The Best Inexpensive Wines Available Now

I'm always on the lookout for good wines at a fair value. Ok so maybe cheap wines that taste expensive. Anyway, are there wines that you've had recently that you would consider a terrific value for the price? I personally enjoy the merlot and chardonnay from Clos du Bois which both cost about $14 in New Hampshire. To relax with a glass of either and listen to my music (classical and jazz) does make the early evening sit pleasingly well.
Bella Sera for me works great but some puffff works much better.

Disclaimer: pronouns sound 'f' to yourself not like conventional english alphabetic sound 'f'...:-)
Good thread. I like the Grant Burge Syrah from the Barossa Valley region of Australia, for $22 a bottle. Also the Bell Cabernet Sauvignon(2000) from California that I had last night, was excellent, and rated 94 by Parker. Only $35.
my vote goes to Brancott vineyard Sauvignon Blanc....from New absolutely oustanding value at $9.99!.....and for those special nights a bottle of Talley Vineyards California Pinot Noir is very special at $21.99 here in Dallas!
This should be an enjoyable thread.

I've always enjoyed any ol' cheap red Italian wine ($5 or $6). I've never been disappointed. However, when the listening calls for low lighting any Classico Reserva (however its spelled) in the $20 to $25 range sits quite well. I also prefer my wine at almost room temperature.
Current faves
Vermontie 2000 merlot
paranga 2001 shiraz
both can be had for under $10 a bottle and are pretty good for cheap wine.
Try the petite syrah and the pinot noir from David Bruce. Both are superb and can be had for $17-$20.

I am clearly much less experienced than you guys, but I think the following two are screaming bargains:

Charles Shaw Merlot ... $1.99 from Trader Joes (the other Charles Shaw varieties were not very good). Yes $1.99 and very pleasant.
They were also carrying Seven Peaks Chardonnay for $2.99 a bottle. This is the one of the smoothest chardonnays I have ever had (I usually don't spend more than $10 on a bottle, though I have tasted $50 bottles that are not as good as this seven peaks).
Not sure what this has to do with audio . . . . but - for about 10 bucks you can get a bottle of PeachyCanyon 2001 Zinfandel (Paso Robles) Bin 113. Goes well with pizza, pasta, pistrami (sp?) and things of like ilk. "Two Thumbs Up" from everyone to whom I've serve it.

You poor fellow. Clos du Bois chardonnay is less than $10 here in Nashville, might be because ripple is a bigger seller.

Toastedhead is a bit bettr at around $15 here.
Bogle Chardonnay (California)$8.99

Columbia Crest Grand Estates (Washington) - Cab or Chard. about $12.99

Concha y Toro Marques Casa Concha (Chile) -Cab or Chard. about $14

Chateau Souverain (California) -Cab or Chard. about $14

Above are consistently good year to year.

The list could go on and on (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy). Just have to shop around, and taste! :>)

J Lohr chardonnay is one I even like at about $12 a bottle.

Sawtooth chardonnay is great as well at $8, as are all their white wines.

Thanks for starting this thread. I'm sure my wife will enjoy all the recommendations.
I "REALLY" enjoy a nice glass of wine when listening to my system. Problem is, I'm notoriously frugal. Here are my current favorites.

Yellow Tail Shiraz currently $6.99
Trinity Oaks 1999 Zinfandel $5.99

The Yellow Tail may be shunned by the wine critics, but I think it has a most unusual and absolutely unique (to me anyway) flavor that really gets me going....every time!! I must admit, I also like some of the other high volume Austrailian Shirazs' that are currently being "given away" at my local Kroger Store in Cincinnati.

I initially bought the Trinity Oaks Zin just to see how inexpensive a wine can actually become and still prove enjoyable. I was plesantly surprised and, for now, this Zin has replaced the Cline, Rosenblum and Rabbit Ridge as my inexpensive Red Zinfandel of choice.

I don't know about the rest of the country (or the World), but wine prices have never been better in Cincinnati. I could be forever happy with the wines that are available locally for under $10 bottle, Red or White!!!

