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Values Under $20

Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Iconic? Yes. A great value? You bet. Charles Smith's nod to the Old World, Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is abundant with fruit: blueberry pie, ripe black cherries and plums orbit lighter notes of vanilla and violets 'round the bowl of the glass. On the palate, it's textbook Washington Cabernet, abundantly laden in mouth-filling fruit, lightly trussed in ripe tannins. Go ahead, pour yourself a second glass. 13.5% ABV | Sample Charles Smith Wines 8.9 Points ...

Galicia Mare Tămâioasă Românească 2016

Galicia Mare Tămâioasă Românească 2016

On the day we visited Galicia Mare, the winery still under construction, it was frigidly cold-wind whipped, we huddled around a table just inside the barrel aging room, the doors left open the afternoon sunlight to filter in. It was difficult to taste at these temperatures, this bottle-Tămâioasă Românească or Romanian Muscatel, glinted pale gold and like a long-lost distant cousin, exuded Muscat family personality and charm. Dried chamomile, honey, wet straw, barley flour, pear, musk melon, and diffuse sweetness. Támâioasă Românească has been cultivated in Romania for at least two millennia. sample Vinul him Dinescu 8.9 Points...

Juvé & Camps Reserva Essential Xarello Brut 2014

Juvé & Camps Reserva Essential Xarello Brut 2014

The winemaker at Juvé & Camps attributes this Cava's round, rich mouthfeel to the presence of polysaccharides released during fermentation, as well as during the process of maturation on the lees. Indeed, all of the wines in this lineup display autolytic features to a greater or lesser degree. The 2014 Reserva Essential Xarello Brut also has a compelling herbal profile. Asian pear aromas. In the mouth, dry mint, fennel, and smoke swirl around a deliciously creamy mid-palate. 12.0% ABV | sample Juvé & Camps 9.0 Points...

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012

The color of onion skin, Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012 unfurls at a leisurely pace. Smoky, autolytic notes rise above decadently layered aromas of dried fruit, molasses, baked apple, forest honey, and almond skins. As fine, cascading bubbles dart to and fro, springing forth from a core that is softly textured and clean, endowed with stone fruit and citrus. That beguiling smoky note reemerges at the close. 7 g/l RS, 12.0% ABV | Sample Juvé & Camps 9.0 Points...

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc 2016

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc 2016

A winsome blend of 60% White Grenache and 40% Clairette grown in clay lime soils, the 2016 Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc has a subtle nose of pear and dried yellow apple, followed by a lilting top note of jasmine. It's soft on entry, with flavors that match the nose, save for a suggestion of lees and lemon zest that wends its way through to a long, mouthwatering finish. Biodynamically-farmed. 13.5% ABV | Sample Ferraton Pere & Fils 8.9 Points ...

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

From Garagiste, a classic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec—in this case from a biodynamic producer (something of a rarity in Bordeaux), the 2015 Château de Monbazan Graves Rouge is plush on the nose and palate. The first impression is one of cherry pie, followed by vanilla, baking spices, and the merest suggestion of violets. It's easy going on the palate, with no hard edges. And while it lacks the earthy, leathery soulfulness that Graves is known for, it has charm. Drink now. 13.5% ABV Château de Monbazan 8.8 Points...

Prophecy Pinot Grigio 2016

Prophecy Pinot Grigio 2016

The color of pale green straw, like fresh alfalfa, the sort I used to buy for my sheep (when I had sheep, but that was a lifetime ago) the 2016 Prophecy Pinot Grigio is deliciously, lightly herbaceous, with wafting aromas of green apple and pear, and a twist of lemon zest. It's easy drinking, turning from orchard fruit to more tropical tones on the palate—underripe pineapple, star fruit, and glimmering minerality and fine persistence on the finish. 12.5% ABV | Sample Prophecy Wines 8.9 Points...

Prophecy Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Prophecy Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Thoughts turn gently to spring. Prophecy's 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hits all the right notes, with layered aromas of freshly cut grass, pine resin, white grapefruit pith, and lime zest. It's quite fresh and refreshing on the palate with plenty of acidic lift. Minerality emerges at the tail end of the finish, adding depth to an underlying vein of white grapefruit and star fruit. Rather lovely. 12.5% ​​ABV | Sample Prophecy Wines 9.0 Points...

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Another excellent vintage from Esporão, the 2014 Reserva Tinto is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French and American oak for 12 months. The nose is poetic: anise, violets, cigarette pack foil (a very specific aroma, my mother was a heavy smoker) black raspberry, and black cherry. And while there's no suggestion of the gamey-savory note on the nose that explodes on the palate like a caged tiger, it has lovely sueded tannins and a white pepper finish. 14.5% ABV | Sample Herdade do Esporão 9.0 Points ...

San Marzano Talò Malvasia Nera Salento IGT 2015

San Marzano Talò Malvasia Nera Salento IGT 2015

Another delightful find from San Marzano, this 100% Malvasia Nera is softly textured and juicy. As with all wines in the Talò line, it over delivers for its roughly $15.00 price point. Juicy Italian plums, blackberries and black cherries are rendered more complex by an earthy-savory edge of dried herbs, coffee, and underbrush. In the mouth, it's round, fleshy, and voluptuous, and all too easy to drink. A soulful pairing with pizza, roast duck or pigeon. 13.5% ABV | Sample San Marzano 9.0 Points...