Sunday, October 26, 2008

Top 10 Reds Under $20

Everyone wants a good wine at a good price, so a "Top 10 under $20" list seems like a good idea. But I can't put up my own list - there are just too many wines in that price range for Kelly and me to try. So this has to be a group effort. I will put wines on this list if I've tried it and liked it myself, or someone else has tried it and enough comments have agreed that it is worth putting on the list. For example, Iron Chef liked the Castillo de Molina Pinot, but I won't put it on the list until I get a few more comments giving it the thumbs up. If you have a wine that you think might belong on this list, leave a post on the Make a Suggestion thread. (Or if you're feeling ambitious, write a brief review and e-mail it to me and I will start a new post to get more feedback.)

Here's the list so far, in no particular order:

1. Cono Sur Pinot Noir. This is a no brainer for the list. Great Pinot character at this price is unbeatable.

2. Norton Barbera. This was one of the first wines I blogged about and I think I undersold it. Clean pure flavours in a medium bodied wine. Not a lot left.

3. Bon Cap Ruins Pinotage. Different and well done.

4. Montes Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a close call for making the list (check the review), but I'd like to put a cab on the list. I'd be interested in more feedback.

That's it so far. But don't forget to check Recommended under $20 for other wines that had a good review, but not enough feedback to get on this list. And see Wines to Try if you're feeling a bit more experimental.


  1. If you are searching for a Cab, I would recommend Trapiche Broquel Cabernet Sauvignon UPC #7790240090192 $14.99. I thought it was a bit softer and less stemmy and grean than the Montes. The flavour profile is more cassis and dark fruit rather than cracked white pepper. The Montes is good, I just prefer the more refined notes of the Broquel more.

  2. I have to put a plug in for an old fav - Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cab/Shiraz. Loads of fruit with decent acicity and Tannins. Penfolds is still one of the best wine producers in Auz.

  3. Speaking of Penfolds, has anyone tried the current vintages of the Bin 389 Cab or the Bin 128/28 Shiraz? We had a bottle of the 1998 Bin 389 a few months ago and it had aged beautifully. Rated 88 by WS but much better than that now. Anyone know anything about the current releases?

  4. Norman,

    I tried the '99, '01 and the '03 of the 389 recently. I liked them all but I thought the wine got better with age. I don't think they have changed the style very much, which is a good thing as you can reliably cellar the new release and count on having a better wine in a couple years.