Top 10 Red Wines Under $20 – The Reverse Wine Snob May 2012 Update

[EDIT: Hit the links in the header for the latest versions of the Top 10 lists!]

It’s time for the next update of The Reverse Wine Snob Top 10 list! Previous lists were a combination of red and white wines, but going forward I’ve decided to split these into two separate Top 10 lists for double the fun. Look for the list of Top 10 white wines next month. As always this list only includes those wines that are still widely available so be sure to check the full Wine Ranking for all the wines we’ve reviewed. Without further ado, here are my Top 10 red wines under $20!

Highly drinkable.

10) TIE 2009 Banfi Centine Rosso Toscana
What’s not to like about a wine that contains 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, hails from Tuscany, Italy and is available for as little as $9? The answer: nothing, nothing at all.

10) TIE 2008 Napa Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
A wine I could smell all day. Not to mention the smooth luscious fruit when tasting and a long lingering finish. Available for as low as $16, but this could easily pass as a $40 Napa Valley Cab


Resistance is futile.

9) 2008 Bonny Doon Vineyards Le Pousseur Syrah
100% Syrah from California. Available for around $16. This wine has found a spot on just about all my Top 10 lists and with good reason. An aroma so big and so good it sucks you in like an irresistible force. Obi-Wan Kenobi approved.

8) 2010 Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec
Dense rich and juicy flavors of blackberry, spice, cola and chocolate predominate in this simply delicious wine from the second oldest winery in Argentina. Available for around $10.

7) 2009 Napa Cellars Merlot
100% Merlot from Napa Valley. Let the Pinot Noir snobs spend twice as much for a wine half as good while you enjoy this big, rich and fruity gem for $16.

Deliciously Good.

6) 2008 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Barossa Shiraz
100% Shiraz from Barossa, Australia. Delightfully complex and silky smooth with delicious jammy fruit and the signature Shiraz spice. What more can you ask for only 10 bucks?

5) 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage
42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Malbec and 8% Petit Verdot from the Central Coast of California for only $8. The Private Selection line from Robert Mondavi is consistently good, but this is my absolute favorite off all the varieties and vintages I have tried.

4) 2009 Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Proprietary Red
80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec from New Zealand. This is one of those wines you just can’t stop thinking about after you try it. A revelation, really, that New Zealand offers a whole lot more than Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. A steal at $16.

Simply irresistible.

3) 2010 Santa Julia [+] Plus Malbec
100% Malbec deliciousness from Mendoza, Argentina. An incredibly long finish of blackberry and chocolate on this fruity and very tasty wine makes it an unbelievable deal at only $8. Lovely.

2) 2009 Tudal Family Winery Tractor Shed Red
The #1 wine on our last update, this blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc from California can be found for as little as $7. Rich, succulent fruit + smooth well integrated tannins + delicious peppery spice makes = one highly irresistible wine.

1) 2009 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah
The first wine to score a perfect 10 on my taste rating! The combination of taste and value offered by this wine puts it in a class by itself. It sold out in record time at the winery but supposedly there are still a few retail locations that have it.

A Savory, Succulent, and Stunningly Good Wine!

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: