15 Wines Under $15
These easy-going Best Buys deliver quality on top of good price. It’s the only shopping list you need.
91 Pacific Rim 2013 Twin Vineyards Gewürztraminer (Yakima Valley)
Gewürztraminer doesn’t get any more floral and spicy than this. Exuberantly aromatic, it conveys a sensuous perfume of baby powder, rose petals and lavender. The floral characteristics continue in the mouth, yielding a long, intense, detailed and unique wine. Sip it chilled and have fun experimenting with food matches! Best Buy. —P.G.
abv: 12.9% Price: $15
91 Buchegger 2013 Gelbling Grüner Veltliner (Niederösterreich)
White currant, green pear and peppery arugula rule this crisp white. It bursts with very ripe sweet, juicy pears on the palate, making for savory sipping with lots of resonance, with or without food. Drink now. Best Buy. —A.K.
Abv: 13% Price: $15
91 Cheval Quancard 2013 Réserve Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon (Bordeaux Blanc)
Toasty aromas give a strongly spicy character. They also bring out a ripe side to the wine, rounded and rich, full of wood and warm fruit flavors. It needs time to develop its full potential, so wait until 2016. Best Buy. —R.V.
Abv: 12% Price: $14
90 Charles & Charles 2013 Rosé (Columbia Valley (WA))
The wines from this collaboration between Charles Smith and Charles Bieler continue to impress. The rosé is mostly Syrah, with small amounts of Cinsault, Grenache, Counoise and Mourvèdre. It’s a complex, fashionably stylish take on rosé. Light fruit flavors of berry and melon are detailed and refreshing, with exceptional length on the palate. Best Buy. —P.G.
Abv: 12.7% Price: $12
90 Sobon Estate 2012 Old Vines Zinfandel (Amador County)
A solid, middleweight Zinfandel, this emphasizes sophisticated, toasty, spicy oak aromas. The oak doesn’t overwhelm, however, but enhances the ripe boysenberry flavors, juicy acidity and lingering finish. Enjoyably tannic, this will pair well with grilled lamb, steak and chicken. Best Buy.— J.G.
Abv: 14.7% Price: $13
90 Recanati 2012 Rosé (Galilee)
A blend of 70% Barbera and 30% Merlot, this wine shows a deep rose color. Aromas of peach and soft rose petal continue on the palate, along with flavors of clove and cranberry. The kosher wine offers the flavor and tannins of a full-bodied red along with the crisp, refreshing notes of an easy-drinking white. Best Buy. —M.D.
Abv: 12.5% Price: $15
90 Wither Hills 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Wairau Valley)
For the price, this is remarkably concentrated, with ample weight and intense flavors. It’s more subdued on the nose, offering just hints of stuck flint and grapefruit, but the citrusy flavors surge forward, culminating in a long, grapefruity finish. Best Buy. —J.C.
Abv: 13.5% Price: $14
90 Dr. Konstantin Frank 2013 Dry Rosé Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes)
Ripe cherry and luscious watermelon aromas waft from this summery, fresh wine. It’s dry on the palate but concentrated, with bright cherry and berry flavors. Round and lush yet briskly balanced, it’s a great summer quaffer at a fantastic price. Best Buy. —A.I.
Abv: 12.5% Price: $14
89 Château Fongalan 2010 Red (Côtes de Bourg)
The wine is rich and still shows firm tannins, along with full-bodied blackberry fruitiness and a tight, crisp texture. It’s solid and concentrated, full of juiciness at the end. Drink from 2016. Best Buy. —R.V.
Abv: 13% Price: $14
88 Mustilli 2013 Piedirosso (Sannio)
This delightful wine opens with blue flower, red berry and spice aromas. The juicy palate delivers black cherry, red raspberry, white pepper and spice alongside silky tannins and bright acidity. Made to be drunk young, it’s perfect for everyday fare and informal occasions. Best Buy. —K.O.
Abv: 12% Price: $13
88 Los Dos 2013 Grenache-Syrah (Campo de Borja)
Pure berry aromas define the nose on this highly drinkable Garnacha-Syrah blend. In the mouth, it’s clean, juicy, a bit round and easy to process. Typical Aragónese flavors of plum and berry finish tasty and unbroken. Best Buy. —M.S.
Abv: 15% Price: $8
87 Cramele Recas 2013 Dreambird Merlot (Recas)
This has aromas of vanilla, plum and black raspberry. In the mouth, there are ripe fruit flavors followed by a wave of tart cherry flavor. Best Buy. —J.J.
Abv: 12.5% Price: $7
87 Penya 2013 Grenache-Syrah (Côtes Catalanes)
This Grenache-based rosé, with 4% Syrah, opens with a mélange of fruity aromas that carry through to the palate. Notes of peach, guava, cherry, banana and melon are accented by a hint of garrigue. It’s medium weight, with ample acidity to lift the ripe fruit flavors. Best Buy. —L.B.
Abv: 13.5% Price: $12
86 Torrederos 2013 Joven Tempranillo (Ribera del Duero)
Minerally red-berry aromas suggest vitamins and latex. Like most RDD jovens, this is raw and rubbery in feel, with high-intensity plum and berry flavors. A loud, acidic finish is fresh as can be but entirely simple in terms of complexity. Best Buy. —M.S.
Abv: 14% Price: $9
85 Herdade de São Miguel 2013 Monte dos Amigos Red (Alentejano)
A wine that is meant to be drunk young, with its berry fruits and soft tannins. It’s fruity and fresh, a ripe and spicy mouthful. Drink over the next year. Best Buy. —R.V.
Abv: 13.5% Price: $8