The Top 10 Wines 2021 and The Best Wine 2021 (01-12-2021 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

This is the ninth consecutive year that NJ Wines presents the top 10 wines. In 2021, NJ Wines tasted a few thousand wines that were, and still are, available on the wine market. From all these wines, NJ Wines selected the 10 top wines of the year. The most important criterion in the selection was of course the quality of the wines, but also the availability of the wines today. Of the top 10 wines of the year come four from Slovenia (two from the winery Vino Kupljen and two from the winery Edi Simcic), two from Italy (one from the winery Tenuta Tre Gemme and one from the winery Poggio al Tesoro), one from Australia (from the winery Grant Burge), one from Portugal (from the winery Churchill's), one from USA (from the winery Louis M Martini) and one from France (from the winery Champagne Henriot). Both last year and this year, Slovenia proved with the second best wine of the year, the fifth best wine of the year, the sixth best wine of the year and the tenth best wine of the year that it belongs to one of the world's best wine-producing countries. Note that NJ Wines’ wine tasting year always begins the first week of December the year before and ends the last the week in November the current year i.e. for the year 2021 it started the first week in December 2020 and ended the last week in November 2021. This year, four wines got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points), in 2020, two wines got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points), in 2019, five wines got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points), in 2018, six wines got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points), in 2017, no wine got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points), in 2016, one wine got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points), in 2015, one wine got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points), in 2014, no wine got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) and in 2013, one wine got 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points). NJ Wines is very pleased with the positive result, but NJ Wines does not believe that the global quality of the wines has changed as much in the positive direction as our tasting results show. NJ Wines was just lucky enough to taste some of the world's best wines in 2021.

The Top 10 Wines 2021

1. Tenuta Tre Gemme, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Riserva, 2015, red dry wine, Abruzzo, Italy, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points),

2. Vino Kupljen, Loona, 2019, white dry wine, Mihailovici Kristal, Jeruzalem, Stajerska, Slovenia, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points),

3. Grant Burge, 20 Year Old Tawny, NV, port wine, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points),

4. Churchill's, Late Bottled Vintage, 2016, port wine, Porto, Douro, Portugal, 5,0 of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points),

5. Edi Simcic, Fojana, Sauvignon, 2016, white dry wine, Goriska Brda, Primorje, Slovenia, 4,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (95 points of 100 points),

6. Vino Kupljen, Passion, 2017, red dry wine, Mihailovici, Jeruzalem, Stajerska, Slovenia, 4,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (95 points of 100 points),

7. Louis M Martini, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017, red dry wine, North Coast, California, USA, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points),

8. Il Seggio, Poggio al Tesoro, 2018, red dry blend wine, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points),

9. Champagne Henriot, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, NV, white dry sparkling wine, Champagne, France, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points),

10. Edi Simcic, Rebula, 2016, white dry wine, Goriska Brda, Primorje, Slovenia, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points).

The Best Wine 2021

Tenuta Tre Gemme, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Riserva, 2015, red dry wine, Abruzzo, Italy, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points)

During my almost 40 years as a wine lover and more than 30 years as a wine connoisseur, I have never tasted better Montepulciano d’Abruzzo-wine. It is absolutely fabulous. Bravo Tenuta Tre Gemme! That a wine from Montepulciano-grape can reach such heights like this wine is absolutely incredible. Tenuta Tre Gemme Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2015 is a big, very complex, flavourful, fruity, concentrated and tannin rich wine. Balance between fruitiness, sweetness and acidity is absolutely incredible. The wine glass was about to explode from the aromas and flavours of the wine during the tasting. The aroma is characterized by cocoa rich dark chocolate or better to say 100% cocoa, white pepper, vanilla, cardamom, dried blue plums, ripe dark cherries, tobacco, freshly ground dark roasted coffee and cinnamon. The flavour is characterized by cocoa rich dark chocolate, tobacco, white pepper, ripe dark cherries, dark roasted coffee and sweet spices. Tenuta Tre Gemme Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2015 will developed up to 10 years to i.e. up to 2031.

A complex, concentrated, flavourful and tannin rich wine like this requires tasty and high-calorie food such as Gordon Ramsay's Beef Fillet Wellington served with mushrooms and Madeira sauce, and buttery mashed potatoes or with reindeer stew with chanterelles and porcinis served with fresh tagliatelle pasta or with Swedish meatballs in cream sauce served with boiled potatoes, sweetened lingonberries and pressed cucumber. It should be served at 18 to 19°C in Bordeaux glass, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. Another option is to serve it at 16°C (when room temperature is above 20°C or outdoor temperature is above 23°C) and then enjoy it as it begins to open/grow in the glass.

The grapes (100% Montepulciano) for the wine come from 40 years old vines from vineyards that are located at an altitude of 365 meters above sea level in the Catignano – Pescara area. The vineyards' soil consists of calcareous clay. The grapes for the wine are harvested by hand. After very careful selection in both vineyards and winery, careful destemming and pressing, the grape mass, which consists of pulp, grape skins, seeds and grape juice, is fermented/macerated in both stainless steel tanks and concrete tanks at a controlled temperature that never exceeds 29°C for fifteen days. During the first two days of fermentation/maceration, the grape juice is separated from the grape mass and poured into another tank and then poured back into the original tank where the remaining part of the grape mass remains (so-called delestage). Before the grape juice is poured back, some of the seeds are removed from the grape mass. Then every three to four days, the flowing part of the grape mass is pumped over the firmer part of the grape mass (so-called remontage) for about 10 minutes per time. After the fermentation/maceration, self-run wine is poured into other stainless steel tanks and concrete tanks. The remaining mass, which consists of pulp, grape skins and seeds, is carefully pressed to extract so-called press wine, which is then poured into a stainless steel tank and a concrete tank. Then the wines in different tanks undergo malolactic fermentation i.e. fermentation that converts the sharp malic acid in the wine into softer lactic acid. Finally, the wines from the different tanks are blended and the blended wine is aged in 3,500 litres Slavonian (Croatian) oak barrels for 9 months and after that bottled and aged for a few more months.

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