Wine Talk

Snooth User: joebernardinoATyahoo

Best wines for under $20

Posted by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 26, 2016.

Hi everybody I'm a small store owner at the edge of the rust belt, my customers rarely spend over $20 for a bottle, and I am looking to improve my selection a bit beyond what is here now. If you have a minute to help a guy out let me know what you think are the best wines that usually sell for $20 or less. Thanks !

1 2 3 next

Replies

1174
155
Reply by EMark, Jan 26, 2016.

Nice to see you back here, Joe.

I am always nervous about using the word "best," but I'll start with one of my wife's favorites:  La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.  This is a widely distributed wine, and it is available in multiple stores near us for under $15.

I had a Murphy Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel a few weeks ago that was, for, again, about $15, pretty good.

221
33
Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 26, 2016.

Yes of course, I'll tell my customers something similar when they ask "is this any good". I have had a good experience with the Josh wines especially the 2012 Cab and the 2013 Merlot. I'll consider those two you recommended, thanks for the tip. Keep em coming everyone!

1021
94
Reply by vin0vin0, Jan 26, 2016.

Joe, I've found these producers make very good every day inexpensive wines that I'll buy on a routine basis.

Michel Gassier
Chateau Ste. Michelle
M. Chapoutier
A to Z Wineworks
221
33
Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 26, 2016.

Ste Michelle is one of my go-to brands for sure (love that Gewurztraminer), Chapoutier I like but people in this area are anti-French :(, I'll look into the other two I haven't seen them in my distributor catalogues. Thanks !!!!

41
1468
Reply by outthere, Jan 26, 2016.

Bogle - Petite Sirah, Zinfandel

Ravenswood - Zinfandel multiple selections

Michael David - Petite Petit

Klinker Brick - Zinfandel

Rancho Zabaco - Sonoma Heritage Vines

Frei Brothers - Zinfandel

MacMurray Ranch - Pinot Noir

 

20
3264
Reply by dmcker, Jan 26, 2016.

How come anti-French, Joe? That takes away several good options. How about other European countries (Italy, Spain, etc.), South America and Australia or South Africa?

41
1468
Reply by outthere, Jan 26, 2016.

I would imagine it is anti-anything not American made.

20
3577
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 26, 2016.

If you can include French, you can get your distributor's rep to bring some Cotes du Rhone and some Bordeaux and somewhere in there, you can find something good for under $15, definitely under $20--maybe even a village-level Cotes du Rhone like a Cairanne or Seguret; you can also get some Languedocs and other things, but you need to taste them and see what you could recommend in good faith.

If you can include Italian, you can find whites (Liveli's Fiano from Puglia, various Falanghinas), Chiantis or similar, A Mano Primitivo, and quite a few others under $20 that are tasty. 

Spanish:  CVNA makes a Crianza that's under $15 that's really good for the cash, and there's a ton of other Crianza Riojas.  They are young wines, but they pop and pour on a weeknight very well.  Juan Gil makes a Monastrell (Mourvedre) that's good in many vintages and sells for $12-14.  Portugal makes many good table wines (like Follies, which comes in a Cab Sauv/Touriga Nacional blend or a straight Touriga) that are good and pretty large production for well under $20.  Vinho Verde in the summer from Broadbent or a number of other makers can be under $10. 

I'm focusing on things that a large distributor is likely to have.  Nothing mentioned above is particularly boutique-y, but it does require that the distributor be willing to go a little out of the way to source wines--large production, but not huge names. 

South Africa's MAN makes a really good Chenin Blanc that runs under $10. 

Austrian Gruner Veltliner is great with seafood or salads and sells for about $12-14 for a LITER.  (The top ones can run a lot more, and are much better, but even cheap GV can be good with summer fare--GregT's opinion notwithstanding.)

As far as domestic wines go, OT has hit most of the bases, but Montevino's Barbera is an easy-to-source wine that can retail for $10-12 easily.  For a little more, their Terra d'Oro wines are a little better, and still in the ballpark of $20.  Bokisch makes good Iberian-style wines, as does Pierce Ranch, and they are very reasonable US wines at under $20.

Ask your rep to let you taste lots of  Lodi Zins--many are good values, which is a challenge in California.  Joel Gott also makes a number of state-appellated wines that are of varying quality, but he is a really masterful blender and has great sources, so his wines can be really good under $20 bottles.  I like his Sauv Blanc, and it's about $10. 

OT mentioned Ravenswood but also consider their non-Zin wines.  They sell Syrah that is good and I've paid well under $20 for it. Ventana makes a nice Rhone blend called Rubystone--search it here and see what I have said. I second the rest of OT's recos.

Finally, Qupe's Central Coast Syrah is a competent representation of the grape for $15-20, and Calera's Central Coast Pinot often outperforms its $20-ish price point. 

 

75
2046
Reply by JonDerry, Jan 27, 2016.

Definitely 2nd Spain - CVNE if you can pull off the Crianza and Rioja Blanc that'd be great but it sounds like you know your customers and they want to buy American.

Here are some American suggestions...

Napa Cab - Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon - A must!

Napa Chard - Heitz Chardonnay- Think this is still $20 or less!

CA Bubbles - Roederer Estate

20
3577
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 27, 2016.

I used to hate California bubbles (if I could have afforded Schramsberg back then it might have been different) but I wholeheartedly agree about Roederer Estate.  They also own Scharffenberger but run it mostly independently, and it's also good and even cheaper.

221
33
Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 27, 2016.

Thanks everyone for the responses and suggestions!! I'm going to start making a list out of everything you all are recommending. It seems like a lot of local competitors are specializing in various garbage sweet crap from the Finger Lakes so this is what I'm after to have a different kind of selection. I agree about the Spanish wines I've tasted a few recently and enjoyed them. Keep 'em coming & thanks again

20
3577
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 27, 2016.

I wouldn't completely write off the Finger Lakes, but I would be careful.  At a suggested retail right around $20, Ravines makes a dry Riesling that's really good.  I completely swore off the wines of NY when I went to school in the "Southern Tier" of the state, but there are a couple good things these days.  There is also a Cab Franc from the Hudson River Valley that's not bad, although I cannot remember the name and I suspect they had no significant distribution. 

20
3264
Reply by dmcker, Jan 27, 2016.

Joe, you never answered about why French wines were a no-no, and if any other foreign wines were OK. At your price range they offer better options than domestic, IMHO. Don't want to spend the time making suggestions, though, until I understand what countries are taboo...

20
3577
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 28, 2016.

Okay, if the Italian is okay, try these:  Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva.  (Riserva! under $20!  Ageable!)  Molino di Grace Chianti.  Usually around $16 but it has been creeping up as the reputation spreads.  English businessman bought underperforming vineyard and winery and did great stuff without charging extortionate prices.  How often do you see that?

0
2388
Reply by GregT, Jan 28, 2016.

I used to hate California bubbles (if I could have afforded Schramsberg back then it might have been different) but I wholeheartedly agree about Roederer Estate.  They also own Scharffenberger but run it mostly independently, and it's also good and even cheaper.

I have a couple of friends who think that some CA sparkling wines are some of the best values around. In blind tastings, those mentioned, as well as Gloria Ferrer for example, have bested a number of Champagnes.

There's also some decent stuff from New Mexico of all places.

 

103
441
Reply by Lucha Vino, Jan 28, 2016.

There's also some decent stuff from New Mexico of all places.

 GregT - I am assuming you are talking about Gruet.  They make a real nice sparkling wine.  And (what else could you expect) the family immigrated here from France...

Treveri Cellars in Yakima makes some real nice sparklers.  All come in under the $20 price point.

In addition to Ch. Ste. Michelle, you could include Columbia Crest and Columbia Winery in the Washington wine good value for under $20 club.

20
3577
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 28, 2016.

For the money, Roederer's "premium" sparkler, L'Ermitage, holds its own with Champagne in the lower end of the Tete de Cuvee range, like P-J's Belle Epoque, Bollinger Grande Annee, etc.  All of which cost about twice as much.

0
2
Reply by estellagtaylor, Jan 28, 2016.

You guys really rocks! I really need those suggestions! Thanks!

221
33
Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 28, 2016.

Ravines Dry Riesling - been carrying that already :) Yes Finger Lakes makes great Riesling it's about all they do well

221
33
Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 28, 2016.

I'll give you all a few recommendations from my current collection

Josh Merlot 2013 (available now) Josh Cabernet 2012 (hard to find now the  '13 is not as good)

Oak Ridge Old Zin Vines Zinfandel

Ca'Montini Pinot Grigio

San Giuseppe Brut Rose

Dr Frank Semi-Dry Riesling, Salmon Run Semi-Dry Riesling, Salmon Run Gewurztraminer (NY's finest)

St Cosme Cotes Du Rhone Red

Educated Guess Cabernet Napa

Casas Patronales Carmenere Reserva

Montes Alpha Carmenere, Syrah

Happy drinking

1 2 3 next



Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Popular Topics

  • posts

Top Contributors This Month

259386 Snooth User: zufrieden
259386zufrieden
11 posts
357808 Snooth User: vin0vin0
357808vin0vin0
8 posts
1413489 Snooth User: dvogler
1413489dvogler
7 posts

Categories

View All




Snooth Media Network