Our Best Red Wines for 2021 include selections for every budget and palate. Searching for the best tasting red wine or the best Cabernet Sauvignon? We break down the top red wine selections and share our favorites.
#1 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon – Best Overall
|Hall Napa Cabernet 2016 Rated 92WA – $59.99|
Wine Advocate Review
Hall is a legendary Napa winery that makes some of the best cabernet in the world. While some of Napa’s wineries have started to focus less on the big bold full-bodied Cabernets that defined the region in favor or softer Cabernets that focus on specific mineral or earthy flavors, Hall continues to churn out the in-your-face cabs that we absolutely love. While vintages will always vary a little from year to year, count on dark purple fruits, oak and a little chocolate or licorice on the finish, which just so happens to be exactly what we look for a in a Napa Cabernet.
#2 Rombauer Zinfandel – Best Zinfandel
Rombauer is another legendary winery in the Napa region. As a powerhouse vintner that specializes in big bold reds, Rombauer’s Zinfandel is a full-bodied fruit forward wine with just the right amount of peppery spice that completes the profile. If you ever get a chance, we recommend visiting Rombauer, which is located on the Silverado Trail and hosts a beautiful tasting and tour. In the meantime, get a bottle of their Zinfandel, relax and enjoy.
#3 Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon
Duckhorn may not have a large selection of diverse cabernets that run into the hundreds of dollars like Hall. But, their annual Cabernet Sauvignon can go toe to toe with any wine in the Valley. If you like blackberry, oak and a little chocolate on the finish, you’ll love Duckhorn’s Cabernet Sauvignon. If you can’t quite afford this nearly $80 bottle of wine, Duckhorn also makes a Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon that features many of the same flavors for around $25.
#4 Gramercy Syrah – Best Syrah
When it come to Syrah, Washington State turns out some of the best wine in the world. If you have never been wine tasting in Walla Walla, you’ll find a relaxed and less pretentious scene than the more formal Napa region in California. Among the plentiful Syrah vintners in Walla Walla, Gramercy is as good as it gets. Their annual classic is powerful with dark blackberry, a little spice and some subtle savory notes that balance and bring out all of the wine’s diverse flavors.
#5 Pepper Bridge Merlot – Best Merlot
We have a confession to make. We’re not usually big fans of Merlot. Spoiled by big bold reds, Merlot just seems a little soft for our palate. That was, until we visited Pepper Bridge. Hailed for their Merlot, we had our doubts about spending $100 on anything other than a Cab. But, Pepper Bridge didn’t disappoint and we left carrying bottles home with us. If you have never tasted Pepper Bridge, you really haven’t seen what Merlot can do. Trust us, just try a bottle.
#6 Saviah Cellars Malbec – Best Malbec
Here’s another sin and we’re guilty. When you think of Malbec, you think Argentina. We love the big names like Catena and have enjoyed Argentinian Malbec for years. But, there’s something classic and wonderful about Saviah’s Malbec. We won’t be offended if you believe this is heresy. All we ask is to try a bottle for yourself. Saviah has been pumping out and perfecting Malbec for over 10 years and this experience shows. Their Malbec is the perfect bold blend of diverse bramble fruit, spices and chocolate on the finish. At $30, this wine could easily sell for twice the price.
#7 Castello di Amorosa ‘La Fantasia’ – Best Sparkling Rose
This is the wine we drank after getting engaged at Castello di Amorosa. So, yes, it’s special to us. But, it’s just as special every time we go back. If you like rose and sweet sparkling wine, you’ll love La Fantasia. It’s like romance and partying in a bottle. There’s no need to age this wine. Just get a couple bottles, put them in the fridge and enjoy with someone you love. While La Fantasia also reminds us of a warm spring or summer day, we won’t judge if you drink La Fantasia year-round and we doubt your loved one will either.
#8 Darby “The Dark Side” – Best Value
Every year we eagerly await our annual shipment of The Dark Side. Darby’s famous Syrah is always a treat and is one of Washington State’s most popular wines. For under $30, this is also one of the best valued wines in the world. You’ll love the blackberry, pepper and licorice flavor and your friends will love that you loaded up and sprang for case. We serve The Dark Side at everything from barbecues to farm-to-table dinners and it never disappoints.
#9 Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port – Best Port for the Money
If I’m home alone in the study, smoking a late night cigar or enjoying some cheesecake for dessert with a couple friends, my go to Port is Graham’s Six Grapes. Sure, there are plenty of more expensive labels, but we find perfection where it presents itself. For around $20, a bottle of Six Grapes will go a long way and there’s just nothing quite like a good Port for slowly sipping late into the evening. The next time you bring out a cheese board or present a chocolate torte, try pouring a little Graham’s as an accompaniment.
#10 Peju Province – Best Wine for Summer
When we visited Peju, were we told the Province gets “95 points in the hot tub”. Of course this was a joke and sounded much more refined when they told it with a true French accent, but the Province is truly a summer wine. With this chilled wine’s sweet floral notes, we could see a wedding serving Province with a little Vivaldi coming from a string quartet in the background. But, we agree that this is the perfect wine for a hot tub party. Grab a bottle for you and your loved one and enjoy!