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Iconic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Crowned Best Wine in the World in Vivino’s 2020 Wine Style Awards

MA Silva NeoTech

Vivino uses data from 43 million wine drinkers to determine the world’s favorite wines. Every wine in the world has the chance to win – there are no submissions or payments

VivinoSAN FRANCISCO, CALIF Vivino, the largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app unveiled the world’s best wines today. For the second year in a row, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon took top honors with Hundred Acre’s Kayli Morgan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 earning the title as best wine in the world with a 4.84 rating, ever so slightly edging out last year’s winning producer, Scarecrow. The complete list of styles and winners can be viewed at www.vivino.com/awards

The Vivino Wine Style Awards are the culmination of scans and ratings from millions of wine consumers, not critics – that’s countless corks popped, plates cleared, and connections made. This year’s awards are based on Vivino’s data from the 2019 calendar year and feature 1,830 of the best wines from the 183 most popular wine styles. With more than 12 million wines in Vivino’s database, this is a rare distinction. 

Reflecting on the sixth annual awards, Vivino’s founder Heini Zachariassen commented: 

“Since 2010, Vivino has changed the way the world connects with wine. Anytime I am asked what I am most proud of, this is the story I tell. It is a story of community. It is a story of 43 million people with a shared interest. It is a story about the humanity behind the wine. Vivino’s Wine Style Awards gives us a chance to pause and recognize this humanity – the wineries, winemakers, regions and a million other people who make the exceptional wine our community loves. On behalf of our entire team, I could not be more excited to share the 2020 results with you. Congratulations to all the winners.” 

Vivino’s Wine Style Awards do more than show the best of the best and and consumption trends, they also predict sales patterns of the global wine consumer. Top trends from the 2020 awards include: 

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reigns Supreme

The world’s wine lovers have spoken, and Napa Valley Cabernet has come out on top. Hundred Acre’s Kayli Morgan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is the world’s best wine, with last year’s winning producer, Scarecrow taking second place for their Scarecrow 2016. Earning 4.8 stars on average, the top 10 Napa Valley Cabernets included in the awards earned the highest average rating of any style on this year’s list. 

Discovery Regions: 2019 Was The Year Of The Curious Wine Drinker

Unconventional regions, varieties, and philosophies provide an endless wine world waiting to be discovered that Vivino has now made accessible. In 2019, we saw just how curious wine drinkers are with 14 new styles like Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon and Greek Nemea Red arriving on the Wine Style Award scene. While the Jura region of France has been a favorite among industry professionals for some time, 2019 saw a continued increase in popularity and esteem among consumers too with the top 10 wines in the Jura White category receiving an average rating of 4.2. Israel, a historic winegrowing region that has made a comeback in recent years producing Bordeaux varietals in terroir-specific microclimates, received its first Wine Style Award showing this year for Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon. We also see that Brazilian wines are improving – Brazil has seen the most consecutive rating improvement quarterly since 2015, almost 0.4 points up overall for Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet. This is also representative of Vivino’s growing user base in South America. 

Value for Money Wines Are a Hot Commodity

The top-ten fastest-growing styles from this year’s awards including Spanish Verdejo, Portuguese Vinho Verde and Spanish Sparkling are all incredible value wines, with a median price between $10-15 per bottle. Most of these styles happen to be white, sparking, and rosé; perfect bottles to stock up on to sip all summer. 

White Rioja Tops the Table

From young and fresh to oak aged and oxidative, the White Rioja category offers a range of different styles to please an array of palates. The overall best white wine on the list was Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Blanco 1986, a wine released after 30 years of age in barrel. In addition to taking the top spot of the best white wine list, the White Spanish Rioja category also saw the most significant scan activity growth year-over-year at a 60% increase. 

Better Luck Next Year: Critic Favorites That Didn’t Make The Top Ten

It might come as a surprise that not a single Burgundy made this year’s top 10 reds. The prestigious Domaine de La Romanee-Conti La Tache fell out of the top 10 list from second place to 14th. It is worth noting Vivino publishes ten wines in each category because oftentimes wines only win by a fraction of a percentage point. Still, this might indicate that wine drinkers may be looking more towards those discovery categories or good wines that are more approachable. 

Bubbling Over: New Sparkling Category Favorites

As might be expected, 19 out of the 20 best sparkling wines hail from Champagne. While Vivino users scanned over four times more non-vintage than vintage Champagnes in 2019, they preferred the vintage bottlings, which took the first six spots of the best sparkling wine list. Additionally, the awards revealed some new category favorites in the sparkling wine category this year and also showed that people are looking beyond Champagne. Sparkling scans continued to grow strong in 2019, with value styles of Cremant, Cava, and Prosecco all demonstrating close to a 50% growth rate. Brazilian sparkling also had another strong year with 33% growth year-over-year. 

Speaking of Improving with Age…How the WSA Applies to Collectors

The average vintage of this year’s award winners is 2013, with the most winning vintages from 2015, 2016, and 2017. While this is a reflection of wines currently in the market, looking at the highest-rated vintages provides valuable insight into what years are drinking well right now. Four of this year’s top 10 wines are over 35 years old. While you would expect W. & J. Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny Port 1963 to be superb right now, Vivino’s data also gives fascinating insights into other well-aged wines. Château Latour 1982 had its best year for drinking since 2013, and Château d’Yquem 1975 received its highest-ever average rating during 2019. We all know that Bordeaux’s finest wines are built to last, and Vivino’s ratings can tell us exactly when these legendary bottles are in their prime. 

Natural Wines on the Rise

In hotspots such as France’s Beaujolais, Loire Valley, and Jura, natural wines dominated, with Vivino’s users clearly loving these region’s low-intervention wines. Nine of the 10 winning Beaujolais reds were natural wines, proving that when it comes to Gamay, consumers love natural wines. In total, natural wines won six styles: Austrian Blaufränkisch, Beaujolais Red, Jura White, Loire Chenin Blanc, Northern Italy Pinot Grigio, and Southern Italy White. 

Which are the World’s Most Prolific Producers?

The producers who racked up the most Wine Style Awards this year are some of the legends of the wine world. Argentinian producer Bodega Catena Zapata earned the most awards overall for the third year in a row with an impressive 15 winning spots. Viña Cobos, also hailing from Argentina tied Australian superpower Penfolds, earning eight awards each. Not far behind with seven awards are Jacques Selosse, the terroir-focused Champagne producer that helped proliferate organic farming within the region, and Rutini Wines from the Uco Valley in Argentina. 

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