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Friday, June 15, 2012

Top 10 White Wines Under $20 - The Reverse Wine Snob June 2012 Edition

[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! Last month we started to split out red and white wine separately, so this will be the first Top 10 covering just Whites and Rosés. From here on out we'll alternate between the Red and White lists each 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 white wines under $20!


3 of your favorite grapes
all in the same bottle!
10) TIE 2010 Banfi Centine Bianco Toscana
With 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Pinot Grigio and 30% Chardonnay this wine covers three of the most popular white grapes in one wine! From Tuscany, Italy and that's just where you'll imagine you are when you drink this delicious blend. Pear, lemon/lime and pineapple flavors combine to create a nicely sweet wine. $9.

10) TIE 2010 Château Bonnet Entre-Deux-Mers White
Drinking this wine made me crave a Neapolitan pizza! Citrus, grapefruit, pear, peaches and guava flavors that tastes nice and fresh with a great finish. This blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon, and 10% Muscadelle from France gets better and better with every sip!

Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2010 - Goodbye Chardonnay, Hello Chenin Blanc
Goodbye Chardonnay!

9) 2010 Elios Mediterranean White
This intriguing blend of three Greek grapes along with Chardonnay clocks in at just $10. 50% Moschofilero, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Roditis and 10% Savatiano from Peloponnese, Greece. Some of the words I used to describe it: light, crisp, delicious, satisfying and refreshing.

8) 2010 Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc
100% Chenin Blanc from South Africa. With an SRP of $30, this wine would normally be out of our price range but luckily with a little work it can be found for as low as $18. Be forewarned however -- if you do try this wine you may never drink Chardonnay again!

Douglas Green The Beach House Rosé 2011 - The Fruits of Summer
100% Pinotage and proud of it
7) 2010 Martin & Weyrich Moscato Allegro
Moscato is hot, but if you're turned off by the excessive syrupy sweetness found in many brands, give this light, refreshing, slightly effervescent Muscat Cannelli a shot. From California but made in the Northern Italian style. $10

6) 2011 Douglas Green The Beach House Rosé
If you've never tried South Africa's signature grape, this is a great place to start. Made with 100% Pinotage this is a bright, fresh berry fest for summer that adds a bit of a spicy finish. Careful though, the contents of this bottle will disappear quickly on a hot summer day!

Brooks Amycas 2009 - Chips and Guac Anyone?
Cool label. Tasty Wine.
5) 2009 Brooks Amycas
As you can probably tell by this point I'm a big fan of white blends and this is certainly a unique one! 33% Pinot Blanc, 24% Pinot Gris, 18% Gewürztraminer, 14% Muscat and 11% Riesling from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Wonderfully aromatic, then smooth, creamy and lively when tasting. Really delicious stuff.

4) 2010 Craggy Range Te Muna Road Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc
Refreshing and delicious Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, New Zealand. And no, that's not a typo. Tiny Martinborough accounts for only 1% of New Zealand's wine production, but what a 1% it is. Give this one a try and see what you've been missing.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2010 - Now This Is A Sauvignon Blanc!
Even Better Than Marlborough!
3) 2010 d'Arenberg The Stump Jump White McLaren Vale Adelaide Hills
28% Riesling, 27% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne from McLaren Vale, Australia. An inviting bouquet of citrus zest and tropical fruit. Crisp, fresh and lively flavors of citrus, honey and almond. Just as good if not better than the celebrated Stump Jump Red. A perfect pairing for summer at only $9.


1) TIE 2011 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
A Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé from South Africa that will pair well with just about any food or occasion you throw at it. Picnics, barbecues, campfires, parties...this refreshing wine will handle them all. At only $8 it's a no-brainer.
Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2011 - A Perfect Wine For The Patio (Bulk Buy!)
Pair it with...anything!

1) TIE 2011 Frisk Prickly Riesling
89% Riesling and 11% Muscat Gordo from Australia. Delightfully fizzy, perfectly sweet and available for only $8. Try to stifle the gulping sounds as you quaff this one down. Stock up for summer.
Get Frisky!


BONUS #1: A couple of my favorite dessert wines:
2010 Cecchetti Wine Company Redtree Moscato
100% Deliciously sweet Moscato from California. Peach, honey, vanilla and a few bubbles add up to an incredibly refreshing drink, sure to please the sweetest sweet tooth. And at only $5, meet your new summer sipper.

Les Petits Grains Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois
The wonderful aroma is the first sign that you're in for something special, but it doesn't stop there. This is a thick, rich and deliciously sweet wine in the mouth. Nectar is probably the best word to describe this luscious wine!

BONUS #2: And one sparkling wine for good measure!
Paul Cheneau Lady of Spain Cava Brut
My favorite from the Holiday Sparklers series on sparkling wine. Fresh, crisp and a bit creamy, this blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada sells for $10. Melon, banana, citrus and almond are just a few of the delicious flavors you'll find when you pop the cork on this yummy and affordable sparkler.


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

The top 10 white 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.

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