful tannins can be found in this Cabernet Sauvignon with sweet tobacco flavors, along with aromatic notes of lavender and violets. This blend exhibits power, depth and intensity with a discernible measure of polish and elegance.

14. Duck Hunter Marlborough Pinot Noir

93 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

duck_hunter_marlborough_pinot_noir

Predominantly from Comely Bank Vineyard, Waihopai Valley Road, in Marlborough's Wairau Valley, this Pinot Noir expresses notes of sarsaparilla and tan bark, touch of red currant, blue fruits of boysenberry. On the finish, you can feel orange peel and fresh herbs. Pair this red with a spicy veal stew and relish the blend of flavors.  

15. Angels & Cowboys Rosé

92 points, USA Wine Ratings

angels_and_cowboys_rose

The Angels & Cowboys Rosé is a Grenache-based blend, crafted using the traditional Provençal method. Aromas are minerally and ethereal with hints of grapefruit, white peach, and spicy floral notes. On the palate, this wine expresses notes of refreshing rose, candied strawberries, and pomegranate. This refreshing wine is a great drink to start off a dinner party, or even to be had as an after-dinner drink. 

16. Quirus Crianza

92 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

quiris_cirinza

Stemming from the renowned Rioja region, Bodegas y Viñedos QUIROGA DE PABLO is home to Quirus Crianza. On the nose, the wine gives out clean and elegant aromas, with notes of notes of vanilla, spices, and black chocolate. On the palate, you will feel strawberry, red cherry, vanilla and crushed gravel notes. Full-bodied, well-balanced, with sandy tannins and a lingering finish. 

17. Two Cultures Chardonnay

92 points, USA Wine Ratings

two_cultures_chardonnay

Made with love by the Trimboli Family Wines, the Two Cultures Chardonnay has aromas of deeply fragrant stone fruits, with rich and complex buttery notes. Flavours of white peach and nectarine stone fruits are intensified by creamy malolactic fermentation from well-balanced oak, resulting in a beautifully balanced wine with excellent length. The oak notes of the wine are a great match with grilled or smoked fish or poultry. 

18. Kenzo Estate Yui Rosé

92 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

kenzo_estate_yui_rose

Yui means "unity" in Japanese — and the Yui Rosé wine represents the strong bond among the teams who passionately care for the vineyards and artfully craft Kenzo Estate’s wines. This rosé is artfully blended by winemaker Heidi Barrett from selected vineyard blocks of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The wine shells out notes of red fruit, bubblegum, strawberry, fresh white flowers, and lemon zest with a crisp yet lingering finish. The brightness of this wine makes it easy to pair with food. 

19. Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Pinot Noir

91 points, USA Wine Ratings

anam_cara_cellars

Polished and bright with ripe red fruit aromas in this Pinot Noir are followed by sweet potpourri and red flower aromas. Velvety on the palate with plush berry like aromas. The palate entry is supple black cherry, with warm pie spice and cola in the core finishing with textured herb and ripe blue plums.

20. Brut Rosé Amaze Sparkling wine

91 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

brut_rose_amaze_brazil

A lovely wine with bright acidity, hints of grapefruit, Meyer lemon, and the perfect carbonation. The Brut Rosé Amaze Sparkling wine tastes like wild strawberry, raspberry, white peach, with a creamy and delicate palate.

21. Korta Katarina Posip

91 points, USA Wine Ratings

korta_katarine

The Korta Katarina Posip pours a golden-greenish color, with intense aromas of citrus, white stone flowers and field flowers. On the palate, the wine is light and refreshing, with flavors of orange and honeysuckle leading into a peach pie flavor, with a mouthwatering finish. The wine pairs well with seafood like crabs and shrimps, sushi and hard cheeses along with some salads. 

22. Cannonball Eleven Cabernet Sauvignon

91 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

cannonball_eleven_cab_sauv

Sourced from a Sonoma Valley vineyard perched on a steep hillside, the Cannonball Eleven Cabernet Sauvignon expresses a purple core of luscious juicy ripe black fruits, blueberry, peppered meats, and rich earthy notes. Excellent balance and structure complimented by firm acidity and soft integrated tannins. Amongst judges, this wine was described to be “rich but not overpowering, along with being balanced and food friendly”.

23. Always On Friday Pinot Noir

91 points, USA Wine Ratings 

always_on_friday

The wine pours a rich ruby red, with aromas of fruits and intriguing notes of chocolate, green tea, and dates. On the palate it has power and structure but is, at the same time, fruity with ripe blackberry and cedar flavours standing out. A delicious, complex wine with a long, smooth finish, very tasty. This pinot noir is known for being excellent at social events. 

24. La Storia Estate Merlot

91 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

la_storia_estate_merlot

A favorite amongst judges for it’s “easy drinkability and a good value,” the LA Storia Estate Merlot by Trentadue Winery starts off with notes of silky blueberry and boysenberry fruit, with cinnamon and brioche on the finish. The wine’s powdery tannins support its body without overwhelming the structure of the wine. 

25. Bonterra Organic Vineyards Rosé

91 points, USA Wine Ratings 

bonterra_organic

The Bonterra Rosé blends organic sites throughout California, with much of the fruit hailing from Mendocino. This delicate Grenache-based blend is known for its aromas of ruby red grapefruit, red cherry, and watermelon, framed by a palate of pomegranate, red berries, a hint of peach and a suggestion of cotton candy. This beautifully dry rosé boasts elevated acidity and a crisp, lingering finish. 

26. [ess•eff] wines Pinot Noir

91 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

ess_eff_wines

Bold and elegant on the palate, this pinot noir by [ess•eff] wines gives off notes of ripe raspberry, strawberry, black cherry, dried orange zest, fresh purple flowers, with a hint of clove. This pinot noir by [ess•eff] is known to be very fruit friendly, and speaks to the true fruit of its appellation - Sonoma.

27. Joy White 

90 points, USA Wine Ratings 

joy_white

Joy White by Crosskeys Vineyards births from the Shenandoah Valley, a Vidal Blanc with an abv of 11.5%. This refreshing wine has beautiful aromas of peaches and pears. After being aged and fermented in stainless steel, it has a great balance between sweetness and acidity; perfect for a hot summer day or paired with spicy Asian or Middle Eastern dishes.

28. Avantis Estate Syrah

90 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

avantis_estate_syrah

Pouring a rich, deep ruby red color, the Avantis Estate Syrah opens with a complex developing bouquet. On the palate, this Syrah demonstrates notes of spices, pepper, cinnamon and tobacco aromas, strong sense of black fruit taste (prunes, raspberries, blackberries), jam baked fruit, nuances of vanilla.
Full bodied wine, spicy with decent ripe fine-grained tannins and long finish.

29. Iris Pinot Noir

90 points, USA Wine Ratings

iris_pinot_noir

With the Napa Valley appellation to its name, the Iris Pinot Noir is proudly bottled and made by 1849 Wine Co. The nose is raisiny & earthy laden with elephant heart plum, black cherry, toasted oak and hints of violet. On the front of the palate you get slow cooked dark stone fruit jam with a bold kick of toasted oak. The mid palate coats the mouth with mild hints of vanilla opening to the stewed plum & cherry. The sip finishes with slightly sweet undertones and low acid smoothness. 

30. Summer Water by Winc 

90 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

summer_water_winc

This dry rosé reflects the pale pink promise of the perfect warm-weather wine. A blend of the finest Grenache and Syrah grapes, this wine results in light, crisp, and dry, with notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit, rose, and orange blossom.

31. Black Girl Magic Riesling

90 points, USA Wine Ratings 

black_girl_magic_riesling

Crafted beautifully by the McBride Sisters, the first African-American sister-duo to build a wine company, this wine shows typical ripe Riesling characteristics with its intensely aromatic nose. Tangerine, jasmine, and coriander seed appear in the nose, as the palate turns to tropical flavors evocative of guava and pineapple. Mild sweetness is balanced by a bright core of tangy citrus for a mouth-watering, sweet and sour finish.

32. Formation Pinot Noir

89 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

formation_pinot_noir

Rising from Monterey County, this is a very light-bodied and lively Pinot Noir. On the palate, the wine is mostly tart red fruit with flavors of dried herbs lingering in the finish. Pouring red the Formation Pinot Noir is best enjoyed alongside roasted chicken. 

33. Three Choirs Willowbrook 2018

89 points, USA Wine Ratings 

three_choirs_willowbrook

An impeccable blend of Siegerrebe(30%), Solaris(30%), Orion(16%), and Reichensteiner(15%) creates this distinctive wine with subtle rose petal aromas that lead onto rich, spicy, lychee characters on the palate, and a soft, rich off-dry finish. The early bottling of this wine from Three Choirs Vineyards has helped to capture the natural fruit characteristics of these aromatic varieties.

34. Asatsuyu Sauvignon Blanc

89 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

asatsuyu_sauv_blanc

Translated as "morning dew", asatsuyu by Kenzo Estate is named for the mist that drifts through the vineyards at dawn, depositing tiny moisture beads on the berries. Sommeliers and Master Sommeliers at the Sommeliers Choice Awards described this wine to be “an exceptional expression of Sauvignon Blanc for the Napa Valley”.  With chive and thyme jumping out of the glass along with kiwi, seville orange and a hint of margarita salt; the palate is focused and extremely balanced.

35. Deer Run Winery Riesling

89 points, USA Wine Ratings 

deer_run_riesling

A silver medal to its name, the Deer Run Winery Riesling opens with apple blossom on the nose. This elegant Dry Riesling is crisp with lemons lingering mid-palate and a slight mineral finish. An excellent wine to pair with food. 

36. Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir

89 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

folly_of_the_beast_pinot_noir

Another winner hailing from Winc Wines, this pinot noir is fruit driven wine dominated by ripe and jammy red fruits. The wine has layers of fruit from strawberries, to plums, to Meyer lemon, to quince to huckleberry. Aged in 30% new French oak for 12 months to enhance notes of sweet spice, this round Pinot pairs nicely with pork, pizza and cheeses

37. Scielo Sauvignon Blanc

89 points, USA Wine Ratings 

scielo_sauvginon_blanc

Produced by RGNY Wine, the Scielo Sauvignon Blanc is a light, refreshing and aromatic wine of white flowers and lemon zest. The wine has flavors of tropical fruit of white peach and honeysuckle. The wine is very food friendly or can be used as an aperitif.

38. Rocky Pond Winery Sauvignon Blanc

89 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards

rocky_pond_sauv_blanc

Pouring a light green, the Rocky Pond Winery Sauvignon Blanc expresses notes of grass, basil and guava. 
Well balanced Light, crisp and refreshing and tastes like bitter grapefruit, candied lemon zest, pear and peach with a slight creamy finish.

39. Valley of the Moon Üsha Chardonnay

89 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

valley_of_the_moon_usha_chardonnay

This Chardonnay by Valley of the Moon Winery is a buttery and complex wine with hints of vanilla, toast, and caramel. Driven by golden apple, bosc pear, preserved lemon, greek yogurt, baking spices. Creamy, round, richly textured with balanced acidity. This impeccable blend is known to be Chardonnay in its truest form. 

40. Whimsical Dry Riesling

88 points, USA Wine Ratings 

whimsical

Made by Vegas Valley Winery, this crisp dry Riesling opens with scents of citrus blossom & herbal notes of lemongrass. Flavors of golden delicious apple, pear finish with a snappy zip of citrusy lime & grapefruit zest. A truly whimsical sip! 

