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Top Wines of 2020

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

3 glasses of wine pictured with the words - Best Wine of 2020!

The lists of Top Wines of 2020 are out! Experts have the envious job of tasting thousands of wines from around the world. They rate them, review them, and rank them. James Suckling and Wine Spectator each have top 100 lists they publish every year. Their rankings are based on their quality assessment, value, availability of the wine, and overall excitement that the wine brings when tasting it.

Here are James Suckling and Wine Spectator Top 5 Wines and Top 5 Most Affordable, along with an excerpt of their tasting notes to give you an idea of why they thought these wines were wonderful enough to earn these top spots.

One thing to keep in mind is that as soon as these wines hit these types of lists, their prices start to rise. So, if you're interested in them, buy early.

Pay attention to the “best time to drink” recommendations. Some of these are ready to drink now, but some have a recommended holding period to let them mature in bottle. If you plan to buy and hold, then definitely follow these guidelines for storing and holding your wine. The last thing you want is to hold an expensive wine in a poor environment while it becomes undrinkable. It would be easier and faster just to burn your money instead. None of us want to waste good wine or our good money!

Here we go! We've got the top 5 from James Suckling, the top 5 from Wine Spectator, then the top 5 most affordable from Wine Spectator.


James Suckling – Top 5 Wines of 2020:

Check out the full list of top 100 wines of 2020. (Oh, and scroll past his article to find the list.)

#1 Chacra Pinot Noir, Treinta y Dos 2018

Patagonia, Argentina, $123

Quality Rating: 100

Grape/Blend: Pinot Noir

Wine Style: Red – Light and Perfumed

The structure of this is phenomenal and redefines pinot noir in Argentina. Aromas and flavors of dried strawberry, iodine, oyster shell, wet earth, fresh mushrooms and flowers. Full-bodied, tight and focused with chewy tannins and a long, extensive mouth feel. Better after 2024.

#2 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling, Grünlack Spätlese 2019 Rheingau, Germany, $67

Quality Rating: 100

Grape/Blend: Riesling

Wine Style: Dessert – Lush and Balanced

What do you say about a wine that almost literally knocks you off your chair? All the flowers and fruits of the tropics, but so delicate and refined that you can hardly get a grip on it. Such brilliance and such precise balance enables this medium-sweet Riesling to defy effortlessly the rules of the category and confidently swim directly against the current of wine fashion. Supernatural freshness at the finish. Taste this before you die! Drink or hold.

(LOL! This is my favorite review! If this wine critic -- who tastes thousands of wines every year -- gets this excited about a wine, then it’s probably worth the price to check it out.)

#3 Livio Sassetti, Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Tuscany, Italy, $79

Quality Rating: 100

Grape/Blend: Sangiovese

Wine Style: Red – Bold and Structured

Blackberries, black walnuts and black cherries, as well as loads of chewy tannins. Some smoked wood, wood tannins and even black truffles. It’s full-bodied and powerful with loads going on. It just keeps growing on the palate. So much wet earth and black olive at the finish with porcini mushrooms, too. Needs time to soften. Crazy finish. Try after 2025.

#4 The Standish Wine Company, The Schubert Theorem 2018

Barossa Valley, Australia, $86

Quality Rating: 100

Grape/Blend: Shiraz

Wine Style: Red – Rich and Intense

The palate has such intensity and power and really long, deep black fruit builds through the finish. Impeccable depth of tannin here. Rich blood plum flavors, intersected with blackberry. So saturated in flavor, so long and full of energy. The vinous intensity on the finish is spectacular. This is something really special. Try from 2024.

#5 Emmerich Knoll Riesling, Wachau Ried Schütt Smaragd 2019

Danube, Austria, $50

Quality Rating: 100

Grape/Blend: Riesling

Wine Style: White – Green and Flinty

Welcome to the gates of Riesling heaven! The breathtaking interplay of mineral acidity and a spectacular array of finely nuanced stone fruit sweep you away. In spite of the incredible richness, it remains super elegant and extremely long, the amazing finish so pure and precise. Drink or hold.


Wine Spectator – Top 5 Wines of 2020:

Check out Wine Spectator for their full list of 100 wines of 2020.

