Photo: KnowInsiders
The Best Red Wines To Drink In 2021/2022. Photo: KnowInsiders

A good bottle of wine can easily transport you back to your favourite place. A warm summer’s evening in Italy? That classic Chianti will carry you back to Mediterranian coastlines and fresh, flavoursome dishes. Or how about a deep, dark Syrah with an aroma of cosy British evenings, wrapped up warm and digging into a rich and tender dish with family.

It’s safe to say that no other drink has the potential to captivate an audience like wine does. Which means that, no matter the number on the price tag, your favourite bottle of wine is a priceless investment.

And where to start when searching for the best wines? Our best wine list covers everything you need to know, from the variety to the vineyard and the full-bodied to the light and crisp.

Here, you’ll find good wines you’ll want to share with your friends, right through to the best bottle of wine you’ll keep tucked away at the back of the cupboard for only the most special of special occasions. You’ll also discover the best wine to invest in and the most delicious vintage to drink this year. Read on to discover your new favourites on our top rated wine guide.

List best wines to drink 2021/2022

1. Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey

2. Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

3. Bordeaux: Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 2015

4. Spain: Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2009

5. Chateau Musar Lebanon Hochar Pere et Fils 2016

6. Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac 2013

7. Wayfarer 2014

8. Decorum Vintners 1999

9. Chamisal Vineyards 2019 San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir

10. Hahn SLH Pinot Noir

What are Red Wine Characteristics?

Red wine has four primary characteristics - color, flavors, tannin levels, and acidity.

Red Wine Color

Red wine colors can vary from a deep, opaque purple to a soft, pale ruby. Its color changes with age, transitioning from bright, youthful shades of red to aged garnet or brown.

Red Wine Tannin levels

Ever noticed that drying sensation in your mouth when you taste some wines?

That’s due to the polyphenol in the tannins that come from the skins, seeds and stems of grapes. It's what gives red wine its texture, structure and age-ability.

Tannins soften as the wine ages. This is why young, tannic wines taste better when left to age in the bottle for a few years.

Red Wine Flavors

The different grapes used to make red wines produce a range of aromas and flavors of fruits, herbs, flowers, spices, and earthy elements.

These aren’t added to the wine - they come from the organic compounds in the acids and grape skins. For example, you’ll find notes of black cherry, raspberry, cedar and even tobacco from Merlot.

Red Wine Acidity

Acid is an essential component in wine that works as a preservative and gives it freshness and structure.

You’ll be able to detect the acidity in wine by how tart or sour it is, which counters the other sweet, bitter or tannic elements, Vinovest cited.

1. Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey

Photo: louislatour
Photo: louislatour

One of the top names in all of Burgundy is Louis Latour, and one of the most unique wines they produce is this Chateau Corton Grancey—a blend of four Grand Cru vineyards (Bressandes, Perrières, Grèves and Clos du Roi).

Delivering profound notes of black and red currants, blackberry fruit, blood orange citrus, and dried raspberries underscored by baking spices and dried red florals, this pinot noir is also a textural masterpiece with mouthwatering acidity and grippy cedar-like tannins.

2. Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Photo: enofylzwineblog
Photo: enofylzwineblog

Today, thanks to co-owner Peter Mondavi Jr.'s leadership, Charles Krug winery is a pillar of Napa Valley. With longtime winemaker Stacy Clark at the helm, the wines are utterly delightful, classically structured and decidedly age-worthy.

Sourced from five estate sites in Yountville, this 2017 has an incredibly modest price and impeccable pedigree. Wonderfully rich blackberry fruits mingle with brown spices, tobacco and vanilla bean. The cabernet sauvignon is full-bodied with black cherry, blackberry compote and black currants—all supported by lovely fine-grained tannins.

3. Bordeaux: Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 2015

Photo: vinous
Photo: vinous

"This is my favorite Bordeaux wine," says Master Sommelier Alexander LaPratt, the co-owner and Beverage Director of Brooklyn's Atrium DUMBO and Beasts & Bottles. "It's a strange addition to the list, as there are more famous châteaux from the Medoc classification that get more attention (this one is located in Graves), but in all of the vintages that I have tasted, even going back to the 1950s, La Mission Haut Brion has always aged more gracefully. It's a powerful wine but doesn't beat you over the head with the density or ripeness of fruit. Instead, it's a beautiful high-wire act of balancing between minerality and finesse. It still packs all of the delicious dark fruits of plum and cassis that a Bordeaux lover will look for, but it has unmistakeable terroir that whispers so clearly the gravel minerality of its soils. I've found that when other top Bordeaux wines begin to lose their precision in aging (anywhere from 40 to 80 years old), this estate keeps on keeping on."

4. Spain: Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2009

Photo: vinovest
Photo: vinovest

"This is one of my all-time favorite wines," LaPratt says. "I have had the pleasure of tasting back to the early 1900s with the winemaker, and even after more than 85 years the wines were holding up exceptionally well! I also have been fortunate enough to visit the estate, which is like its own small village complete with its own cooperage and even Vega Sicilia-branded manhole covers. The wine itself is a blend of around 90% Tinto Fino (a clonal variation of Tempranillo, with thicker skins) and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and it's aged 10 years before release in French and American barrels. The wine is powerful but elegant, incredibly food-friendly, and showcases red and black berry fruit with a firm core that is wrapped in a layer of sweet spice."

