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Friday, March 1, 2013

Top 10 Red Wines Under $20 - Spring 2013 Edition

[NOTE: Hit the link in the header for the latest version of the Top 10 Red Wines Under $20 list!]

Spain and Italy Takeover The Top 10 List!

Top 10 Red Wines Under $20 - Spring 2013 Edition
Why drink anything but the best?

It's time for the next update of The Reverse Wine Snob Top 10 Reds list, in an early Spring edition! This update shows a massive re-shuffling of wine with 10 new wines on the list of 14. I know, a Top 10 list with 14 wines?? I've had so much good wine recently I just couldn't decide on the 10th spot so there was a 5-way tie!

This edition also marks a first for the list as every selection was rated in my very top category of "Bulk Buy". This means some really excellent "Recommended Buy" wines didn't make the cut this time. We also have a new #1 wine now that the Evodia Garnacha has moved on the 2011 vintage (which we will review soon).

Lastly, as I alluded to at the top, Spain and Italy make a strong bid to monopolize the list with 8 of the 14 wines coming from one of those two countries. However, Argentina, California, Washington and Portugal were able to come through to prevent a total takeover by those two powerhouses. Keep reading for the the Spring 2013 Edition of the Top 10 Red Wines Under $20!


Trivento Reserve Malbec 2011 - Your New Rich, Spicy and Smooth House Red
An under $10 wonder!
10) TIE Trivento Reserve Malbec 2011 - Your New Rich, Spicy and Smooth House Red.
Anyone who says wine under $10 can't be great needs to give this rich, juicy and spicy Mendoza Malbec a try. And while there's lots of good Malbec out there, it's hard to find great Malbec for this cheap. Available for as little as $8 this is definitely a strong option for a house red.

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 - Bold Without Being Bombastic
Only 76% Zinfandel, but 
who cares, it's delicious!
10) TIE Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 - Bold Without Being Bombastic.
76% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah and 1% Carignan from Napa Valley (44%), Oakville (27%), St. Helena (23%) and Sonoma County (6%), California. Blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and lots of warm spice combine with silky tannins to make your mouth go yum in this delicious, full-bodied, almost hedonistic wine. The finish is very long and dry and features sweet, never-ending blackberry, lots of spice and a hint of chocolate. While this is definitely a bold wine, it is not totally overblown like a lot of Zins can be these days.

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Borsao Berola 2008 - Absolutely Fabulous
Smooth, Smoky and Spicy
10) TIE Borsao Berola 2008 - Absolutely Fabulous.
70% Garnacha, 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Campo de Borja, Aragon, Spain. How can you not love these cheap, delicious Spanish wines? This one features an absolutely fabulous bouquet of beautiful blueberry, blackberry, smoked meat, vanilla, anise, violet and more. I'm a sucker for a good aroma and this is a wonderfully complex one. In fact, I'd be happy just to smell it! Of course eventually I would get thirsty but lucky for me it tastes just as good as it smells, DELICIOUS!

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


BenMarco Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 - Buy It By The Case!
Affordable and ultra-delicious!
10) TIE BenMarco Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 - Buy It By The Case!
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina. The first thing you notice about this wine is the wonderfully fragrant wave of ripe fruit upon opening the bottle. Delicious and enticing perfumed aromas of ripe blackberry and black cherry along with baking spice, vanilla and even a hint of chocolate welcome you to take a sip. When you do, you find succulent, juicy fruit and a fantastic smooth and spicy texture that even features a bit of smokiness.

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


La Mozza I Perazzi Morellino di Scansano 2010 - I Love It
I Delicious.
10) TIE 2010 La Mozza I Perazzi Morellino di Scansano - I Love It.
85% Sangiovese, 5% Syrah, 5% Alicante, 2% Colorino and 3% Ciliegiolo from Magliano, Tuscany, Italy. This Super Tuscan with a Mediterranean twist can be had for as little as $14 and features juicy red and black cherries, licorice and spice plus excellent soft and dusty tannins. Simply delicious.

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Atteca Old Vines Garnacha 2010 - Costco Week Wine #3
Powerfully good.
9) Atteca Old Vines Garnacha 2010 - Powerfully Good Garnacha.
100% Garnacha from Calatayud, Spain. Purchased for only $11.99 as part of our recent Costco Week 2013 series and another crazy good value from the Calatayud. Powerful, fragrant aromas of ripe blackberry, licorice, spice and a little chocolate upfront followed by even more complexity in the form of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla notes upon further inspection and time in the glass. My first thought upon tasting the wine was literally, "Wow, I need to stock up on this one!" After easily and quickly finishing the bottle, I advise you to do the same.