Enjoy, (and currently having a glass of Trinity Oaks Zin)

Seghesio Zin is an exceptional value at about $15. It's price started at about $8.99 and has taken off.

If you like Zins, don't miss this one.

Heron Chardonnay, about $10.99. Badia a Colibuono Chianti Cetamura, $11.99. Rosenblum Vintners Cuvee Zin, $9.99. From South Africa, any Indaba wines $7.99-9.99.
My vote for the best inexpensive red wine goes to Falesco Vitiano 2001 from Umbria which is available at the Wine Club in California as well as Cost Plus Imports for $7.99. Robert Parker gives it an 89 pt. rating.
Isabel Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Bought 10 bottles
this week - all the store had left - for $13.99, after having it served at a dinner in L.A. last weekend. Apparently it is in short supply. Excellent!! And I prefer red...
yellow tail (austrailia): merlot,cab.,and shiraz
bogle: merlot
luna di luna (italy): cab/merlot mix, sangiovese/merlot mix
promessa (italy): primitivo (similar to our zinfandel)
leaping lizard: zinfandel
woodstock "the stocks": shiraz
jacobs creek (austrailia): merlot, shiraz
blackstone: merlot
rex goliath: merlot
powers: merlot
Try the Rosemount wines from Australia; the Premium Diamond Varietals are a great value. Costco carries some of them for 4.99 to 7.99 They can also be purchased from Trader Joes's etc but for a higher price.
A great light white is Bochendal Savignon Blanc from South Africa. An unbeatable chardonnay is Frei Brothers from California and for a low cost red try Campus Oaks Zin from Lodi California. All are between $10 and $17 a bottle.
thanks for the ideas
VENTANNA wines in Monterey, CA

I live right next to one of their tasting rooms, so I get their wine really cheap.

Even full retail it is very good for the $$$.

And I do mean all of their wines. Their wines run from as little as $3 a bottle (white table wine, when on sale) to a meager $50 a bottle for their premium bottles that are outright sublime in taste.

I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination,but we love Kendall Jackson Chardonay. Its usually about 10-12 bucks a bottle.
If you like medium to full reds, try the St. Hallett Gamekeepers Reserve from down under, priced at $9.80 CAD. It's a blend of several grapes like grenache, syrah, mourvedre and others. Approachable now yet can age for several years. Full palate, bursting with wild dark berry fruit, hints of chocolate, cedar oak and vanillin. Long finish with well integrated flavours and well balanced.

I've tasted worse wines in the $50.00 to $75.00 range.. it's kinda like audio gear, just because a bordeaux first growth costs $400.00 a bottle, doesn't mean that it will taste 40 times better! trust your palate ; )

JcBach, what are your 3 most favourite wines at this moment?

Thank you all for the terrific suggestions for wines. Some of these are unavailable in NH, but others will be purchased over the coming months to try.

Dogpile, I'd have to say that I do enjoy the Clos du Bois reds and white, Kendall Jackson chardonnay, and I can't remember the California brand but the cab with Marylin Monroe's picture on it was very nice. Two spectacular wines that were recently given to me as gifts, so I don't know their prices and which don't seem to be available locally are Healdsburg Vineyards 1999 California Merlot and Pighin 2001 Pinot Grigio from Risano Italy. The merlot was balanced, rich and smooth, and the pinot grigio was smooth and not overly fruity which I don't like in whites nor acidic which seems to accompany Italian wines. I think that's why I like nice chardonnays like Cakebread (too expensive for me except on special occassions), because of the clean, crisp and smooth hint of honey taste.
I found a chenin/chardonay blend that I feel is great value in my books. "Robert's Rock" It's no more than $8.00 to $.9.00 I encourage you to give that a whirl. My girlfriend only requests that I buy that bottle if we cook at home. Great tasting wine.
I like the Muton Cadet Bordeaux. $7.99 last night at Kroger.
The Australian wines have always been good and have remained very resonably priced. There is a huge glut of juice right now especially in California so there are some good deals out there on occasion. Plus, spirits are growing again for the first time in several years which makes matters worse for wines especially smaller esoteric companies.
I stumbled across a nice Spanish wine by accident recently:

