Reviewers spotlight noteworthy wine discoveries based on criteria such as sustainability, innovation, investment value and age-worthiness.

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 19 November 2020 - Following on the success of unveiling ten top wine discoveries last year at their New York Matter of Taste event, the review team at Robert Parker Wine Advocate take this initiative a step further, announcing their best newly discovered, under-the-radar wines of the year: Top 100 Wine Discoveries 2020. True to Robert Parker Wine Advocate's vision to independently evaluate and highlight wines from all around the world, this innovative move means to encourage wine lovers to explore new territories and learn about the passionate work of often previously unheralded wine makers.



Domaine Franco-Chinois is the new product to emerge from the old Sino-French experimental vineyard and winery located in Hebei, China. This is a joint venture between the Chinese government (CITIC) and the French government

 

From over 30,000 wines reviewed by the ten-strong team of wine critics over the last year, this Top 100 Wine Discoveries list complements the 100-point rating system developed by Robert Parker Wine Advocate back in 1978, spotlighting not the well-known, highest scoring wines, but those singular wine gems revealing unexpected greatness or fresh, exciting new takes on familiar labels.

 

The selection discovers a number of wines produced from lesser-known grape varieties and/or in non-traditional growing regions, and also rediscovers dozens of renowned marques that are making significant innovations, such as in sustainability and terroir-driven decisions, that are informing the taste of the new generation. Wineries in the Old World regions such as France and Italy show plenty of innovation, while the United States has emerged as one of wine's most innovative frontiers.

 

"The results of our assessment highlighted to us that there are wines that are not necessarily our top-scoring wines, but have compelling stories behind the bottle. So much change and innovation is currently happening in regions around the world, whether new like California or those with a long history like Bordeaux. Even if the labels are not at all new, what's happening behind those famous names and all that regional tradition is occasionally quite innovative. These stories and innovations are what consumers are increasingly motivated by when they seek out new discoveries--hence the creation of what we offer our readers as our Top 100 Wine Discoveries," said Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, Editor-in-Chief.  

 

As noted by Robert Parker Wine Advocate China reviewer Edward Ragg, "China is expanding into producing a wider range of wine styles, as interest within and outside of the country grows. The two whites showcased in this list make this point. While Domaine Franco Chinois, a joint venture between the Chinese and French governments, is associated with red blends in a Bordelais mould, its best wine is arguably its sweet Petit Manseng. This 2014 example has all of the vibrant quince fruit and buoyant acidity of the varietal and is one of China's highest quality and more age-able sweet whites. And at Chateau Nine Peaks in Shandong, a region better known for beer, its Chardonnay has the abundant fruit of Meursault, with softer acids and no lack of texture." 

 

Deciding the Top 100 Wine Discoveries

As the world's most recognised authority on fine wines, the Robert Parker Wine Advocate team of wine critics cover the entire globe in their quest to inform readers of the most noteworthy wines, including the major wine-producing regions of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and more.


This year's Wine Discoveries were handpicked by all 10 reviewers from over 30,000 wines reviewed between October 2019 and October 2020. The selection criteria for the Top 100 Wine Discoveries are founded on wines that come from outside the mainstream or are new, and have one or more of the following attributes: value, age-worthiness, sustainability, and wines that represent innovative approaches, whether in the vineyards, winery or otherwise. Not every wine region will be equally represented, and not every vintage is created equal.

 

"The regional composition of this list will vary considerably from year to year, depending on local weather conditions and the number of wines reviewed from the different parts of the wine-growing world," said Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, Managing Editor.

