The best wines from The Autumn Tasting 2020

The best wines from The Autumn Tasting 2020

While our usual Masters competitions focus on a grape, region or style, our inaugural Autumn Tasting was open to all, and brought to light some exciting wines from parts of the world that might normally have been overlooked, writes Patrick Schmitt MW.
Patrick Schmitt, 02 March 2021

This report contains the results from an entirely new tasting from the drinks business. Called the Autumn Tasting, it’s a drinks competition defined by the time of year when the samples are judged, rather than their source region, style, or base grape variety. While our existing tastings take a snapshot of a particular area, certain styles or a noble grape, this is something different. It’s the antithesis of our other, long-standing competitions, in that there are no restrictions to who can enter: all styles of wine are welcome.

And that’s why it came about. A producer of say, a Furmint from Slovenia, wanted us to judge their product using our professional processes, but couldn’t find a competition that could accommodate them. Others wanted something different. They didn’t want their £15 Pinot Noir, for example, to be compared with other £15 Pinot Noirs of the world, but any red wine in the same price band, allowing them to be assessed for quality against anything and everything.

However, the main purpose of this tasting is to assess the quality of the slightly unusual – the blends that are a bit different, the regions that are less recognised, and the varieties that are little-known. And that makes the Autumn Tasting a thrilling addition to our line-up. It also makes the results important for those in search of quality whatever the source or grape, including those who deliberately seek out anything that’s an alternative to the norm. So, with that said, what did we find that was delicious and good value among our varied set of samples?