Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Good Wine, $20 and under

Posted by JonDerry, Nov 26, 2016.

Finding myself a little more curious as to what's going on at this price point lately, with neighbors looking to me for advice, and I did hear BLM's call recently as well.

So two regions came to mind, not only for reasonable pricing, but for good overall quality potential. The Languedoc in the South of France, and Etna Rosso from the volcanic soils of Mt. Etna from Sicily, which isn't a bad statement to make or conversation starter when opening a wine here in the States. There are certainly many more regions to think about in France and Italy alone.

I did try Tenuta delle Terre Nere's basic bottling of Etna Rosso over these holidays (the 2014), and came away impressed, with the price clocking in at $18.99. With 13.5% stated alcohol, consistent with its wiry medium bodied frame, bright but bold red fruit, and some good tannic spine toward the back, it's more of a food wine but can also be drunk on its own with pleasure.

I'm definitelyinterested in exploring Etna more, and definitely in tasting more from this producer. The predominant grape, Nerro Mascalese, and region, seem to have a little more in common with Sangiovese/Tuscany, though with more tension, and there's a vibrancy to the fruit that's undeniable. Maybe something to do with those volcanoes?

 

 

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Replies

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 26, 2016.

Yes I am all for superior drinkability under $20. I like the Etna suggestion!  For an undeniably reliable daily drinker affordable and going with so many things I would add Côte du Rhône. Like everything, some labels better than others. 

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Reply by vin0vin0, Nov 26, 2016.
JD, looks like you're having the same issue re: posting pictures, in that there isn't one.
 
Have had a number of less expensive Sicilian wines with the reds much better than the whites and most of those reds were some form of Nero D'Avola.
 
From the Languedoc-Roussillon for less than $20.
The two that stand out are:
this pink that we've consumed a lot of - Domaine Lafage Côtes du Roussillon Miraflors
this really nice red blend - M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila-Haut
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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 26, 2016.

Cotes du Rhone has an ocean of wines that would qualify on price. A case where it helps to have a trusty importer or other source doing most of the work for you.

Righto on images being a nuisance this morning.

Have heard a lot, seen a lot of Lafage offers from WineX in the past year but have not tried anything. I kind of have a mental block with the name being so close to the great Lafarge from Burgundy.

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Reply by rckr1951, Nov 26, 2016.

JD - I had tried 3 or 4 in the past couple of years with the chard in 2 different vintages and their Carignan in 3.  For $11 - $14 they are a good set of QPR offerings.  I also like d'Arenberg from Oz in that range.

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Reply by Ivesreeves, Nov 26, 2016.

Might I suggest the 2013 Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone. Widely available at under 20 dollars, it can be enjoyed as a pre-dinner sipper but is opulent enough to be your companion with the main course. 

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 26, 2016.

Élégamment déclaré mon ami.

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Reply by MJET, Nov 27, 2016.

With all these fancy european wines I'm afraid to post my California Cab but guess what it's what we like! 

This 2013 Uppercut Cab is $22 at Total Wine and I orderd some on-line yesterday for $14 as a part of a Black Friday Weekend Sale. Pretty impressive for a 2013, Dark fruit on the nose, blackberry, blackcherry on entry and a fair amount of spice and pepper in the mid-palate. Medium finish. This has really good structure and should develop nicely in a few years. For a $20 wine it's solid.  

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Reply by rckr1951, Nov 27, 2016.

MJET - Keep those suggestions coming - that's - the $15 - $30 range - I buy a lot of so I like those suggestions.

IVE - The '13 was good - the 2015 is better and worth 3-6 bottles right off the bat.

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Reply by EMark, Nov 27, 2016.

I'm not sure about the current availability of these, but in the last few months I have enjoyed five or six bottles of each and  thought that they offered outstanding value:

 -- Buehler Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon -- $19.99 at Costco

 -- Monsanto Chianti Classico Reserva -- $16.99 at Costco

 -- Lyeth Sonoma County Meritage -- $9.99 at Trader Joe's

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Reply by rckr1951, Nov 27, 2016.

