The 14 Best U.S. White Wines for $15 or Less

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In Oregon, California, New York and beyond, U.S. winemakers produce a range of white wines. From sweet to dry, light and crisp, or rich and full-bodied, there is something for everyone and every occasion. Fortunately, many of our favorites are available at accessible price points, too.

Here are 14 of the best American white wines for $15 or under.

Top 100 Best Buys of 2021

L’Ecole No. 41 2019 Semillon (Columbia Valley); $15, 92 points. L’Ecole has been carrying the banner for this variety in Washington for decades. This wine has everything there is to love about the variety, with textural richness and flavor intensity along with plenty of acidity to back it up. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan

Four Vines 2019 Naked Chardonnay (Central Coast); $11, 91 points. This unoaked bottling carries all the tropical hallmarks of the style, starting with jasmine and guava flesh on the nose. The palate is generous in both acidity and flavor, showing pineapple, lychee, guava and stone fruit that linger into the grippy finish. Best Buy. —Matt Kettmann

Tatomer 2019 Hinter der Mauer White; $15, 91 points. This unique, twist-top blend of 80% Grüner Veltliner and 20% Riesling is Graham Tatomer’s white table wine, and it begins with aromas of dried lime peels and rocky seashore. The palate also shows dried lime and orange peels, as well as unique flashes of white pepper and thyme. Best Buy. —M.K.

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2019 Riesling (Willamette Valley); $14, 91 points. Honeysuckle, juicy apple and a touch of white peach all come through in a round and smooth wine with instant appeal. The finish remains bright and tangy. The back label indicates this is medium sweet, but it is so perfectly balanced between sugar and acid that it seems just barely off dry and could well accompany a spicy Thai noodle dish or other peppery entrée. Best Buy. —Paul Gregutt

Foris 2020 Pinot Gris (Rogue Valley); $15, 90 points. Bright and fresh flavors of Bartlett pear are at the core of this elegant effort alongside accents of arugula and cucumber. It’s a stylish and refreshing wine, with a fine balance of fruit and acidity. Best Buy. —P.G.

Lohr 2020 Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc (Arroyo Seco); $14, 90 points. This widely available Sauvignon Blanc delivers all that’s needed for a crisp sip, starting with aromas of pear, peach, green pepper and grass. The palate amplifies the grass notes, leading to white pepper, crushed stone and apricot flavors. Best Buy. —M.K.

McManis 2020 Estate Grown Certified Sustainable Viognier (River Junction); $12, 90 points. Rich and aromatic, this full-bodied, luxurious and ripe-tasting wine pours out coconut, fig, vanilla and honeysuckle flavors that coat the palate and linger on the finish. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon

Sterling 2019 Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay (California); $12, 90 points. A generous Bartlett pear aroma and quite ripe flavors of pear and banana are accented by butter and vanilla notes in this full-bodied, well-balanced and smooth-textured wine. It’s one of many great values in Sterling’s current Vintner’s Collection line. Best Buy. —J.G.

Wagner 2020 Dry Estate Bottled Riesling (Finger Lakes); $15, 90 points. Bright lemony fruit mixes with lime zest and white blossoms in this zesty, dry Riesling. It offers vibrancy and lift thanks to juicy acidity, with a crushed stone note trailing off on the finish. Best Buy. —Alexander Peartree

Fox Run 2019 Doyle Family Chardonnay (Seneca Lake); $13, 89 points. Bright aromas of orange blossom and lily grace the nose of this Chardonnay that’s blended with a tiny amount of Traminette. The palate is ripe and juicy in flavors of pineapple and peach, cinched up by a pleasing textural grip and bright acidity. This is a solid buy for those looking for a fruity yet balanced medium-bodied white. Best Buy. —A.P.

Pacific Rim 2020 Sweet Riesling (Columbia Valley); $11, 89 points. The aromas are bright, with notes of freshly cut apple and white peach. Sweet but well-balanced fruit flavors follow, with Nestea Lemon Iced Tea notes on the finish. Best Buy. —S.S.

Tattoo Girl 2019 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley); $13, 89 points. Aromas of yellow apple and pear are followed by medium-bodied flavors. Apple skin notes linger on the finish. It has a pleasing juiciness, with no oak in sight. There’s a lot of quality and value to be had. Best Buy. —S.S.

Three Pears 2019 Chenin Blanc-Viognier (California); $14, 89 points. Light-bodied, crisp and fruity, this refreshing wine has a racy, lean texture and tempting Pippin apple, lemon and kiwi flavors. Best Buy. —J.G.

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi NV Pinot Grigio (California); $8, 88 points. Pretty aromas of lemon blossoms and Bosc pear meet nicely structured fruit flavors in this light- to medium-bodied wine. Good acidity gives it a refreshing bite on the palate. It’s an amazing bargain that gains much of its interest from small amounts of Vermentino, Colombard and Viognier blended in. Best Buy. —J.G.

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Published on September 27, 2021
Topics: Buying Guide