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Friday, September 28, 2012

Top 10 Red Wines Under $20 - The Reverse Wine Snob September 2012 Update

[EDIT: Hit the links in the header for the most recent version of our Top 10 Reds list featuring many new wines!]

It's time for the next update of The Reverse Wine Snob Top 10 Reds list! This month 7 of the 11 wines on the list are new! (There are 11 wines thanks to a tie for the 10th spot.) 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!


Zolo Malbec 2011 - Seriously Good Stuff
Making its debut at #9
10) TIE 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage - An All American French Blend.
42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Malbec and 8% Petit Verdot from the Central Coast of California and available for as little as $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 sampled. 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.

10) TIE 2010 Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo - Just Drink It.
While you may be most familiar with Reserva and Grand Reserva wines from Rioja that undergo a significant amount of oak aging, don't discount young wines from this region! This easy-drinking 100% Tempranillo sells for the bargain basement price of $8 and 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.

Mas de Leda Tempranillo 2008 - Sweet Caramel and Cinnamon
From the delicious Duero Valley
9) 2011 Zolo Malbec - Seriously Good Stuff.
The first sign that this Mendoza Malbec might be something special is two seconds after you open the bottle when wonderful deep aromas slap you across the face. That's followed by rich juicy fruit and a delicious silky texture that confirms you're initial findings -- this is seriously good stuff. Pick this one up for $10 at World Market.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

8) 2008 Mas de Leda Vino Tempranillo - Sweet Caramel and Cinnamon.
A succulent and smooth 100% Tempranillo from the Duero Valley in Spain. This wine features delicious caramel, cinnamon and sugar, red cherry, black cherry and licorice flavors plus big grippy tannins. Much like those tannins, you'll have a hard time letting go of this one before it is all gone. Save yourself some heartbreak and buy more than one bottle.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Bodega Colomé Amalaya 2010 - Smooth, Sophisticated and Sultry
Our latest Bulk Buy!
7) 2008 90 Plus Cellars Reserve Lot 56 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir - Eminently Drinkable.
Russian River Valley goodness for as little as $15! Pinot Noir lovers take heart -- you can find excellent wines of this variety for under $20 and this is a prime example! Excellent aromas, wonderful balance, delicious fruit, nice spice and a deliciously smooth texture make this one of our very favorite Pinot Noirs.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

6) 2010 Bodega Colomé Amalaya - Smooth, Sophisticated and Sultry.
75% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah and 5% Tannat from high altitude vineyards in Salta, Argentina. This is a wine that is consistently good from vintage to vintage. The addition of the Cabernet, Syrah and Tannat take this wine to the next level and adds a sophisticated and sultry dimension to the whole affair.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Vigilance Cimarron 2010 - One Finely Crafted Cuvée (Bulk Buy)
Lake County lusciousness
5) 2010 Vigilance Cimarron Lake County Red Wine - One Finely Crafted Cuvée.
44% Zinfandel, 39% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon from one of our favorite new value spots: Lake County, California. Velvety layers of spice and black pepper are interwoven with rich and vibrant blackberry and black cherry flavors in this smooth and delicious wine. A succulent blend for as little as $14.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

4) 2011 Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir - A Brilliant Bargain.
My very favorite Pinot Noir under $20. This one hails from California and can be had for as little as $12, which truly is a brilliant bargain for a wine as good as this. This wine features just about the perfect mix of berry flavors, spice and pepper. Pairs wonderfully with anything.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Eden Road The Long Road Gundagai Shiraz 2010 - One More Reason to Love Syrah/Shiraz
A Perfect 10
3) 2007 Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva - Run, Don't Walk To Get This Wine!
A Rioja Reserva for only $10?? Sounds too good to be true, but lucky for us it's not. This wine is 100% Tempranillo and features strong and rich tannins along with a nice dense mouthfeel. Buy a case (or two) and let it sit for a couple years, or open it now and give it some time to breathe before drinking. Either way you'll find delicious licorice, cola, black cherry and mixed berry flavors along with vanilla and cinnamon higlights. Extremely tasty and yet another reason to love Spanish wine!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

2) 2010 Eden Road The Long Road Gundagai Shiraz - One More Reason to Love Syrah/Shiraz.
Rich, delicious fruit plus nuanced pepper, spice, smoke and vanilla notes plus a long, lingering finish make this Australian Shiraz an absolute delight. For as little as $16 you get much more than you pay for. Another winning argument in favor of my favorite grape variety!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

1) 2010 Evodia Old Vines Garnacha - Simply Superb!
This $8 wine from Calatayud, Spain is no stranger to our Top 10 lists! Consistently good vintage to vintage this savory wine features juicy blackberry, blueberry and raspberry along with a fantastically smooth mouthfeel. It's hard to get much better than this for under 10 bucks. 100% Garnacha.
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!
Still #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. 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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