Best Sweet Red Wines 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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1. Clio 2. Alto Moncayo 3. Lupi
Clio 2017 Bodegas El Nido Best Sweet Red Wines Garnacha 2017 Alto Moncayo Gitana Lupi Rezerva 2016
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Sweet red wines are an excellent point of entry for people who are new to wine or are just transitioning from white to red wine. Though they are available in the market, it is considerably difficult to find red wines placed in the sweet category as compared to sweet white wines.

As a culture, we have been accustomed to drinking sweetened drinks since childhood. Therefore, sometimes it is too much initially if you jump directly into a complex, dry wine. Fortunately, there are some good options for sweet red wines that can be purchased easily at your local grocer or any online wine store. Select the best sweet red wine for yourself from this guide.

Top 9 Best Sweet Red Wines 2021

1. Clio 2017 Bodegas El Nido

Clio 2017 Bodegas El Nido Best Sweet Red Wines

Clio 2017 is a full-bodied young wine- a blend produced with 70% Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. As delicious as it is, it does need some time. It has a significant nose of dark chocolate, briar, minerality, and overtones of blackberry and blueberry with an opaque glass-coating purple color.

The air brings out some baking spices aromas as well. It is plush and opulent with a deep density and a lengthy finish that continues to get better with age as the fruit and tannins integrate. The flavors are savory with a ripe, slightly sweet taste of plums and black raspberries, and a hint of spice. With such an enticing combination of flavors and texture, Clio indubitably deserves to be on the list to be the best sweet red wine.

Its grapes come from 32 Ha-79 acres of very old Monastrell and 12 Ha 29.65 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards that have a very low yield. Harvested with small baskets, these grapes are protected from any bruising. After the best ones are selected at the triage tables, they spend two years in French and American new oak barrels. This is where they acquire a typical complexity. Clio 2017 is about five to seven years from nearing its peak.

The best recommendations for food pairings are with pasta, vegetables, mushroom, rice, sausage, stewed meat, pork, grilled meat, and veal. With age, this wine also goes well with roasts and casseroles.

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2. Garnacha 2017 Alto Moncayo

Garnacha 2017 Alto Moncayo

Alto Moncayo Garnacha 2017 was introduced for the first time in 2002. It is quite popular among those who enjoy fruit-packed full-throttle wines, but do not mistake it for just a lush fruit bomb. On the palate, you can find plenty of depth and richness with black, juicy cherries, molasses, licorice, and a hint of cinnamon and baking spices. There is also an underlying earthiness and char.

Lay it down in a good cellar for around a decade for the oak to integrate nicely. The color is purple with ruby hues and a scarlet rim. The initially closed nose opens up into minerals, cinnamon, baking spices, and super-ripe berries. Focused acidity and solid tannins come with a long finish.

Alto Moncayo’s wines come from 40 to 70 years old vines. Grapes of the highest quality are put in small stainless steel tanks. They are then basket pressed and fermented in new French and American oak barrels. Before bottling, the barreled wine is aged for 20 months. Meant to be enjoyed by young people, this is a wine that is not just enjoyable on its own but also works great with BBQ ribs, pasta, beef, cheeses, and rice.

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3. Gitana Lupi Rezerva 2016

Gitana Lupi Rezerva 2016Gitana Lupi is a dry blend made with hand-harvested grapes following a traditional winemaking technique using the latest generation equipment. The alcoholic fermentation and maceration take place for 20 days in open oak vats. After the fermentation is done, big Slavonian oak barrels are used to age the wine for 2 years. The blend is prepared after the malolactic fermentation and another 4 to 6 months of aging. The aging potential even afterward is very long.

The color is an intense ruby red. The bouquet of the nose is rich, intense with shades of chocolate, licorice, and coffee beans as well as hints of mixed berries and vanilla. The taste is well-structured, balanced, vigorous, and robust. All these qualities make it complex and intense at the same time. The powerful tannins with a pre-long aftertaste that increases the elegance. The wine also has an oily feel with marked aromas of ripe plum, black fruit, and cassis.

It goes perfectly with first courses, grilled meats, liver pate, stews, and aged cheeses. A cigar and a piece of dark chocolate could also be paired up as teasers.

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4. Halter Ranch Ancestor Estate Reserve 2017Halter Ranch Ancestor Estate Reserve 2017

This wine by Halter Ranch is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petit Verdot, and 15% Malbec. With rich and powerful flavors of graphite, cassis, and boysenberry, it has a long and silky mouthfeel leading to a well-structured finish. Even rounded flavors of dark chocolate and blackberry sauce stick to a light, tannic structure with a burst of acidity that cuts through the ripeness. Some people also detect a note of tobacco. The aromas are of dried blueberry, and blackberry gain nuance from dark purple flowers, a hint of wood, and potting soil. It goes the best with beef, lamb, game, and poultry.

