Part two of our toast to drinking affordable wines in 2017 includes red and rosé wines under $17. (Some selections were sent for editorial consideration, wines are available at Spec’s unless noted.)
Rosé from Provence is considered some of the finest in the world, often driving the price up sky-high. Thankfully, delicious affordable options are available. Look for Triennes ($16), Mas de Cadenet ($15). From Languedoc, Gerard Bertrand Cotes de Rosé ($13) is beautifully packaged, fresh, and fruity.
Finding a quality Pinot Noir under $20 is tough. Thankfully, a few retailers have selections $17 and under. Right now Trader Joe’s has MacMurray Central Coast Pinot Noir for $15, and Erath Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for $17.
Rosé of Pinot Noir can often be found for $15-$20. Adelsheim Rosé of Pinot Noir and biodynamically farmed Banshee Rosé of Pinot Noir are filled with watermelon and berry notes and are available at Spec’s for $17 if you pay cash. Romana Sancerre Rosé of Pinot Noir, from the Loire region in France, adds minerality to the fruity wine. $17 at Total Wine.
For a similar, lighter bodied style wine, look for Schiava and Lagrein, two native varieties of Alto Adige, or a classic Beaujolais Villages. Jimmy’s Food Store carries a great selection of Wines of Alto Adige like Kelleri Kaltern Caldaro Schiava, and Lagrein from Alois Lageder and Peter Zemmer.
Quality Bordeaux reds are available for under $20. Producers to keep an eye out for are Chateau de la Riviere, Chateau de By Medoc, and Chateau Brethous Cotes de Bordeaux Cadillac. And, through January 29, Total Wine is giving an additional 15% discount on “Old World” wines–anything from Italy, France, Spain–barring a few exclusions.
Some of the finest wines in the world come from Piedmont, Italy, home of Barolo and Barbaresco. Approachable, food-friendly Barbera also hails from Italy’s northwestern region, showcasing red fruit and bright acidity. Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne ($17) and Marchesi Incisa Valmoreno Barbera D’asti ($16) are two to seek out.
Less popular, though still ideal for everyday enjoyment, Dolcetto thrives throughout Piedmont. Mauro Veglio ($15) and Albino Rocca Dolcetto d’Alba Vignalunga ($16), emphasize the earthy, tart cherry qualities of the variety. Available at Total Wine. From Texas, Duchman Family Winery Dolcetto ($16) highlights plum, licorice, and bitter chocolate.
Wines of Chile and Argentina are often quite affordable, and quaffable. Tart cherry, blackberry, and spice filled Don Miguel Gascon Malbec ($15) was the first producer to make a 100% Malbec wine in Argentina. Alamos blends Malbec with Bonarda for their dried fruit and tobacco filled Alamos Red Blend. ($13)
Wineries from Chile such as Montes and Lapostolle shine with both premium wines and options under $20. Montes Cabernet Sauvignon ($17) melds black fruit with dark chocolate. Lapostolle Carmenere ($13) highlights the red pepper spice notes of the variety. Available at Total Wine.
Consider Zinfandel when looking for inexpensive, delicious wines. Ravenswood, Edmeades, and Caricature deliver solid products for their price points, $10-$15. From Amador County, Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel ($16) is a concentrated wine with black fruit and pepper notes made from vines aged 50-103 years old. Available at Goody-Goody.
J Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon in Paso Robles provides high quality, consistency, and affordability for right around $17. Also from Paso, Liberty School Merlot ($16) layers blackberry with wild flower notes. Both available at Total Wine.
The oldest winery in Washington turns 50 this year. In 1967 Chateau Ste. Michelle released their first Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. In April they will release a special 50th Anniversary Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for $15. Make plans now to venture up to Ste. Michelle’s home in Woodinville this summer to pick up a bottle and enjoy one of their famous concerts on the lawn at the estate. Texas favorite, Lyle Lovette, usually plays in the late summer. Or, the special release will be available locally late spring.