Enate Tinto Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2001 Somontano!vide&p_tab_para=p_no_prod!00504316

Many other favourites are already listed in previous posts
The Kendall-Jackson label has never failed me in its consistency. A "supermarket" wine to be sure, but still has enough oak, fruit and finish to satisfy. I also like Clos du Bois.
Hannibal Lechter is the ultimate gourmet. Sure, his taste in meats was a bit over the edge, but his selections of wine show true oenophile instincts. The movie version of the book Silence of the Lambs does not do him credit, though. They 'dumbed down' his fine wine passion to a pedestrian wine - Chianti. His true passion was for a much bolder red - Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico! Yesterday for my birthday my wife gave me a bottle of Tommasi Amarone. I must say that I never drank an Amarone I didn't like. But it's expensive, so in our house Amarone is reserved for those special occasions.
The best value in table wine (currently available) is probably the Cab and Chard on the Charles Shaw label ($2-$5/bottle depending on the retailer). The ex-wine buyer, for a company I no longer work for, helped to develop the current bottlings/offerings.

They also have a SB and a Merlot (which get no cigar due to lack of acidity, but they would be fine/smooth for cocktails). I no longer drink wine myself, but tasted the line 5-6 months ago. I use the Cab to cook with (lamb necks/shanks, chicken in wine, etc.).
Boonesfarm..whats it up to these days? 3 bucks a bottle?
When I drank it when I was young(er) it went for <$2 I think.
Best 'wine' I ever tasted..It tasted best in a water pipe if I remember correctly.
hey, don't forget the mad dog! dave, was that water pipe part of an elaborate "wine bong?" %-)
John-How would you know about pipes and bongs? :~)
There are several good suggestions listed already, but ultimately, it's a matter of personal taste. I've tried the Yellow Tail and Charles Shaw and found them seriously lacking. They're OK if you have a large party and don't want to blow a lot of money on better wines.

I will concur strongly with the above recommendations regarding:
1. Seghesio zinfandels. They produce several, of which I prefer the Old Vine, but it is pricier than their others. They are all excellent values. The "lower end" is less than $15.

2. Falesco Vitiano Umbria. 2001 Under $10.

3. Amano Primitivo. The primitivo grape is the same as the zinfandel. Outstanding Italian pressing. Well under $10 (or should be).

4. Paringa Shiraz 2001 from Australia. This is one hefty shiraz.

Others worth considering:
5. When the Foppiano Petit Syrah 2001 (Paso Robles) comes out, I suggest jumping all over it. It should be under $15 (maybe even closer to $10). Barrel tastings have been excellent.

6. Benziger (not to be confused with Beringer) Chardonnay.

7. Kestrel (the Washington winery, not the California one of the same name).

8. Peter Lehman's wines are all outstanding. His Riesling is excellent and is not the sweet German/Johanisberg style, but is semi-dry and crisp.

9. Nautilus. A great New Zealand (Marlborough) savignon blanc. Maybe close to $20, but well worth it.

10. Nobilo is another Marlborough worth looking into.

OK, I'll leave it there. It's only 10am and I'm suddenly getting a little thirsty!
Most any 2000 Bordeaux red will satisfy. I purchased 10 cases of Chateau Potensac for $16 a bottle. Absolutely superb wine for the money! Tannic, blackcurrant, with a hint of rasberry, very long finish and did I say dry? If you are a Parker fan, he claims the 2000s are better than the 1982s. Another excellent cheapo is Chateau Camensac. Seconds of the first growths will be excellent buys, too!
Sorry Guys:

The Robert Shaw cab I referred to is sold out @ our local retailers. It was the 2000 vintage and I can only assume that CDunn is referring to the 2001 (the 2000 was not "lacking" anything for an under $10 cab).

