Sure, it is easy to get a great bottle of wine for $50 or more. In that price range there is so much good juice to choose from it gets silly. But what about every day wine? Something that is a good value, enjoyable and agrees with your palate like an old friend. There are very good wines out there for under $25 and even a few around $10 that we at Bacchus and Beery Wine Reviews have found over the last few months.
Granted these wines may not be life altering in their own right, but they are good, well made and will enhance your daily wine experience… without requiring a conversation with your banker.
Great Value Red Wines
Artesa Pinot Noir
2007 Carneros, CA, $22 Rating — 4.2
Artesa could be our new go-to California Pinot. Rich flavors of dark cherry, currant, chocolate with a hint of tobacco leaf. Soft tannins added to the silkyness on the palate. Another Artesa wine that will impress your friends without breaking the bank.
Mission Estate Winery Syrah
2009 Mission Estate Winery, Hawke’s Bay Syrah, New Zealand, $13 — Rating 3.75
Mission Estate Hawke’s Bay was a truly delightful New Zealand Syrah. A lighter style, this wine is soft, round and more food friendly than most Syrahs. Well balanced and fruit forward with flavors of blackberry and spice. A great wine to enjoy with friends and conversation. At $13 retail it’s a deal. Beware of big restaurant mark-ups on this wine.
Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA, $22 – Rating 4.0
Uppercut Cabernet is more often found on steakhouse wine list (over priced) than in your local wine shop (great value price). However, we did find it recently at our local shop. At $20-$25 this is a must buy Cabernet! The alcohol is a bit hot when opened but settles down into a well balanced Cabernet after a bit of decanting. The flavors of dark berries, dark cherry, currant and spicy pepper pair wonderfully with a grilled steak or lamb chops
The Crusher Petite Sirah
2009 The Crusher Petite Sirah, Clarksburg, CA, $13 (S) – Rating 3.8
An extremely approachable Petite Sirah, The Crusher, has soft tannins and rich flavors of dark cherry, blackberry and blueberry with a hint of oaky spice. A very rich and luscious mouth-feel. A wonderful BBQ wine
Folie a Deux Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Folie à Deux Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA, $24 (S) – Rating 3.95
Looking for a great value in Cabernet? Folie à Deux delivers again. An easy drinking and food friendly Cabernet, it needs only a little time to open up making it a good restaurant choice. Nice structure with soft tannins and full fruit flavors of plum, blackberry, black cherry and a hint of toffee and cocoa.
Cinnabar Mercury Rising Red Wine
2008 Cinnabar Mercury Rising Red Wine, Paso Robles, CA, $21 (S) – Rating 4.1
Looking for a great red wine at a great price? Cinnabar Mercury Rising is it! A rich Bordeaux blend of blackberry, dark red cherry, dark berry jam with a touch of leather, sweet oak, smoke and mocha on the finish with nicely integrated tannins make this one of the better wine values I’ve had in a while. Serve to your friends or keep a case as your go-to red.
Great Value Rosé Wines
The Crusher Rosé of Pinot Noir
2009 The Crusher Rosé of Pinot Noir, Clarksburg, CA, $12 (S) – Rating 3.75
The Crusher Rosé is dangerously easy drinking… soft strawberry, spice, rhubarb and rasberry. This is no wimpy thin Rosé. 13% Viognier adds to the depth, structure and complexity. A great patio sipper at a great price that will pair well with lighter fare.
Chateau de Fontenille Bordeaux Clairet
2010 Chateau de Fontenille Bordeaux Clairet, Grand Vin de Bordeauz, France, $14 (S) – Rating 3.75
This rosé is thick and chewy. A man’s rosé, if you will. Made predominantly from Cabernet Franc and other Bordeaux varietals, this enjoyable offering sports flavors of strawberry, dark cherry and spice with just a hint of tannin to add to the full flavor. A fantastic value at $12-$14. Excellent with grilled salmon.
Great Value White Wines
J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Gris
2010 J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Gris, Healdsburg, CA, $16 (S) – Rating 4.0
This Pinot Gris from J Vineyards is really an outstanding wine. Often Pinot Gris is overly acidic and thin, but this one is a winner even from a man’s perspective. Nice flavors of apricot, honey and citrus with a touch of mineral acidity layer beautifully into a very easy drinking wine. We served J Pinot Gris with artichoke bruschetta topping on toast points… Delicious!
McNab Ridge Sauvignon Blanc
2009 McNab Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, Mendocino, CA, $14 (S) – Rating 3.8
A winemaker once told me about Sauvignon Blanc, ”grapefruit should be left on the breakfast table,” and I agree. McNab Ridge Sauvignon Blanc is rich and round with flavors of honeydew, pineapple and crème with no mouth puckering grapefruit. In the glass this wine opens and softens into a crisp yet round mouth-feel. Just a great summer patio sipper value.
Chatom Vineyards Chardonnay
2009 Chatom Vineyards Chardonnay, Calaveras County, CA, $18 (S) – Rating 4.1
A thoroughly enjoyable Chardonnay that you’d expect to cost more. A creamy wine with flavors of vanilla, ripe peaches, red apples with only a hint of oak. Very well balanced lushness and acidity creates a smooth mouth-feel.
Folie à Deux Chardonnay
2009 Folie à Deux Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CA $18 (S) Rating 4.25
Paired with a piece of rare grilled tuna and a grilled salad (asiago cheese/peppercorn dressing, bacon & diced tomatoes), the Folie à Deux Chardonnay really hit the spot and held its own. Well developed flavors of red apple, peach, butter, oak and vanilla. This is no overblown CA Chardonnay but has a great blend of those oak, vanilla and buttery flavors we love. At $20 or less, it is a great buy.
Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay
2009 Central Coast, CA $9 — Rating 3.75
Maybe the best Chardonnay for under $10 we have found. Nicely balanced oak & butter make Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay a real winner. The price makes it a great go-to Chardonnay. I’ll pour this Chardonnay at my patio party any time.
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