November 2011 Reverse Wine Snob Top 10 Wines

[Update: Hit the links in the header for the latest Top 10 lists!]

It’s time for the first ever Holiday Edition of The Reverse Wine Snob Top 10 list! This month I’ve also added several “honorable mention” wines that just barely missed the cut to help round out your Holiday wine shopping. As always the Top 10 list only includes those wines that are still widely available for purchase so be sure to check the full Wine Ranking Spreadsheet for all the wines we’ve reviewed. And away we go!

Big and fruity with a touch of bacon!

10) TIE 2008 d’Arenberg The Love Grass Shiraz
85% Shiraz, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Viognier and 2% Tempranillo from McLaren Vale, Australia. Big. Fruity. Savory. Smooth. Spicy. Just a delicious blend.

10) TIE 2010 Château Bonnet Entre-Deux-Mers White
50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon, and 10% Muscadelle from France and available for around $10. Drinking it made me crave a Neapolitan pizza. Very easy to drink; in fact, it got better and better with every sip.

2009_Domaine_de_la_Renjarde_Cotes_du_Rhone_Villages_Massif_dUchaux10) TIE 2009 Domaine de la Renjarde Massif d’Uchaux Côtes du Rhône Villages
An excellent wine with silky black cherry and plum flavors. 65% Grenache Noir, 17% Syrah, 11% Cinsault, 4% Carignan and 4% Mourvedre from Rhône Valley, France. Available for $15.

10) TIE 2008 Penley Estate Condor Coonawarra Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon
This Australian blend of 80% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon offers rich and juicy blackberry flavors followed by some wonderfully spicy tannins. Fits the cooler weather perfectly.

9) 2009 Caligiore Reserve Malbec
This organic wine was the hit of a little tasting party we held a few weeks back. Dense and meaty with berry, spice, vanilla and strong gripping tannins on the finish that are sure to please even the most serious red wine drinkers.

8) 2010 Zonte’s Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Rosé
Amazingly delicious juicy strawberry flavor balanced with a spicy tannic finish. Made in Australia from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine you’ll want to tell all your friends about as soon as you try it.

7) 2009 Boschendal 1685 Shiraz
You may recognize Boschendal as the South African winery that produced my Chardonnay Showdown winner. It turns out they make quite a nice red wine too. This Shiraz has great structure with a great base of fruit flavor and layers of spice, vanilla, pepper and licorice but the best part is the explosion of spicy pepper on the fruity finish.



6) 2009 Famiglia Meschini Premium Malbec Syrah
A fabulous blend of 50% Malbec and 50% Syrah from Mendoza, Argentina. Rich and silky with dark berry flavors and a kick of spice at the end. Fantastic for only $10.

5) 2008 Bonny Doon Vineyards Le Pousseur Syrah
100% Syrah from California. Available for around $16. An aroma so big and so good it sucks you in like an irresistible force. Obi-Wan Kenobi approved.

4) 2010 Michael David Winery Incognito White
63% Viognier, 21% Chardonnay, 7% Muscat, 5% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Roussanne from California. Citrus, peaches, and honey flavors that last and last. This one was my first Bulk Buy on a white wine.


3) 2009 Altovinum Calatayud Evodia Garnacha
A 100% Spanish Garnacha that is unbelievably complex at only $6.99. I believe this wine has been top 3 in every one of my top 10 lists. There are other wines on the list with a higher Taste rating but at $7 this wine is a revelation.

2) 2010 Santa Julia [+] Malbec
My most recent Bulk Buy wine. 100% Malbec deliciousness from Mendoza, Argentina. An incredibly long finish of blackberry and chocolate on this fruity and very tasty wine make it an unbelievable deal at only $8. Lovely.

1) 2008 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah
Still #1! 100% Syrah from the Central Cost of California. Dark berry flavors balanced with just the right amount of spice and a fantastic finish. A decadently good wine. Buy a case.

Our November 2011 Top Rated Wine: Pure Lusciousness!

Honorable Mention:
2009 blue fin Vinho Verde
75% Trajadura, 25% Alvarinho from Portugal. Delightfully fizzy. Light and lean. Crisp and refreshing. You get the idea.

2010 Enrique Foster IQUE Malbec
Blackberry, plum and spice add up to a make a really nice Malbec and at only $9 there’s no reason not to stock up.

2009 d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Red
42% Grenache, 33% Shiraz, 25% Mourvédre from Australia. Smooth and spicy, just the way I like it. At only $9.99 this wine definitely over-delivers.

2010 Caligiore Staccato
60% Malbec and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. A well balanced and complex (and delicious) organic wine from Argentina. On top of all that it’s available for less than $10 ($9.99).

2008 Concannon Vineyard Conservancy Petite Sirah
My favorite Petite Sirah. Full-bodied with sweet blackberry and mocha flavors. Should be widely available for $10, a great price for a great wine.

Need some more help with your Holiday wine shopping? Tomorrow we’ll start up a series on the best Sparkling Wines for the Holidays (Holiday Sparklers) and then Friday we’ll continue on with the new series I started earlier this week…Malbec Mania! Search For The Best Malbec under $20. I’ll be alternating between those two series the next couple weeks as well as perhaps throw in a couple other surprise reviews along the way so keep reading!

Click through to the individual wines to find the full reviews including a link withlocal retailers who carry each wine. Cheers!

The top 10 list is subject to change at any time as new wines are reviewed and as vintages become unavailable, but it is typically updated every couple months. The Top 10 lists only include vintages that are currently available for sale (to the best of my knowledge) while the Interactive Wine Ranking includes all wines, including those that may no longer be available but might be in your cellar. Most of the wines on the list were samples received for review purposes, please click through the links to the full reviews for more details.

Other recent editions of the Top 10 Under $20 lists: