Robert Parker Wine Advocate’s Inaugural Top 100 Wine Discoveries List Reveals The Next Big Icons And Trends Around The World

The colourful wine labels from the Duemani estate located in Tuscany, Italy

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.

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.”

Top 100 Wine Discoveries List

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.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

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 with some labels such as the Aquilini Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2017 owned by the Canadian billionaire family who spare no expense to craft fine, high-quality wines from Red Mountain and has produced 100-point wines in recent years. The Chateau Montfin Corbières Vincent Sans Sulfites Ajoutés 2018 from the southern French region of Languedoc, made without added sulfites, and selling for a song (under $20) and Castello dei Rampolla Liù 2018 from 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 and this winery that isn’t afraid of innovating, first with international blends in the 1970s, to biodynamics for the past 20 years.

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.

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