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


La Massa Toscana 2010 - Costco Week Wine #4
Mmm Massa
8) La Massa Toscana 2010 - More Massa for me please.
60% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon/Alicante Bouschet from Chianti, Italy. Another wine that was part of our recent Costco Week 2013 series. The La Massa retails for $12.99 at my Costco location but compare that to the average price on the 2010 vintage on Wine-Searcher -- a whopping $25! So basically Costco is selling this wine for almost 50% of the average price sold elsewhere. For Reverse Wine Snobs trying to stay under $20 that opens up a whole lot of intriguing possibilities. Massively good, I'll take more please -- especially at this price!

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Ex Libris Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 - One Cool Cabernet
The best of Washington State
 all in one wine.
7) Ex Libris Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 - One Cool Cabernet.
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot from Columbia Valley, Washington. If you haven't sampled the delights of a cooler climate Cabernet, here's a great place to start. This one features lots of wonderful, rich and juicy fruit flavors packaged within a delicious, dry and smooth texture. In addition you won't find any toasty oak or excessive heat from high alcohol levels like those ever-present California Cabernet. There's also a nice bit of spicy pepper that lasts into the long, dry finish. A wonderfully delicious expression of Cabernet Sauvignon!

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir 2011 - A Brilliant Bargain (Bulk Buy)
Fabulous Pinot for $10!
6) 2011 Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir - A Brilliant Bargain.
My very favorite Pinot Noir under $20. This wine hails from California and can be had for as little as $10, 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.


Scala Dei Priorat Prior 2003 - A Heavenly Blend
More Glorious Garnacha.
5) Scala Dei Priorat Prior 2003 - A Heavenly Blend.
65% Garnacha Tinta, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Syrah from Priorat, Catalonia, Spain. A small, isolated area with poor soils sure makes one heck of a wine. This one begins with nice, strong aromas of dark, ripe fruit plus a little vanilla and pepper. Tasting this big and savory wine reveals loads of rich, concentrated fruit along with strong tannins, lots of dried herbs and a dense and delicious mouthfeel. It ends with excellent peppery spice and wonderful mineral notes. This one lingers in the mouth for minutes, not seconds. Heavenly!

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Saladini Pilastri Pregio del Conte 2008: Montepulciano + Aglianico = Love
A unique blend that
makes a BIG wine!
4) 2008 Saladini Pilastri Pregio del Conte - Montepulciano Plus Aglianico Equals Love.
An unusual blend of 50% Montepulciano and 50% Aglianico from Le Marche, Italy. Made with organic grapes and available for as low as $12. It begins with a wonderfully inviting aroma of black cherry, plum, pepper and a little smoked meat and only gets better from there. Get ready for a rich, silky and substantial wine with a very long, dry finish featuring nice grippy tannins. Fabulous!

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.



Colognole Chianti Rufina 2007 - The Definition of Savory
Super savory with a fantastic finish.
3) Colognole Chianti Rufina 2007 - The Definition of Savory.
Sangiovese from Chianti Rufina, Tuscany, Italy. A wonderful aroma dominated by savory sour black cherry and violet notes leads into saliva-inducing flavors of juicy sour fruit, dried herbs, a little smoked meat and excellent acidity when tasting. A fabulous match for a sausage pizza, this is currently my favorite Chianti. On the wonderful, long, dry finish the flavors of the wine intensify into tasty spice and bright mineral notes. Fantastic -- this is the definition of savory!

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


Quinta De La Rosa Douro Red 2009 - Perfection From Portugal (And It's Not Port)
It doesn't get much better than 
this under $20!
2) Quinta De La Rosa Douro Red 2009 - Perfection From Portugal (And It's Not Port).
40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca and 30% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) from the Douro, Portugal. If you're a fan of wine under $20 and you're not working Portuguese wine into your weekly rotation then you need to get a new rotation. This is an awesome example of the value you can find from this country starting with the succulent ripe fruit that sucks you right into the fabulous bouquet and followed by the smooth, silky and rich texture featuring concentrated, succulent fruit and layers of tasty spice. The oak aging is done to perfection adding all the right notes to this seriously big and seriously delicious wine.

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.


1) 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, delicious mixed berry flavors, a nice dense mouthfeel and wonderful vanilla and cinnamon highlights. When I originally reviewed this wine last summer I recommended buying a case (or two) and letting it sit for a year or two, but I gave one from my cellar a try during the Super Bowl and it is absolutely drinking beautifully right now! I've started to see the 2008 vintage roll into stores, so grab as much of the 2007 as you can before it is gone.

Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva 2007 - Bulk Buy Alert...Run, Don't Walk To Get This Wine!
The New #1 - Drinking absolutely beautifully right now!

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

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 three months. Many of the wines on the list were samples submitted for review, please click through the links to the full reviews for more details. Cheers!

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