41. Petite Sirah Reserve - Bella Vista Winery 

88 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

petit_syrah_bella_vista

The Petite Sirah Reserve by Bella Vista Winery is 100% estate grown with fruits mature and flavorful that create a beautiful wine. It expresses a sweet, smokey and vanilla nose. At first sip, you get a burst of black and sour cherry, currants along with some dried fruits. Pairs nicely with any meat dish or rich cheeses.

42. Oak Knoll Winery Riesling

88 points, USA Wine Ratings 

oak_knoll_riesling

Boasting Oak Knoll Winery as it’s home, this Riesling is an aromatic wine of white flowers, apple blossoms and crushed rock. On the palate, the wine speaks flavors of oyster shell, peach, nectarines and apricot, along with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Perfect for spicy food

43. Chenin de Piéguë

88 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

chenin_de_piegue

Chenin de Piéguë by Château Piéguë is made from ripe and concentrated grapes, aged in oak barrels for 9 to 12 months. The nose opens with notes of ripe yellow apple, daffodils and applesauce. Citrus fruits dominate the palate, making it a definitive expression of its terroir. The wine ends on a refreshing note, and pairs great with a pike-perch with white butter.

44. Rodney Strong Vineyards Chalk Hill Chardonnay

88 points, USA Wine Ratings 

rodney_strong

The 2018 Chalk Hill Chardonnay by Rodney Strong Vineyards shows off notes of toasty vanilla and spice due to time spent in seasoned French oak barrels during fermentation. In the glass, the wine is both creamy and crisp, with flavors of golden pear, vanilla, Meyer lemon and a hint of minerality on the long finish. Enjoy over the next one to three years with soft cheeses, fresh crab or roasted pork loin.

45. Hunter Glenn Merlot

88 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

hunter_glenn_merlot

Aged for 21 Months on 30% New French Oak, the Hunter Glenn 2017 Merlot tastes just like blueberry vanilla syrup. Aromatics of polished leather mingle with fresh tobacco, and the palate bursts with juicy, red fruits that mellow into the most pleasing and elegant finish. 

46. Blue Billed Duck Terroir Wine Group

87 points, USA Wine Ratings

sandalo_estate_marselan

This Marselan by Sandalo Estates pours with deep and colorful purple hues. On the nose, the wine expresses notes of red fruit aromas and spices. The fruits and spices give this wine a nice balance and harmony.

47. Jasmine Monet White

87 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

jasmine_monet_white

On the eyes, the Jasmine Monet White opens with a bright yellow color with soft green tones, persistent foam, fine and delicate bubbles. Aromas of honey aroma, toasted bread, tender tropical fruits such as peaches are passed on to the drinker, followed by a soft entry on the palate with equalized acidity, elegance and
persistence of fruit notes such as green apple.

48. Frey Vineyards Organic Syrah

87 points, USA Wine Ratings 

frey_vineyards_organic_syrah

The Organic Syrah by Frey Vineyards pours with a deep garnet hue, with blue and purple fruit on the palate. Lush, round tannins give the wine a solid structure that is softened by notes of plum and cocoa. Enjoy with dark chocolate, blue cheese, or roasted meats.

49. Cultivar Wine Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

87 points, Sommeliers Choice Awards 

cultivar_wine_napa_valley

With a more citrus driven nose, and pomacious and rich textured on the palate, the 2019 Cultivar Napa Sauvignon Blanc is light straw in color with aromas of lemon and lime, honeysuckle, thyme, and marjoram spice. Fresh and bright on the palate with citrus fruits with a note of melon screaming spring and summer.

50. Engine House Chacewater Winery

87 points, USA Wine Ratings

engine_house_chacewater

Boasting the appellation of Napa Valley, this New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc by Chacewater Winery expresses notes of lemon grass, lime, pineapple, with a hint of jasmine. The brisk acidity gives way to tastes of gooseberry and fresh herbs. Very clean and balanced finish. 

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