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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Top 10 Red Wines Under $20 - The Reverse Wine Snob July 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 Reds list! This month we have 12 wines, thanks to a 3 way tie for the tenth spot and a total of 8 new wines! Our number one wine last time, the 2009 Andrew Murray Tous Les Jours Syrah, as well as a number of other wines are no longer available so they dropped off the list. As always this list only includes those wines and vintages that are still widely available so be sure to check the full Wine Ranking Database for all the wines we've reviewed. Look for an updated list of Top 10 white wines next month. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 red wines under $20!


2010 Fuori Strada Off Road Sangiovese by Monte Bernardi - Old Fashioned Goodness In A Modern Package
Never fear,
the box is here!
10) TIE 2010 Fuori Strada Off Road Sangiovese
Old fashioned goodness in a modern 1 Liter Tetra Pak. How often do you get to claim that you're helping the environment when you drink wine? With this 100% Sangiovese from Tuscany, you can. Tastes just like it should with delightful fresh and juicy fruit, good spice and succulent smoked meat notes. $13.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

10) TIE 2010 McManis Zinfandel
Drink in flavors of strawberry, raspberry and vanilla plus a little spice and molasses in this $10 Zinfandel from California. Extremely well-balanced with smooth and soft tannins. My favorite of all the excellent McManis Family Vineyards wines.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

10) TIE 2010 90+ Cellars Lot 23 Old Vine Malbec
Magnificent Malbec from Mendoza for just $10. Yes, there's lots of good Malbec out there, but you deserve better than just good! Dark fruit and dense spice combine to make this wine a winner.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Napa Cellars Merlot 2009 - A Napa Valley Merlot That Will Make You Forget About Over-Priced Pinot Noir
Drink More Merlot,
Drink More Merlot,
Drink More Merlot
9) 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. One of my very favorite Merlots.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

8) 2008 Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico
100% Aglianico from Campania, Italy and available for $15. There's just something about a well-made Italian wine and this Aglianico definitely has that something. Smooth and fresh with bright strawberry and wild cherry flavors, this wine has a ton of fruit without coming anywhere near fruit bomb territory. Thick, delicious spice takes over on the lovely finish.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

7) 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. A wonderful Bordeaux-style blend.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo 2010 - Just Drink It (Bulk Buy!)
Just Drink It
6) 2010 Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo
While you may be most familiar with Reserva and Grand Reserva wines from Rioja that have undergone a significant amount of aging, don't discount young wines from this region as well. This easy-drinking 100% Tempranillo goes for the bargain basement price of $8, but offers delicious flavors of dark red fruit, spice and a little smoked meat.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

5) 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. Another wonderful Bordeaux-style blend!
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Kirkland Signature Rutherford Napa Valley Meritage 2010 - An Annual Bulk Buy
Dusty and Delicious
4) 2010 Kirkland Signature Rutherford Napa Valley Meritage
This $13 Costco exclusive has 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12.5% Petit Verdot and 2.5% Cabernet Franc and comes from Napa Valley, California. With great mouthfeel, lots of deep spice and dry, grippy tannins this wine is definitely a winner. The finish is dry and long, and features those signature Rutherford dusty notes.

3) 2009 Tudal Family Winery Tractor Shed Red
A wine that has held the #1 spot on previous updates, 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 = one highly irresistible wine.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva 2007 - Bulk Buy Alert...Run, Don't Walk To Get This Wine!
If you see it, buy it!

2) 2007 Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva
A Rioja Reserva for only $10?? Sounds too good to be true, but it's not. 100% Tempranillo featuring strong and rich tannins and a nice dense mouthfeel. Buy a case and let it sit for a couple years, or open it now and give it some time to breathe before drinking. When you do, you'll find loads of licorice, cola, black cherry and mixed berries along with vanilla and cinnamon. Extremely tasty and yet another reason to love Spain.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


1) 2010 Evodia Old Vines Garnacha
This $8 wine from Calatayud, Spain is no stranger to our Top 10 lists, with the previous vintage getting several call-outs. Savory and juicy blackberry, blueberry and raspberry combine with a fantastically smooth mouthfeel in this 100% Garnacha. It's hard to get much better than this for under 10 bucks.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Altovinum Calatayud Evodia Old Vines Garnacha 2010 - A Simply Superb Bulk Buy!
The New #1


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 Wine Ranking Database includes all wines, including those that may no longer be available but might be in your cellar. Many 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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Other recent editions of the Top 10 Under $20 lists:

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