Best Red Wines of the 2023 San Francisco International Wine Competition

by The Tasting Alliance Team  |  01.05.2024

The 2023 San Francisco International Wine Competition has crowned its champions, celebrating the excellence and diversity of red wines across the globe. From robust Cabernet Sauvignons to elegant Pinot Noirs, each winner embodies craftsmanship and distinction. These wines showcase a spectrum of flavors and profiles, representing the current landscape of red wine in the industry.

Best Pinot Noir: Fathers + Daughters Cellars 2019 Pinot Noir

The 2019 Pinot Noir provides intense aromas of cranberry, strawberry jam, and bramble mixed with violets and rose petals on the nose. In the mouth, fruity flavors of pomegranate, black cherry, and plum mix with earthy components of tobacco leaf and black tea. Smooth tannins and a supple mid palate linger with raspberry while the vibrant acidity provides a long mineral finish.

Best Tempranillo: VIÑA MAMBRILLA 2018 Red wine

Perfect for special occasions or a sophisticated evening, this vintage embodies the essence of elegance and refinement in every glass with a blend of black cherry, plum, and a hint of spice, culminating in a velvety finish.

Best Sangiovese: Wilridge Winery 2018 Sangiovese

This wine delivers a robust profile with distinct notes of dark cherry, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness. Aged to perfection, it offers a balanced acidity and smooth tannins, resulting in a structured yet approachable red. Ideal for those seeking depth and authenticity in their wine.

Best Barbera: Gold Country 2021 Barbera

The Gold Country 2021 Barbera is a full-bodied wine offering a distinctive blend of green, herbaceous flavors and a lean texture. With its unique profile, it delivers a sleek and captivating experience that delights the palate with every sip.

Best Other Red Varietal (Rara Neagra): Château Purcari 2022 Rara Neagra

Rara Neagră de Purcari is an escape from everyday life – an explosion of grace and elegance embodied in wine. The ruby color, with a pomegranate accent, is accompanied by a complex aroma with accents of chocolate and plum. The full taste, velvety with hints of dried fruits and vanilla comes smoothly into a fine oak aftertaste.

Best Malbec: Cerebella 2019 Malbec

A robust wine that embodies rich, dark fruit flavors complemented by a subtle hint of spice. With a velvety texture and well-balanced tannins, this Malbec offers a smooth, satisfying experience.

Best Petit Verdot: V. Sattui Winery 2019 Petit Verdot

This 2019 Petit Verdot has an enticing, dark color with alluring aromas of black cherry, blossoming violets, and notes of toasted sage. A lovely full-bodied wine on the palate, with rich dark fruit complexity that balances well with sweet oak and structured tannins.

Best Cabernet Franc: Black Sage Vineyard 2020 Cabernet Franc

The nose has pleasant notes of red berries, some red currants, dried strawberries, and smoky mocha notes. The flavors on the nose carry over to the palate with bright red fruits, mocha and vanilla, and some hints of spice on the finish. The acidity is lively and the tannins are firm yet approachable.

Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is full-bodied and rich with layers of boysenberry jam, currants, leather, maple, and cedar aromas complemented by black cherry preserves and warm clove flavors. Firm tannins and a touch of toasty mocha linger on the finish.

Best Merlot: DeLoach Vineyards Merlot

Lovely dark fruit aromas waft from the glass with notes of spice and eucalyptus. Blackberry, raspberry, and boysenberry flavors are accentuated by hints of vanilla, espresso, and baker’s chocolate. The finish is round and supple.

Best Premium Bordeaux Blend: The Legacy by Poplar Grove Winery

Deep garnet in color. Bright aromas of black currant, plums a Morello cherry aromas from the glass. Gentle decanting encourages opulent tannins to develop. Medium acidity frames flavors of fresh blackberry, cassis, and a hint of clove. The medium body delicately extends into a lengthy smooth finish. Serve with a hearty bolognese pasta or an eggplant parmigiana.

Best Non-Bordeaux Blend<$25: Château Purcari 2021 Red Blend

The deep ruby red color of Château Purcari Freedom Blend 2021 is a feast for the eyes and promises an intense tasting experience. This exceptional wine combines a rebellious spirit with a velvety and elegant taste. From the first aromatic moments, this wine reveals fresh notes of red fruits, including cherry, cranberry, and red currant. It is an inviting and seductive start to an unforgettable tasting experience. As you taste the wine, savory and spicy tones emerge, surprising your taste buds. You will experience flavors of blueberry, dried plum, cloves, and even a hint of dark chocolate. This unique combination of flavors creates a balance between sweet and savory, making each sip a true exploration.

Best Premium Non-Bordeaux Blends>$25: End Of The Day Wines 2021 Red Blend

Sip into the harmonious blend of cherry and cranberry that dances on the palate, accompanied by a subtle infusion of spices. The interplay of these elements creates a rich and rewarding tasting experience, evolving with each velvety sip.

Best Petite Sirah: Old Soul 2021 Petite Sirah

Deep purple hue with flavors of rich, dark brambleberry fruit with hints of cocoa powder and espresso beans. Rich, full-bodied mouthfeel with chewy tannins make for a long, luxurious finish.

Best Syrah/Shiraz: Krondorf 2021 Shiraz

Handpicked from Barossa Valley vines, this Shiraz boasts deep crimson hues and a rich blend of ripe berries, subtle spices, and velvety tannins. A perfect choice solo or paired with hearty meals, it captures the essence of Australian terroir in every sip.

Best Red Rhone Varietal Blend: Cass 2020 GSM

Lovely dark fruit aromas waft from the glass with notes of spice and eucalyptus. Blackberry, raspberry, and boysenberry flavors are accentuated by hints of vanilla, espresso, and baker’s chocolate. The finish is round and supple.

Best Zinfandel: Ledson Winery 2019 Zinfandel

Black fruit leaps from the glass followed by subtle floral tones that intermix with spices and dark fruit. Hints of cocoa, black plum, and blackberry come together on a seamlessly structured finish.

Best Spanish Red; Best in Show Red: CASTO PEQUEÑO 2022 Red wine

This bold and vibrant blend reflects the craftsmanship of a winery committed to quality. Expect rich flavors of dark fruits and subtle spices, harmonized with smooth tannins. Enjoy it daily or pair it seamlessly with your favorite dishes for an elevated experience.

As the industry continues to evolve, these exceptional wines pave the way for innovation, setting a high standard for red wine enthusiasts worldwide. Explore more exceptional red wines on the shoppable page on our website.