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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top 10 White Wines Under $20 - October/November 2012 Edition

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

It's time for the next update of The Reverse Wine Snob Top 10 Whites and Rosés list (and dessert wines too)! Seven new wines make their debut with this month's update, thanks in part to the 5-way tie for the tenth spot! 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. And if you're looking for red wines check out the September Update of the Top 10 Reds list. Without further ado, here are my Top 10 white wines under $20!

Top 10 White Wines Under $20 - The Reverse Wine Snob October/November 2012 Edition
The best white wines under $20! Click to read.

10) TIE 2011 Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner - At this price it just might make you sing!
100% Gruner Veltliner (Groo-ner Vehlt-ly-ner) from Kremstal, Austria and available for as low as $12. If you haven't sampled the tantalizing delights of Austrian wine yet this is an excellent place to start! Flowery notes of apple, peach and lemon-lime combine with a delightful slightly fizzy character and lots of minerality. Good acidity, good balance, a nice lively mouthfeel and a crisp finish make for a fun wine.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Plantagenet Omrah Unoaked Chardonnay 2010 - A Zesty Chardonnay Sets The Bar
Australia delivers!
10) TIE 2010 Plantagenet Omrah Unoaked Chardonnay - A Zesty Chardonnay Sets The Bar.
100% Chardonnay from the Great Southern region of Australia. Once again Australia puts their own spin on a traditional grape. Pleasant aromas of green apple, pear, lemon cream and a hint of tropical fruit lead followed by crisp and rich flavors of citrus, guava and green apple plus some nice minerality. It ends with zesty, tangy and tart apple on the medium length finish. This is my kind of chardonnay (especially for as little as $12)!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Douglas Green The Beach House Rosé 2011 - The Fruits of Summer
Warning! Contents may
disappear quickly!
10) TIE 2011 Douglas Green The Beach House Rosé - The Fruits of Summer.
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 ends with a bit of a spicy finish. Buyer beware -- the contents of this bottle will disappear quickly on a hot summer day! Available for as low as $9.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 - Lovely
Temptingly Tasty!
10) TIE 2011 Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - Lovely.
100% Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand and available for as little as $12. Marlborough is well known for Sauvignon Blanc with good reason, and the Stoneleigh vineyards take it to another level with unique conditions imparting unique (and delicious) characteristics to their grapes and wines. It only takes one sniff to know this wine is going to be good. Perfectly sweet and tart with a nice lively texture, good acidity and minerality, this is quite a delicious wine.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Brooks Amycas 2009 - Chips and Guac Anyone?
Cool label. Tasty Wine.
10) TIE 2009 Brooks Amycas - Chips and Guac Anyone?
I'm a big fan of white (and red) 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 and available for as little as $10. Wonderfully aromatic, then smooth, creamy and lively when tasting. This is really delicious stuff.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Bandana Chardonnay-Torrontés 2011 - My Kind Of Chardonnay!
My Kind of Chardonnay!
9) 2011 Bandana Chardonnay-Torrontés - My Kind Of Chardonnay!
A 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and perhaps my favorite white variety, Torrontés, from Mendoza, Argentina. This wine tastes quite delicious with a full and lively texture containing layers of ripe pineapple and other delicious fruit. Add in a little minerality, a refreshing finish of juicy fruit, a hint of spice and a price as low as $9 and you have a fantastic wine for anytime!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Raats Original Unwooded Chenin Blanc 2011 - A Natural Beauty
Attention Chardonnay Lovers:
Why aren't you drinking Chenin Blanc?
8) 2011 Raats Original Unwooded Chenin Blanc - A Natural Beauty.
100% Chenin Blanc from Coastal Region, South Africa and available for as low as $12. Attention Chardonnay drinkers: If you haven't tried Chenin Blanc, what are you waiting for? For the unoaked crowd, here's a fresh and delicious example of the variety with a light and tangy minerality, excellent flavor and a zesty finish. A really excellent wine that lets the natural beauty of the variety shine thanks to the lack of oak.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Donnafugata Anthilia Sicilia Bianco 2011 - A Succulent Sicilian