#1 Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta Rioja, Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, 2010

Rioja, Spain, $139

Quality Rating: 96

Grape/Blend: Tempranillo and Mazuelo

Wine Style: Red – Savory and Classic

Maturing well, this round red is a lovely example of the traditional style. Orange peel, dried cherry, forest floor, vanilla and black tea flavors mingle harmoniously over round tannins and citrusy acidity. Generous but gentle, lively, balanced, and harmonious. Drink now through 2030.

#2 Aubert Pinot Noir, UV Vineyard, 2018

Sonoma Coast, California, $85

Quality Rating: 95

Grape/Blend: Pinot Noir

Wine Style: Red – Savory and Classic

Powerful and structured, with minerally richness to the fine-edged red fruit and savory spice flavors. The sleek finish offers impressive purity and clarity to the notes of hot stone, flint and underbrush. Best from 2021 through 2026.

#3 San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino, Le Lucére, 2015

Tuscany, Italy, $90

Quality Rating: 97

Grape/Blend: Sangiovese

Wine Style: Red – Bold and Structured

Effusive aromas of black currant, blueberry, violet, and iron mark this expressive red. Supple and harmonious, with a firm backbone of tannins that are refined and integrated. Shows terrific length and complexity. Best from 2023 through 2043.

#4 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, 2016

Napa Valley, California, $135

Quality Rating: 96

Grape/Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Style: Red – Bold and Structured

The distinctive red throws a lot of wild sage, herb, and sassafras notes out first, while the core of intense red currant, damson plum and bitter cherry fruit waits its turn. The vibrant structure is built on acidity, pulling everything together through the iron-streaked finish. Should age wonderfully. Best from 2022 through 2040.

#5 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Trois Sources, 2016

Rhone, France, $90

Quality Rating: 96

Grape/Blend: Southern Rhone Blend (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre)

Wine Style: Red – Rich and Intense

A lush, ripe style, with acai berry, blueberry and plum reduction notes giving this a slightly exotic bent, while singed bay leaf, worn leather and warm tar accents keep this grounded in a slightly old-school way. Displays ample heft, yet energy ripples through the finish, accompanied by lingering garrigue and tobacco echoes. Best from 2022 through 2040.


Wine Spectator – Most Affordable Wines of 2020:

This list is $15 or less and all are ready to drink now. Check out the Wine Spectator list for even more affordable wines in their top 100. Just sort on price to find some great options.

#21 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc, 2019

California, $12

Quality Rating: 92

Grape/Blend: Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Style: White – Green and Flinty

Lemon blossom, Asian pear, lime sherbet, and candied orange peel notes are pure, fragrant and juicy in this silky white, with intensity and lift of freshness on the finish from an accent of lemon verbena. Drink now.

#43 Domaine Bousquet Malbec, Tupungato, 2019

Mendoza, Argentina, $13

Quality Rating: 90

Grape/Blend: Malbec

Wine Style: Red- Bold and Structured

Offers a smoky aroma, with refined raspberry and red currant flavors, backed by crunchy acidity. Savory midpalate, with a fine-grained finish that offers black licorice and tar notes. Drink now through 2024.

#50 Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc, 2019

Casablanca Valley, Chile, $14

Quality Rating: 90

Grape/Blend: Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Style: White – Green and Flinty

A snappy and juicy version, with melon, grapefruit, and lemon drop flavors that are well-structured. Zesty acidity lingers into the well-spiced finish. Drink now.

#30 Compañia de Vinos del Atlántico Granacha, Montsant Pinyolet, 2016

Catalunya, Spain, $15

Quality Rating: 91

Grape/Blend: Grenacha

Wine Style: Red – Rich and Intense

This red has density and polish, with cherry and red plum flavors accented by forest floor, tobacco, and licorice notes. Solid and balanced. Drink now through 2026.

#94 Klinker Brick Grenache Blanc Lodi, 2019

Central Valley, California, $15

Quality Rating: 90

Grape/Blend: Grenache Blanc

Wine Style: White – Tropical and Balanced

Yellow apple, ripe Bartlett pear and tangerine flavors are pure and lush, set on a medium frame, with crisp acidity. Shows impressive focus and purity of flavor. Fresh finish. Drink now.


Try the Top Wines of 2020

With so many wine options on the market, this provides a great way to focus on a few great quality wines that the experts love! Now you know that if you try a wine on this list and don’t like it, it’s not because it’s poor quality. It’s just not your style. What a great way to taste and try! Clink*Clink, to some great wine!


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