The 15 Best and Most Affordable Wines to Collect Now

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Looking for wines to stash away, but don’t want to break the bank? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

After tasting thousands of wines this past year, we crafted our annual Top 100 Cellar Selections list. While some of those bottles might bend a few budgets, there are still plenty of options that sit right in that sweet spot of ageable and accessibly priced.

These well-priced selections span the globe, from California, Washington, New York, Chile and Australia in the New World, to Italy, Portugal and France in the Old World. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Mourvèdre and a range of bold red blends make a showing but look to Riesling, Soave Classico and a Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon blend for white wine options that will hold up well.

Here are 15 of the best wines priced at $35 and under to line your cellar.

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Gini 2018 La Froscà (Soave Classico); $30, 95 points. One of the iconic wines of the denomination, this gorgeous, polished white opens with enticing scents of yellow stone fruit, summer wildflowers and hay along with a whiff of wet slate. Elegantly structured, the delicious palate doles out ripe apricot, white peach and tangerine drop candy before a savory—almost salty—almond finish. While it’s wonderful now, it will continue to evolve and age beautifully for years. Drink through 2030. De Grazia Imports, LLC. Cellar Selection. –Kerin O’Keefe

Casa Relvas 2019 Herdade da Pimenta Grande Escolha Red (Alentejano); $35, 94 points. Made from selected grapes and aged in wood for six months, this wine has powerful fruits, impressive tannins and dark layers of black-plum skin and licorice. This big, boastful wine needs more time. Drink from 2024. Quintessential Wines. Cellar Selection. –Roger Voss

Domaine de la Haute Olive 2018 Les Cornuelles (Chinon); $33, 94 points. Vines from a single four-acre parcel that are between 80 and 100 years in age make up this wood-aged wine. These old vines add to the dense structure and richness of the black fruits. This wine is full of promise and aging potential. Drink from 2023. Schatzi Wines. Cellar Selection. –R.V.

Brand & Family 2018 Bayly Ranch Cabernet Franc (Paicines); $30, 94 points. This is a sprightly, textural, mineral-driven bottling that’s immediately fascinating yet will be a joy to watch evolve. Light in the glass, it begins with aromas of cranberry, nori wrap, herb-dusted strawberry and a hint of dried blood. The palate shows a rusty edge, offering dried strawberry, crumpled oregano and a hint of green peppercorn. Drink through 2034. Cellar Selection. –Matt Kettmann

Penley Estate 2019 Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra); $20, 94 points. This excellent wine offers aromas of blueberry, currant, terra cotta, iodine, savory spices and an umami-like seaweed nuance. There’s lovely depth of flavor, tannin structure and regional expression on the palate. Drink through 2040. Old Bridge Cellars. Cellar Selection. –Christina Pickard

Sandlands 2018 Mataro (San Benito County); $35, 94 points. Hailing from the historic Enz Vineyard, this bottling begins with elegant aromas of lavender, plum and dried earth. The tannic tension is immediately apparent on the palate, both leathery and taut, giving long-living structure to the cranberry, sour cherry, crushed cement and tar flavors. Drink 2022–2038. Cellar Selection. –M.K.

Tooth & Nail 2019 The Fiend Red (Paso Robles); $30, 94 points. Rich aromas of black cherry, cola, milk chocolate and purple flowers show on the nose of this blend of 83% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petite Sirah. The tannic tension is quite firm on the sip, where fresh boysenberry, baking spice and cracked pepper deliver a lengthy experience. Drink 2022–2039. Cellar Selection. –M.K.

Château Peyros 2017 Vieilles Vignes (Madiran); $23, 93 points. Dense, concentrated and structured, this powerful wine shows the intensity of Tannat, mitigated with some lighter Cabernet Franc. Black fruits and dark chocolate give richness to this young wine. Drink from 2024. Baron Francois Ltd. Cellar Selection. –R.V.

Moulin de la Roque 2017 Les Hauts du Vallon Red (Bandol); $23, 93 points. Mourvèdre, the grape of predilection in Bandol, shows its paces here. Just approaching mature, it has richness as well as layers of dense tannins and spicy black fruits. The wine’s concentration and structure are impressive, giving a wine that will shortly show its full ripe structure. Drink from 2022–2028. Jeff Wellburn Selections. Cellar Selection. –R.V.

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Osprey’s Dominion 2014 Flight Meritage (North Fork of Long Island); $30, 93 points. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot delivers tightly compact aromas of currant and plum flecked with thyme, graphite and moss. It’s polished and poised on the medium-bodied palate, with graphite, herb and currant flavors vying for the spotlight. The intense coil of flavors, as well as the firm, lingering structure, indicate cellaring potential. Drink through 2030. Cellar Selection. –Alexander Peartree

Château Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2019 Eroica Riesling (Columbia Valley); $22, 92 points. The aromas are reserved, with notes of lime, flower, wet slate and herb. The dried Nestea lemon iced tea flavors are center-focused initially, broadening over time. It’s a touch off-dry, barely perceptible given the big blast of acidity behind it. Pair it with lemongrass curried chicken. Best 2022–2030. Cellar Selection. –Sean Sullivan

DeLille 2019 Chaleur Blanc 25th Vintage White (Columbia Valley); $35, 92 points. With 69% Sauvignon Blanc and 31% Sémillon, this wine is still in its shell at present. It offers aromas of toast, nut oil, tropical fruit and lemon zest that need time to get going. The palate is all about sophistication, showing a pleasing sense of depth and polish, along with vibrant acidity. It has all the stuffing to excel in the cellar. Best from 2024–2029, with plenty of life beyond that. Cellar Selection. –S.S.

Fess Parker 2019 Rodney’s Vineyard Dry Riesling (Santa Barbara County); $25, 92 points. Chiseled granite and crushed gravel aromas make for a very stony entry to the brilliant nose of this bottling, which also offers tight apple-peel scents. The palate sizzles with acidity and grips with mineral-driven tension, allowing struck stone, lemon-pith and lime-peel flavors to compete for deserved attention. Drink through 2039. Cellar Selection. –M.K.

Owen Roe 2018 Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley); $28, 92 points. Nuanced aromas of savory herb, barrel spice, dark chocolate and black cherry are followed by a well-structured palate, with the tightly wound tannins supporting soft, layered fruit flavors. It brings both a bit of tannic brawn and sophistication and is guaranteed to impress. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection. –S.S.

Casa Silva 2018 S38 Los Lingues Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley); $30, 91 points. Off the blocks this is oaky, highly herbal and pushing up against green, which is typical for Los Lingues. An intense palate is saturated and woody, while this tastes of oak grain, sawdust, berry fruits and tobacco. This is a potent Cabernet with a ton of barrel influence. Drink through 2026. Vine Connections. Cellar Selection. –Michael Schachner

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Published on October 25, 2021
Topics: Buying Guide