 

The next big thing: Spotlight on wineries in the list

For the inaugural list, the reviewers have discovered or rediscovered an exciting range of wines in a new light. Each one has its story of why it stood out, whether it's a rising star, an experiment, or a value investment that would match similar styles in a reader's cellar. Get to know a few here:

 

  • Pasarene Union 2016, Tulbagh, South Africa

"Even though their labels are beautiful and catch the eye, it's what's inside the bottle that is truly captivating,' said Robert Parker Wine Advocate South Africa and Washington State reviewer Anthony Muller of this rising star from Tulbagh, South Africa. "The 2016 Union is a Rhône style blend made from Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre, which boasts dusty, dark-berried aromas with a floral elegance, that is both food-friendly and age-worthy."

 

  • Aquilini Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2017, Red Mountain, USA

Anthony Muller has also spotted this relatively new kid on the block in Washington State, USA. "Focusing on Bordeaux varietals, Aquilini wines are owned by the Canadian billionaire family of the same name, who spare no expense to craft fine, high-quality wines from Red Mountain," he noted. It's not too late to start investing in discoveries from this region, which has produced 100-point wines in recent years.   

 

  • Chateau Montfin Corbières Vincent Sans Sulfites Ajoutés 2018, Languedoc, France

There are rising stars in the southern French region of Languedoc, and this is one that stood out for Joe Czerwinski. "Made without added sulfites, and selling for a song (under $20), this new cuvée does a fine job representing the 'new Languedoc'. Organically farmed, it's a delicious blend of traditional grape varieties (Grenache, Carignan and Syrah) from an underrated appellation," he explained.


  • Castello dei Rampolla Liù 2018, Toscana, Italy

Robert Parker Wine Advocate Italy Reviewer Monica Larner's search led her to the heart of Tuscany and the Conca d'Oro vineyard in Panzano in Chianti where biodynamic vintner Maurizia Di Napoli offers the iconic wines d'Alceo and Sammarco. "A pure expression of Merlot, Liù is an exciting new addition to the Castello dei Rampolla portfolio," she shared, of this winery that isn't afraid of innovating, first with international blends in the 1970s, to biodynamics for the past 20 years.

 

  • Chateau Séraphine 2017, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France

"Expect great things in the future from this producer, this is a Chateau to watch!" observed Lisa Perrotti-Brown. A newcomer to Pomerol, Séraphine was purchased by British businessman Martin Krajewski in late 2016, and this 2017 is the first vintage and a very promising beginning. Krajewski is also the owner of Grand Cru Saint-Émilion estate Clos Cantenac and Aristea Wines in South Africa.

 

In summary, "While our critics spend much of their time reviewing traditional wines from classic wine regions, part of the ethos at Robert Parker Wine Advocate has always been about discovering great wines, regardless of where they're from and how they're made. With the team's global reach and decades of experience, Robert Parker Wine Advocate is uniquely qualified to highlight new or innovative wines that today's modern wine consumers should seek out," said Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW.

 

To mark the occasion of this inaugural list, Robert Parker Wine Advocate is giving a one-month complimentary trial for all new subscribers, where they can access the full details of the selection. After that, the essential one-year subscription to RobertParker.com can be continued at the usual membership fee with access to an unparalleled database of more than 450,000 wine tasting notes, ratings and in-depth reports from expert reviewers around-the-world, as well as priority booking for Matter of Taste (a premier fine-wine tasting event) and more.

 

For more information visit: https://www.robertparker.com/wine-discoveries/2020

 