Can't recall the Chard vintage tasted as I did not purchase any of it.

You are absolutely right about the 2000 Bordeaux. I have bought several cases myself (add Ch. Martinens to the list) and they are indeed many affordable ones. With the 2000 vintage being so good, and with many available for under $20, there are some obscenely good deals to be had.
...only "problem" is, the 2000's need to cellar for a few years... The others I listed earlier are drinkable now.
2001 Abundance Mincarini Zin
2000 Chamelion Napa Valley Zin
1999 Montevina Tera d'Oro Old Vine Zin
2000 Ravenswood Lodi Zin
2000 Edmeades Mendocino Zin
2000 Ridge Coast Range

All under $20

1999 Ridge Lytton Station Zin
Lytton Springs Zin
Sonoma Station Zin
2000 Ridge Paso Robles Zin

All over $20, but worth it, IMHO

Can you tell that I love the Zin??
1999 The Seven Surveys, Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre blend, by Lehman from downunder, about $13-14, this is very enjoyable and has aging potential, great fruit, concentration, depth.

2000 Perrin Nature, Rhone, around $9-10, excellent bbq wine
Ahhh!!!.... so much wine, so little time!
The St Nicholas Pinot Noir runs under $5 at Sams Club, and fits in the inexpensive wine list a lot better than anything over $16, tons better than any of the Yellow Tail wines.
Yeah, Rowe, I can't get my tongue around that Yellow Tail, either...but do have it on hand for parties.
Niebaum Coppola Rosso is/was delectible for $9. I have not bought the rosso in a number of months, so the price may have went up.

I also tried the hot, at least in my area, Blackstone Merlot ($15.00) and Niebaum Coppola Merlot (~$15.00), but I think Kendal-Jackson is superior. I do not have that much experience with wine, though. But the rosso is worth checking out if any of you are in a convenient position to do so...or, if its the end of month and you want to through a party, but the bills are know ;)
Just had the 2001 Navarro Mendocino Pinot Noir ($14.50) and immediately bought more. Very nice.
2-buck-chuck!?! What a contrast from the single-malt thread! Good wine doesn't necessarily mean expensive, but surely you'all could come up with some better suggestions for this poor guy than that..

There's a whole world of phenomenal wine bargains out there - fortunately, here in CA we have access to many more of the "domestic" (ie., California) selections than most of you on the east coast.

For awesome values, try:

Zin's - anything current from Rosenblum or Ridge (both have terrific mailing list programs) - Seghesio's nice, too...

S. Blanc's - current releases from New Zealand are great (Villa Maria, Mud House, Te Karanga, etc..) as are many 2001's from Sonoma

Pinot Noir - 2001 is about the best vintage ever for CA juice, after a couple of good years in Wash/Oreg - throw a dart at anything from the Russian River area...

Rhone - an epic string of vintages, both in the North and in the South, have flooded the market with terrific, age-worthy bargains...

Seek out a decent wine shop with proper storage conditions and seek out some suggestions - forget about Trader Joe's, the package liquor office, and your local grocery store. If the bottles are dusty, stored upright out in the open and near a sunlit window, don't buy them...

A couple of fantastic direct-order outfits here in southern CA will ship direct (check the allowable states): and

And remember, life is too short to drink 2-buck-chuck! I wouldn't even cook with that stuff...
Mad Fish Chardonnay - unoaked Australian chardonnay (around $12-14 a bottle). Crisp citrus flavors - best to be savored next summer in New England...

Wine Spectator 89 (if you're into that sort of thing)
My favourite inexpensive wine is "Chateau Musar" from the Lebanon. The 1995 is just about all gone now and the 1996 is widely available. 1995 is fuller bodied but 1996 is still delightful. Cost in the UK around £10-£12 per bottle, maybe cheaper in the US. I know the country of origin is a bit of a surprise, but seriously it is an outstanding wine.

Grapes are a blend of Cab-Sauv, Syrah and Cinsault
The 1996 Ch. Musar is made from Obaideh and Merwah.