Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wines Under $20

So, the economy being what it is, we have been enjoying some more affordable wines -- especially for those everyday dinners and patio chats.

After I wrote this up, I find that I am very partial to Oregon wines. I have been through Napa Valley more than the Willamette Valley certainly. Pinot Noir's are my favorite varietal, and since they are wonderfully produced in that region, I find that I go revert to them more than not. They are a great bang for your buck, in my opinion.

Henceforth are some of my favorite wines under $20. If you've had any of them, let me know what you think. If you haven't, do try some and report back. And feel free to make some suggestions as well!

Enjoy and Salut!

7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel
Approximately $14.00
Location: Lodi, CA

Produced from 7 "old" vines in California, it is a very earthy and fruit forward wine. Don't overlook the label on the back; it is great reading about "Seven Deadly Zins."

Acacia 2006 Pinot Noir
Approximately $20
Location: Carneros

I really like Oregon Pinot Noirs, but Acacia is producing a very nice Pinot Noir these days. And of course, Carneros is a terrific region for this varietal. A wonderful nose of plums and blueberry. You can also taste a bit of the oak from the barrel aging. Great with chicken, grilled salmon, wild mushrooms -- A very versatile wine.

Argyle Chardonnay Willamette Valley
Approximately $16.00
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon

I have been to this winery, just outside Portland, and it's a delightful place -- lovely front porch, friendly pourers and great, highly-rated and inexpensive wine. You don't often think of Chardonnay's when you think of this wine region, but don't overlook it (along with the Pinot Gris' found in this region as well). This Chardonnay has overtones of walnuts and cashews and lemon -- just a gret refreshing wine. If you do look at the wines from Argyle, don't overlook their Pinot Noirs as well!

Jezebel Pinot Noir
Approximately $15.00
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon

A great everyday wine from a small Oregon winery. Fruity and spicy, it's ready to drink and be enjoyed!

Martin Ray Merlot
Approximately $15.00
Location: Napa Valley

Your next beef or lamb roast with rosemary will pair excellently with this wine.

Raymond Reserve Merlot
Approximately $18.00
Great earthy flavors with a lot of fruit. A terrific all-around Merlot.

Rex Hill Pinot Noir
Approximately $20.00
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon

This was the first Oregon Pinot Noir I was introduced to many years ago when my mother first to the region. Like most wines, some years are better than others. But this one is always a great "go to" when a Pinot Noir is needed to satisfy.

Sokol Blosser Evolution
Approximately $13.00
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon

Sorry to be predjuced toward Oregon wines, but I know them well and couldn't resist adding another one to the list. Add this one to your next visit to the region -- sit down in their hilltop retreat and sip some wine and enjoy the view and you won't be disappointed.

Sterling Merlot
Approximately $19.00
Location: Napa Valley

Slightly tannic with a dry finish. A hearty wine for the fall season.

Trefethen Chardonnay
Approximately $14.00
Location: Napa Valley

A great Fall Chardonnay with its fruity flavors of apples, pears and lemons.

Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon
Approximately $16.00
Location: Napa Valley

Bordeaux-like wine aged in American & French Oak. Cherry and chocolatey flavors and light tannins.

Willakenzie Pinot Gris
Approximately $10.00
Location: Willamette Valley

For me, Pinot Gris' taste better in the summer when I enjoy a lighter, colder and crisper white wine. And for once, I am recommending an Oregon white wine, though this vineyard also produces a terrific Pinot Noir under $20 as well.

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