ANNEX: Robert Parker Wine Advocate Top 100 Wine Discoveries List

Country

Region

Wine Name

Vintage

Argentina

Patagonia

Chacra Chardonnay

2018

Australia

Clare Valley

Koerner Gullyview Vineyard Pigato Vermentino

2019

Australia

Margaret River

Evoi Reserve Chardonnay

2018

Australia

McLaren Vale

D'Arenberg The Anthropocene Epoch Mencia

2018

Australia

Swan Valley

Corymbia Chenin Blanc

2019

Australia

Swan Valley

Faber Vineyard Grand Muscat

NV

Austria

Kamptal

Weingut Bründlmayer Riesling Zöbinger Ried Heiligenstein Alte Reben 1ÖTW

2018

Austria

Südsteiermark

Tement Ried Zieregg Sauvignon Blanc Reserve IZ

2015

Austria

Wachau

Prager Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachstum Bodenstein

2018

Canada

British Columbia

CheckMate Queen's Advantage Chardonnay

2016

Chile

Limari Valley

Tabalí Talinay Pai Pinot Noir

2018

Chile

Malleco Valley

Baettig Selección de Parcelas Los Primos Chardonnay

2018

China

Hebei

Domaine Franco Chinois Petit Manseng 

2014

China

Shandong

Chateau Nine Peaks Qi Chardonnay

2018

Cyprus

Cyprus

Vouni Panayia Woman in the Wine Press

2017

France

Alsace

Valentin Zusslin Pinot Noir Bollenberg Luft

2016

France

Beaujolais

Jean-Marc Burgaud Beaujolais-Villages Les Vignes de Lantignié

2019

France

Bordeaux

Chateau Asphodele

2019

France

Bordeaux, Lalande de Pomerol

Les Champs Libres

2017

France

Bordeaux, Margaux

Chateau Palmer

2017

France

Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan

Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion

2017

France

Bordeaux, Pomerol

Chateau Séraphine

2017

France

Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion

Chateau La Gaffeliere

2017

France

Burgundy

Domaine Dureuil-Janthial Rully 1er Cru Meix Cadot Vieilles Vignes

2018

France

Burgundy

Domaine Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay 1er Cru Les Gravières

2018

France

Burgundy

Domaine Bruno Lorenzon Mercurey 1er Cru Clos de Champs Martin Cuvée Carline

2018

France

Burgundy

Domaine Lamy-Caillat Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets

2017

France

Burgundy

Aurélien Verdet Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Le Prieuré

2018

France

Champagne

Champagne Roses de Jeanne (Cédric Bouchard) Blanc de Noirs Côte de Val Vilaine

2017

France

Languedoc

Chateau Montfin Corbières Vincent Sans Sulfites Ajoutés

2018

France

Northern Rhone

Stephane Rousset Crozes Hermitage Marsanne Vieilles Vignes

2017

France

Northern Rhone

Benjamin et David Duclaux Cote Rotie Unnamed Cuvée

2018

France

Roussillon

Oiseau Rebelle Vin de France P'tit Rebelle ClanGrenGris

2017

France

Southern Rhone

Domaine Isabel Ferrando Chateauneuf du Pape F601

2018

France

Vouvray

Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec

2019

Germany

Franken

Weingut Rudolf Fürst Spätburgunder Hundsrück GG

2018

Germany

Mosel

Markus Molitor Riesling Erdener Prälat Auslese *** (White Capsule)

2018

Germany

Mosel

Jakob Tennstedt Waldportier

2018

Germany

Mosel

Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

2019

Germany

Rheingau

Peter Jakob Kühn Riesling Trocken Landgeflecht Unikat

2015

Germany

Rheingau

Robert Weil Riesling Monte Vacano

2018

Germany

Rheinhessen

Weingut Saalwächter Silvaner Grauer Stein

2018

Greece

Evia

Vriniotis Assyrtiko Sur Lie

2018

Greece

Santorini

Karamolegos Winery Papas

2016

Greece

Drama

Oenops XinomavRaw

2018

Italy

Alto Adige Valle Isarco

Köfererhof Kerner 

2018

Italy

Barolo

Arnaldo Rivera Barolo Undicicomuni

2016

Italy

Campania, Roccamonfina

I Cacciagalli Phos

2017

Italy

Colli Tortonesi

Vigne Marina Coppi Colli Tortonesi Timorasso Fausto

2016

Italy

Etna

Tenute Bosco Etna Rosso Pre-phylloxera Vico

2016

Italy

Etna

Tasca d'Almerita Etna Rosso Contrada Sciaranuova V.V.