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5. Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel El Dorado 2018

Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel El Dorado 2018

Spanish for “the golden”, El Dorado Vineyards is situated near California. These vineyards are located in the Sierra Foothills, 1650 feet above sea level. The complex topography with sandy soils and high elevation make days warm and nights cool and are perfect for Zinfandel. February brought along heavy rains leading to a warm summer that turned into a cool August. This resulted in a delayed harvest followed by a long warm fall which gave birth to near-perfect growing conditions. The extended hang time made it one of the longest harvests ever recorded with a crop size that was above average.

The fruit was harvested by hand and sorted in the vineyard. These grapes were then destemmed and arranged carefully to make sure only the perfect fruits made it into the wine. The wine was basket pressed gently and then finished by racking to oak barrels. The wine was aged in French and American oak for 15 months. The color is ruby red with a bright hue. The aroma notes have briar, blackberry, and floral raspberry. The palate consists of dense and expansive flavors of vanilla, dried florals, and baking spices. This makes the wine round and structured when combined with ripe tannins for a balanced texture.

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6. The Sheriff of Buena Vista 2018

The Sheriff of Buena Vista 2018

One of the best sweet red wines, this one has a colorful story that goes a long way back. Agoston Haraszthy, one of California’s first sheriffs moved north to pursue “purple gold” in the perfect terroir for fine wines. He settled in Sonoma county where the Buena Vista Winery was established in 1857. His legacy, and the work of sheriffs all over the world, inspired this wine. Each limited edition bottle is individually numbered and features a hand-applied, engraved metal label that reminisces the first sheriff star pin that Count Agoston Haraszthy wore

The wine is a blend of 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Petite Sirah and 15% Syrah. The rest is Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre, and Grenache. It spent 10 months in a mix of Hungarian, French and American oak. Wonderfully fruit-forward, it is almost Zinfandel-like red and contains perfumes of kirsch fruit, blackberry, brambly herbs, lots of spices, and floral notes. The polished, silky texture is elegant with medium-bodied richness. It is inarguably delicious and will drink well for at least 4 to 6 years. This wine goes really well with beef, lamb, veal, and poultry.

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7. Cabo De Hornos Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cabo De Hornos Cabernet Sauvignon 2016This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine comes from Cabo De Hornos vineyards situated in Cachapoal Andes valley at the foothills of Andes Mountains. Therefore, they remain frost-free providing the best conditions for the ripening of the fruit. The rich and fertile soils give the berries powerful flavors. They feature a massal selection of ungrafted grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon and are 21 years old.

These grapes are selected thrice after being hand-harvested–once in the vineyard, once at the sorting table, and finally while de-stemming. Dry ice is constantly used to avoid oxidation. After a classic fermentation—a 3-to-5-day maceration—another fermentation with commercial yeasts is carried out for 10 days. This is followed by an alcoholic fermentation and the wine is wrecked and decanted before aging in barrels. The aging takes place for 18 months in French oak barrels. Each Cabernet Sauvignons adapts different oaks and toastiness according to their terroir. Finally, The Cabo de Hornos 2016 was bottled on the 8th of March, 2018.

The wine has a violet-red color. It has red fruit notes on the nose which include ripe black fruits like blueberry, blackberry, and cassis. It also has some okay notes of cedar, tobacco, and chocolate. The taste profile is highly bold and towards the drier side. On the palate, the acidity is rich, the acid tannin balance is excellent and the finish is long and persistent. Cabo de Hornos 2016 will continue evolving with age in the bottle.

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8. Pulenta Estate Gran Corte (VII) 2017

Pulenta Estate Gran Corte (VII) 2017

A wonderful blend of 44% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 5% Tannat, this wine shows structure with finesse. The palate is compact, intense and juicy with attractive fruits and ripe yet fine tannins. It even has a hint of complex flavors like delicate spices, currant, hazelnut, and chocolate.

The round fleshy structure gives a pleasant and persistent mouthfeel to the wine. The nose has plums, violets, savory fresh herbs, dark cherries, and a note of smoke. Elegant with substance, this wine has a recommended drinking window from 2020 to 2027.

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9. Pulenta Estate Gran Cabernet Franc (XI) 2017

Pulenta Estate Gran Cabernet Franc (XI) 2017

Another great wine from the Mendoza Pulenta Estate, this one is powerful and bold. The grapes come from Valle de Uco and Lujan de Cuyo vineyards. It is aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels giving the wine an elegant, long finish. The round, ripe tannins make its entrance on the palate smooth and sweet with a dense texture.

It is deep ruby in color with a perfumed nose of vibrant red berries, eucalyptus, spices, and intensely roasted pepper. There are also some complex aromas of dried citrus and lemon-tree leaf. With a mouthfeel that has fresh undertones with a creamy texture, this is arguably one of the best sweet red wines. The recommended drinking window is between 2020 and 2028 making it a sensible purchase for the cellar.

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