• Alexander Smith

My 2020 year in review - The numbers

2020 was an odd year for me. On one hand, I was grounded as of March, yet on the other hand, it allowed me to research and study more than what I would have done normally. This also allowed me to dive deeper into other regions which I would not have normally done if it was not for COVID. I will have my wine of the year next week, however, I thought it would be interesting to share which regions I enjoyed and those I enjoyed less. I will also share which regions I focused on in terms of buying as well. This is probably not useful for most, but I thought I would share it anyway :)

I cannot wait to see a vineyard again!

In terms of what I tasted

1) France - 37%

2) USA - 24.5%

3) Italy - 11.5%

4) Canada - 6.8%

5) Australia - 5%

The remainder includes Germany, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand, Portugal, Chile, South Africa, UK and Austria.


The above does not surprise me and tends to go with my preferred regions as well. Heading into 2021, I need to bump up those Italian numbers, along with Canada. I doubt the top 3 will change, but I expect France to take a hit in 2021, due to my focus on Italy.


The top three regions tasted are:

1) Bordeaux

2) California

3) Burgundy


Well, no surprise there. I feel Bordeaux will drop off this list this year since I don't plan on any large Bordeaux tasting like I did last year (Bordeaux en-primeur 2017). I would like to focus on another region, yet I am debating which one this should be. Okanagan, Margaret River?


In terms of the top regions and average score, along with a minimum of 10 wines tasted. The top regions are:

1) California - 93.1 points

2) Tuscany - 91.8 points

3) Bordeaux - 91.7 points


Any regions which scored below an average of 90 points? Yup, you guess it


Spain ranked bottom in terms of average scores this year

So overall my year did not throw up any surprises. My buying trends tend to be pretty similar to what I am tasting at present. I bought way too much Bordeaux en-primeur 2019, mainly because of the quality along with the attractive pricing. In terms of buying, I want to go away from Bordeaux, and towards Burgundy with the 2019s looking pretty sharp. This along with the 2016 Piemonte vintages and 2018s in Tuscany. In terms of the new world, California 2018 is looking very strong and I feel I will double down on my favorite producers. Australia 2018 is looking like a strong buy, along with anything from South America from the 2018 vintage. I keep telling myself I will buy more Spanish wine, but this year I don't think I will even bother. I will try and attend a large wine conference on Spanish wines in the hope of finding well, something to get excited about.


What did you buy and drink most of this year? Don't know how to keep track? I use Cellartracker, which I cannot recommend highly enough.


So stay tuned for my top wine of the year!



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