2016

Italy

Greco di Tufo

Tenute Capaldo Greco di Tufo Goleto

2017

Italy

Langhe Nebbiolo

G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo Claré J.C.

2019

Italy

Sicily, Terre Siciliane

Tenuta di Castellaro Nero Ossidiana

2016

Italy

Toscana

Duemani G. Punto

2018

Italy

Toscana

Castello dei Rampolla Liù

2018

Italy

Valdaro di Sopra, Tuscany

Petrolo Val d'Arno di Sopra Bòggina C

2018

Lebanon

Lebanon

Ixsir EL

2011

New Zealand

Canterbury

Greystone Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir

2017

New Zealand

Hawke's Bay

Tony Bish Heartwood Chardonnay

2018

Portugal

Bairrada

Filipa Pato Nossa Missão

2016

Portugal

Douro

Márcio Lopes Proibido Grande Reserva

2017

Portugal

Porto

Kopke White Colheita Port

1940

South Africa

65% Franschhoek  &  35% Robertson

Colmant Absolu

NV

South Africa

Bot River

Beaumont Family Wines New Baby

2017

South Africa

Stellenbosch

Natte Valleij Stellenbosch Cinsault

2017

South Africa

Tulbagh

Pasarene Union

2016

Spain

Bierzo

Michelini i Mufatto Post-Crucifixión

2018

Spain

Bierzo

Verónica Ortega VO Cobrana

2018

Spain

Canary Islands

Victoria Torres Pecis Viñas y Vinos
Malvasía Aromática Naturalmente Dulce

2017

Spain

Galicia

Fedellos do Couto Bastarda

2018

Spain

Gredos

Soto y Manrique La Mira

2018

Spain

Jerez

Bodegas San Francisco Javier
Fino Viña Corrales Pago Balbaína

NV

Spain

Jumilla

Micrit Caliza Micrit

2018

Spain

Manchuela

Ponce Red

2018

Spain

Navarra

Viña Zorzal Wines Punto de Fuga Corral del Mate

2018

Spain

Rias Baixas

Eulogio Pomares Castiñeiro Espadeiro

2018

Spain

Ribera del Duero

Hacienda Solano Finca Peña Lobera

2016

Spain

Valencia

Javi Revert Viticultor Simeta

2018

Switzerland

Valais

Marie-Thérèse Chappaz Grain Arvine de Fully

2018

USA

California

Desperada Sauvignon Blanc Fragment

2018

USA

California, Central Coast

Fingers Crossed Syrah Off the Record

2018

USA

Napa Valley

Hertelendy Cabernet Franc Heavy Metal

2018

USA

Napa Valley

Modus Operandi Antithesis

2018

USA

Napa Valley

Trois Noix Noisette Cuvee

2018

USA

Napa Valley

Cervantes Blacktail Proprietary Red Blend MMXVII

2017

USA

North Fork, Long Island, New York

The Lenz Winery Cuvée RD

2005

USA

Paso Robles

Benom Origin

2017

USA

Paso Robles

Giornata Fiano

2019

USA

Red Mountain

Aquilini Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain

2017

USA

San Luis Obispo County, Edna Valley

Lady of the Sunshine Chevey

2019

USA

Santa Cruz Mountains

Sante Arcangeli Pinot Noir Split Rail Vineyard

2018

USA

Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

Bob Cabral Wines Pinot Noir Troubadour

2017

USA

Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

Vivier Wines Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2018

USA

Virginia

Glen Manor Dry Petit Manseng

2019

USA

Walla Walla Valley

Elephant Seven Yellowbird Vineyard Syrah

2017

USA

Walla Walla Valley

Echolands Winery Seven Hills Vineyard Red Wine

2018

USA

Willamette Valley

00 Wines Chardonnay VGW

2018

USA

Willamette Valley

Hundred Suns Pinot Noir Bednarik Vineyard

2018

USA

Yakima

Cairdeas Winery Caislén an Pápa

2017

 

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