5. Chateau Musar Lebanon Hochar Pere et Fils 2016

Photo: guestwines
Photo: guestwines

When exploring red wine, don’t be afraid to step outside of Europe. Chateau Musar is a historic vineyard in Lebanon, and its wines are beloved by wine experts the world over. This is a blended wine fermented from cabernet sauvignon, carignan, consult, and grenache. It’s also aged in European oak for six months, so the drinker can expect light spice and pepper flavors.

Chateau Musat is famous for its old vine, low-yield style of production. This treatment yields grapes with richly concentrated flavors. This is an intense and interesting wine, aged in oak and full of dark plummy fruits. For pairing, this wine has the depth to stand up to red meats and flavorful stews. If it’s your first time trying this particular wine, don’t hesitate to enjoy a glass on its own and really take the time to understand the flavors.

6. Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac 2013

Photo: winewordsandvideotape
Photo: winewordsandvideotape

Celebrating a promotion? An engagement? Just craving a treat? Some nights call for a very special bottle of wine. Part of wine is romance, and at this price point you can afford to get a bottle that’s well made, delicious, and from an important region in the history of winemaking: Bordeaux. Red wines from Bordeaux are made from a blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. The blend gives them a balance of the strength of cabernet and the softness of merlot, but that’s only a small part of what makes them so special.

The vines that would become part of the Puy Lacoste estate were first planted around the year 1500. These wines are fermented in steel vats, and aged in oak barrels for 18 months. The result is a serious wine with soft fruits, well-integrated tannins, and a softly spiced edge.

7. Wayfarer 2014

Photo: robbreport
Photo: robbreport

A good Pinot Noir is typically light to medium-bodied and fruit-forward and Wayfarer’s 2014 Golden Mean offers exactly that. A complex wine filled with earthiness and exotic Asian spice, it’s one to sip slowly to really take in each and every note. It’s an elegant wine that really comes through with a wide range of fruity and perfume hints, like raspberry, peach, violet and red cherries.

A further sip will reveal notes of pomegranate, cinnamon stick and toast, making this compelling wine one to enjoy slowly. Over time, it promises to develop more spicy notes, making it a bottle that’s enjoyable now or even more so if left to age further.

Read More: Top 5 Most Expensive Bottles of Wine Ever Sold

8. Decorum Vintners 1999

Photo: propertychronicle
Photo: propertychronicle

Jules Taylor is a prodigiously talented winemaker and she has just celebrated her 20th year making her eponymous portfolio of wines. I have followed her every step of the way, yet she has never released a set of bottles like the quartet featured in this article, which have just arrived on our shores.

Leading with the remarkable pinot noir (details above), which is so keenly priced it makes all but a handful of pinots in the world look embarrassed, this is a dark-hued and extraordinarily resonant wine. The nose is sensational, with Auxey-Duresses and Monthélie allure, and this sonorous call to arms is followed by admirable restraint on the palate coupled with hints of earth and spice. This is a brilliant wine and one which should be in everyone’s cellar given its fruit purity, freshness and thrilling balance.

While you are ordering the pinot noir, load up with 2020 Jules Taylor Pinot Gris (£16.50) – a smooth, tangy, toned and hauntingly refreshing version of this oft-dowdy and dilute white grape. The 2020 Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc (£14.95) also bears Jules’ trademark delicacy and control, with sleek, lean, citrus fruit, yet with none of the pushy, tropical fruit flavours which make so many Marlborough versions fall flat. Finally, 2019 Jules Taylor Chardonnay (£16.50) is showy, silky, layered and enticing, and yet it still manages to bring vivacity and brisk acidity to the fore in its long finish. Every one of these wines is drinking now, too, so don’t delay.

9. Chamisal Vineyards 2019 San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir

Photo: slochamber
Photo: slochamber

This is a brand-new vintage from California’s Chamisal Vineyards, located in the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo. It’s 100% pinot noir grown during a season that had a particularly rainy winter. The wine was aged half in French oak and half in stainless steel, and has a deep ruby red color with notes of cinnamon and summer berries on the palate with a light, fresh finish.

10. Hahn SLH Pinot Noir

Photo: steveswinecellar
Photo: steveswinecellar

The SLH in this Hahn Estate wine stands for Santa Lucia Highlands where vineyards experience long and dry growing seasons, according to the winery. The 2018 vintage is 100% pinot noir, aged for 11 months in a combination of new French oak and neutral oak. Berries and oak are evident on the nose, which expands into herbs, white pepper, and balanced tannins on the palate.

How to choose a red wine

There’s no substitute for trying wines out and keeping a record of those you liked and didn’t. But in the meantime, you can use our guide to the most common varieties to get you started: Malbec goes well with meat, especially beef. Its taste varies greatly depending where it’s grown, but plums, berries and spices are common flavours. It’s sometimes blended with other varieties, but often a soloist in Argentina. Merlot is very versatile and soft, making it easy drinking for those new to wine. Pinot noir varies enormously depending where the grapes are grown. Goes well with lamb, duck, guinea fowl, hamburgers, haggis and many cheeses. Cabernet sauvignon is blackcurranty, often grassy, usually full bodied and often tannic (which can have a drying effect in your mouth). Good with lamb and goose, according to Which.

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