The Best French Wine for $15 or Less

Row of vines in Burgundy vineyard
Getty

France remains the number one exporter of wines and while it’s often hailed for its high quality and high-priced wines there are plenty of affordable options to stock your fridge and cellar. Of our Top 100 Best Buys of 2020, 11 of them are from France. Find a range of styles including citrusy Crémant d’Alsace and Bordeaux Blanc, dark fruit-flavored Cahors, Merlot and swoon-worthy rosés—all for $15 or less.

Cave de RibeauvillĂ© NV Giersberger RosĂ© Brut Pinot Noir (CrĂ©mant d’Alsace); $15, 92 points. Notes of lemon and red currant are beautifully aromatic on the nose of this lively sparkler. That red currant note is intensified on the palate by a fine line of pithiness that sits well with bright citrus freshness. The finish is lip-smackingly refreshing, dry and brims with fruit. Multiple U.S. importers. Best Buy. —Anne Krebiehl MW

Château Mourgues du Grès 2018 Galets Red (Costières de NĂ®mes); $15, 91 points. Fresh blackberry and plum are edged by fragrant notes of violet and garrigue in this Syrah-dominant blend. While full bodied and opulent, it’s a fruity, elegant wine, with a bold, peppery finish. Lovely now, it should hold well through 2025. David Bowler Wine. Best Buy. —Anna Lee C. Iijima

Château Suau 2019 Bordeaux Blanc; $15, 91 points. Light aging on lees has given this organic wine depth as well as an attractive spicy character. It is ripe in white fruit flavors, lifted by a citrus edge. It would be best with food and is ready to drink. Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits. Best Buy. —Roger Voss

Res Fortes 2019 RosĂ© (CĂ´tes du Roussillon); $15, 91 points. There’s pronounced brightness to the nose of this pale coppery-pink rosĂ©. A refreshing sea-breeze aroma partners with delicate scents of white cherry, melon rind, white currant and rhubarb leaf. The palate is light and ethereal in feel, with bright acidity that refreshes the palate and perfectly complements the tart fruit flavors. Lingering citrusy impressions of orange blossom and lemon balm leave you ready for more. Life Line Imports. Best Buy. —Lauren Buzzeo

Château Pascaud 2018 Bordeaux Supérieur; $15, 90 points. The grand château of this estate is surrounded by vines planted on clay and chalk soil. This wine, with its dense tannins in place, is young and shows some good aging potential. Ripe blackberry flavors shine alongside bright acidity, showing a balance that is still developing. Drink from 2022. Europvin USA. Best Buy. —R.V.

Louis Jadot 2018 Beaujolais; $14, 90 points. The Beaune négociant house has produced a ripe and structured wine. It offers plenty of black-cherry flavors from the ripe Gamay as well as lifted acidity and a touch of tannins. Enjoy now. Kobrand. Best Buy. —R.V.

Café du Midi 2019 Merlot (Vin de France); $11, 89 points. Black currant, vanilla and coffee ground notes form the nose. Tart blackberry and black currant flavors are framed by mouthwatering acidity and coating tannins. The fruit stays juicy through the finish, joined by kicks of spice and coffee. Savorian Inc. Best Buy. —Fiona Adams

Campuget 2019 Tradition Rosé (Costières de Nîmes); $12, 89 points. Elegant notes of cut stone, smoke and cherry blossoms perfume the nose of this peachy, pale-pink rosé made from Syrah (70%) and Grenache (30%). Silken on the palate, it offers delicate flavors of white peach and pink grapefruit lifted by stony minerality before finishing with lemony acidity. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. Best Buy. —A.I.

Lionel Osmin & Cie 2019 Villa La Vie En Rose Negrette (Vin de France); $11, 89 points. An effusive nose combines aromas of cherry and strawberry in this rosé. Cheerful and ripe, the palate offers more cherry and strawberry while juicy acidity makes for a quaffable pour. Vintage Imports, Inc. Best Buy. —F.A.

Georges Vigouroux 2018 Gouleyant (Cahors); $11, 88 points. A generous burst of blackberry flavors sets the scene for this attractive, softly textured wine. With light tannins and juicy fruitiness, the wine is full, generous and ready to drink. Baron Francois Ltd. Best Buy. —R.V.

Two Birds One Stone 2019 Rouge Carignan (Vin de France); $11, 88 points. The nose of this wine combines black fruit, cement and tar. The juicy black-fruit tones carry to the palate and turn to tart black plum on the finish, while an earthy oak accent and a dusting of tannins frame it all. Wine Circle. Best Buy. —F.A.

Published on November 4, 2020
Topics: Best Buys