From Sicily with love
7) 2011 Donnafugata Anthilia Sicilia Bianco - A Succulent Sicilian
Indigenous Sicilian grapes Catarratto and Ansonica plus other international varieties like Chardonnay and Viognier from Sicily, Italy and available for as little as $12. It begins crisp and fruity, then turns tart and creamy when tasting. This delicious wine has a great lively texture, good acidity and excellent underlying minerality. On the long finish that minerality turns chalky and comes to the front. A fabulous blend.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Bonny Doon Vineyard Central Coast Albarino 2011 - Silky, Salty and Seductive
A Study in Salinity
6) 2011 Bonny Doon Vineyard Central Coast Albarino - Silky, Salty and Seductive.
100% Albarino from the Central Coast of California. Silky smooth with intense and juicy flavors of tart citrus, a bright acidity that makes your teeth hurt, and a zesty, salty character unlike any other wine I've ever tried. Quite a delicious offering that is hugely flavorful and almost seductive in that you can't help but take another sip. Who says delicious Albarino has to come from Portugal or Spain? As low as $16.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2010 - Now This Is A Sauvignon Blanc!
Even Better Than Marlborough!
5) 2010 Craggy Range Te Muna Road Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc - Now This Is A 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. If you thought Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was good, you'll definitely want to give this one a try and see what you've been missing. A top 10 stalwart with a price as low as $16.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2011 - A Perfect Wine For The Patio (Bulk Buy!)
Pair it with...anything!
4) 2011 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé - A Perfect Wine For The Patio!
A Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé from the Central Coast of South Africa that will pair well with just about any food or occasion you throw at it. Picnics, barbecues, holiday get-togethers, election parties...this refreshing wine will handle them all. And at only $8 it's a no-brainer.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Get Frisky!
3) 2011 Frisk Prickly Riesling - A Fabulously Flavorful and Fizzy Bulk Buy.
89% Riesling and 11% Muscat Gordo from Victoria, Australia. Delightfully fizzy, perfectly sweet and available for only $8. Try to stifle the gulping sounds as you quaff this one down. No, it's not terribly complex, but who cares? It's delicious! Moscato mania may be running wild, but I'd pick this wine over a 100% Moscato at the same price 9 times out of 10.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Les Petits Grains Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois - A Sweet and Luscious Bulk Buy
Our first Bulk Buy
on a dessert wine!
2) Les Petits Grains Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois - A Sweet and Luscious Bulk Buy!
100% Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains dessert wine from Saint Jean de Minervois, France. OK, so technically you can only get a half bottle for under $20 (as low as $12 to be exact) but that's not stopping me from recommending this truly delicious gem. It begins with a scrumptious aroma of apricot, peach, and honey plus orange and some other citrus notes and it gets even better when tasting the wine. This is a thick, rich and deliciously sweet wine in the mouth. It ends with a long sweet finish but you probably won't be able to determine just how long the finish really is until the very last sip. It really is that good. Nectar is probably the best word to describe this luscious wine.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


1) 2009 Trimbach Riesling - A Delicately Delicious Bulk Buy!
100% Riesling from Alsace, France that can be found for as low as $14. The first question you may ask is whether this wine is French, German or a combo of the two. My response would be, who cares, it's delicious! The wine opens with delicate and enticing floral, tropical fruit and apricot aromas. The wine tastes simply delicious and features a great mouthfeel, a lovely texture and excellent balance. It is crisp and clean but still rich and substantial. It ends with a very long, dry finish. Those rich flavors just keep going and going. You'll want to buy this gem by the case.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Trimbach Riesling 2009 - A Delicately Delicious Bulk Buy!
Our Top Rated White Wine - Buy It By The Case!


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

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