EMARK - Great trio.

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Reply by MJET, Nov 27, 2016.

+1 on the Buehler. I buy at least a case every year. The 2012's were fantastic. I've had a couple of 2013's and while ok they need a little more time sideways. I'm really looking forward to the 2014's...... 

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Reply by Lucha Vino, Nov 27, 2016.

+1 on the St. Cosme.  That immediately came to mind when BLM mentioned Cotes du Rhone.

I'll put a shameless plug in for Washington wines.  We have lots of good quality choices in the 15-20 dollar price range.  The problem is with distribution.  Many of our wineries are too small to have significant distribution outside the state.

Here is a label to look for - Nine Hats.  This is the second label for Long Shadows.  The barrels that don't get selected for the Long Shadows wines go into the Nine Hats wines.

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Reply by EMark, Nov 28, 2016.

Here is a label to look for - Nine Hats.  This is the second label for Long Shadows.  The barrels that don't get selected for the Long Shadows wines go into the Nine Hats wines.

That is good to know, Lucha.  I have seen Nine Hats wines.  For the life of me, though, I can't remember where I've seen it. I will, now, remember that story.  So, the next time I see it, I'll pick some up.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 28, 2016.

+1 on Ive showing up!  My luck with the St. Cosme brand hasn't been great, but he makes it sound trop bon.

I think if you are buying Napa Cabs from Uppercut, Buehler, et al, you might also consider Alexander Valley Vineyards.  In any case, I'm much preferring the 2013s to the '12s.  But I can't buy a case of any of them, because somehow I can't drink as much Cab as I used to.  I don't eat enough stuff that I think it pair with well.  Sigh.  Agree that on CdRs you want a guide--so much of it at that price. 

Monsanto CCR, yes, although you can also lay that down in better years.  Consider also Molino di Grace, which used to be even lower in price than Monsanto, but has snuck up.  Or the basic Volpaia Chianti Classico, usually under $20. 

Casa Ibidini makes a nice Nero d'Avola that can be had for $12-16, pretty widely available. 

I just bought some Terra d'Oro Barbera for under $10 that I've enjoyed before.  It was seriously on sale, but it's a good under $20 bottle at reg price.  Looks pretty nice, too.

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Reply by Lili D, Dec 2, 2016.

I think I'll give the 2013 Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone a try. I love finding a nice bottle of wine around this price point.

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Reply by JonDerry, Dec 3, 2016.

The 2015 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso is starting to hit shelves, as good or better than the '14 supposedly. Looking forward to trying that.

Had a nice Edmond Cornu Bourgogne the other night. Almost meaty and Rhine like, it was very dark fruited and structured. Went well with garlic prawns and Peking duck. Available for $19.99 at one east coast retailer.

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Reply by dmcker, Dec 3, 2016.

'Rhine like'?  Rhone?  ;-)

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Reply by JonDerry, Dec 4, 2016.

Rhone yes, darn autocorrect.

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Reply by JonDerry, Dec 5, 2016.

2015 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir...clocks in @ $20 or less at most places. Ditto for the 2014, though there is less of it available. Seems like the genuine article, and one of the few solid domestic Pinot's at the price point.

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Reply by Ivesreeves, Dec 6, 2016.

What a pleasant surprise to learn this has just an 18-dollar price tag.  Sampled some Angiolino Maule Rosso del Veneto I.G.T. Masieri 2013 at a friend's book release party earlier today.  The nose is a tapestry of red fruit but the earthy palate is most impressive.  Echos of terrain, rock, black tar and coffee bean suggested I was sipping a much pricier wine. When my friend told me the cost per bottle, I responded with a Danny Thomas style spit take.  Fortunately, I was just steps from the dump bucket.

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