The Suckling Wine Of the Year 2020

Another bizarre twist in our wine year of Covid’20 is that making wine boring again is just not an option available to anyone, except me that is.

Everything has to be new, fashionable and full of hyperbole to the point where our dear Mister James Suckling (Wine Advocate high-scorer) has just, end of November’20, released his top ten wines of this year. I can imagine he must have tasted 1,000s of bottles, at home all protocoled up to the hilt, and this is what his masked or even unmasked top ten attempt looks like.

Wine of the Year 2020

2018 Chacra Pinot Noir ‘Treinta y Dos’ from Patagonia, Argentina (100/100pts WS)

Price & Availability on Application (PAoA)

The number two to the number ten positions were gathered by an eclectic mix of German, Italian, Austrian, an Australian & even a Chilean wine. Some white and some where red. Sorry to be a bore here but I would have put my red wine of the year separate from my white wine of the year, but it seems that we are all getting a bit lazy during C19. There are indeed no French wines in the list, and there, just out of interest, are no Cabernet Sauvignon based wines either. What a funny old business eh!

His choice of Bodega Chacra’s ’32’ (1932 being the year that the PN vines were originally planted in the Chacra) is indeed something of a surprise, though it would seem to confirm his continued love affair with wines from Latin America. More surprising still is the fact that he has chosen a ‘natural’ wine as well. The Chacra vineyards are farmed bio-dynamically, with the wine aged predominantly in concrete and second, third, fourth and even fifth year-filled oak barrels, spontaneously fermented with natural yeasts and all well unfiltered prior to the wine’s bottling.

Suckling explained that not only was it a “wonderful wine” worthy of its 100 point tag but that it also encapsulated a number of other points that have grown in importance in winemaking today, representing: “amazing value, environmentally responsible and sustainable production, clear and transparent character reflecting it’s ecosystem, and incredible drinkability”. I couldn’t ask for more, but are you sure the wine is this woke?

At just 600 cases (6x75cl) produced this is not a widely available wine, and I just noticed that Liv-ex marked down the price at £839 per dozen? which firstly is not correct and secondly even in Argyland you would have to pay a minimum of double that to even secure a bottle if there was one available. I have just seen one bottle of 2018 advertised @ U$200 including taxes, U$2.400 per case. Hold yer horses eh!

Going back to the other wines in the top 10. They include three from Germany. Schloss Johannisberg’s 2019 Riesling Grünlack Spätlese, Wittmann 2019 Westhofener Morstein Riesling GG and Dönnhoff 2019 Dellchen Riesling GG. Two from Italy, Pertimali 2016 Brunello di Montalcino and Tassi 2015 Brunello ‘Franci Riserva’. Another Argy red, 2017 Cheval des Andes from Mendoza, and an Ozzy red by the name of The Standish Wine Company’s 2018 ‘The Schubert Theorem’. The wine from Austria was a Weingut Knoll 2019 Durnsteiner Ried Schutt Riesling Smaragd. And last but not least our friends from across Los Andes, Chile where awarded the tenth spot with Casa Lapostolle’s 2017 Clos Apalta.

Bravissimo a todos! and if you are at all tempted to try the wine of the year this year or next year, I do have a unique wooden case of three bottles (75cl in each) available for sale, and an individual bottle lying in our cellars in Buenos Aires, ready for shipping! Good luck!


”It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled”