Value Brands of the year When it comes to quality wines at bargain prices, here are the 55 brands that deliver. If you’re looking for a reliable Wednesday night bottle, these are names to remember in the chaotic, overstuffed world of wines priced $18 or less.
17 Top US Value Brands


What: Ready-to-drink Oregon pinot gris and pinot noir from King Estate’s entry-level brand.

Standouts: An exuberant 2009 Oregon Pinot Noir ($18) with juicy red fruit and the stuffing to match, and a bright, succulent ’09 Pinot Gris ($12) with a lean, refreshing grip.

Where: Based in Eugene, with fruit sourced from all of Oregon’s viticultural regions.

When: Open the Pinot Noir with a smoked trout salad; pour the
Gris anytime.

King Estate Winery, Eugene, OR


What: Single-varietal wines from the Purisima Mountain Vineyard, as well as value-priced Rhône-varietal blends.

Standout: The 2009 Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Rosé ($18), with its spicy red fruit and earthy structure.

Where: From Beckmen’s two estate vineyards in California’s Santa Ynez Valley.

When: The juicy lime flavors of the 2009 Estate Sauvignon Blanc ($16) beg for ceviche, while the Grenache Rosè would pair equally well with summer barbecues and seafood paella.

Beckmen, Los Olivos, CA

Castle Rock

What: Affordable varietals from a virtual winery using multiple facilities.

Standouts: The 2009 Oregon Pinot Gris ($13), with its leesy accents reminiscent of Alsace, and a sweet, peppery 2008 Columbia Valley Syrah ($11) with a firm grip.

Where: Fruit sources in California from the Central to the North Coast, Oregon and Washington’s Columbia Valley.

When: Pour the Pinot Gris for anything from lemon sole to
lemon chicken.

Castle Rock Winery, Geyserville, CA

Chateau Ste. Michelle

What: Value-priced bottlings from some of Washington’s most enviable vineyard sources.

Standouts: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16) and 2007 Merlot ($16) from Columbia Valley are each in their way icons of Washington State fruit, bold and elegant at once.

Where: From estate vineyards and fruit sources throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley.

When: These reds have the breadth for barbecue and the elegance for a Sunday steak dinner.

Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville, WA

Covey Run

What: Affordable Columbia Valley wines from California’s Ascentia Wine Estates.

Standout: A bright, clean 2008 Columbia Valley Chardonnay ($9) with broad apple flavors and lip-smacking acidity.

Where: Much of its fruit comes from Alder Ridge, an 800-acre vineyard overlooking the Columbia River in the Horse Heaven
Hills appellation.

When: The Chardonnay is ready to pop open for a picnic.

Covey Run, Prosser, WA

Fox Run

What: A range of varieties from New York State’s Finger Lakes, including rieslings as racy as glacial water.

Standout: The bracing ’08 Finger Lakes Riesling ($14), one of the region’s top wines.

Where: In Penn Yan, on the west side of Seneca Lake.

When: The rieslings have the brisk acidity to cut into a poached pike and the charm to drink on their own.

Fox Run, Penn Yan, NY

Frei Brothers

What: A range of affordable wines from across Sonoma County.

Standout: The rich and spicy 2008 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($18), with its sunny warmth.

Where: Based in Healdsburg, with a focus on fruit from the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys.

When: The 2009 Russian River Valley Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ($17), with its green olive and peach skin notes, would be ideal for cold roast chicken at a late-spring picnic.

Frei Brothers, Healdsburg, CA

The Hogue Cellars

What: Well-priced appellation wines and robust, structured Genesis reserves from Constellation Brands’ principle Washington property.

Standouts: The 2007 Genesis Meritage ($16), from long-established Columbia Valley growers, and a juicy, fresh 2009 Late Harvest Riesling ($10) redolent of fresh pears.

Where: Based in Prosser, Washington, with fruit sourced from across the Columbia Valley.

When: Open the Genesis Meritage with a steak dinner; and pour the Late Harvest Riesling with a pear tartlet.

The Hogue Cellars, Prosser, WA


What: Reliable, value-driven wines from a Sonoma County cabernet and zinfandel specialist.

Standout: The earthy, smoky and dense 2007 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon ($18).

Where: Based in Kenwood, just outside of Santa Rosa, the winery sources fruit from across Sonoma County.

When: Pour the spicy 2009 Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer ($11) with weisswurst and sauerkraut. Serve the Cabernet with braised beef.

Kenwood Vineyards, Kenwood, CA

Lamoreaux Landing

What: Scintillating riesling and impressive reds from a family-owned Finger Lakes estate.

Standout: The nervy, flinty 2009 Dry Riesling ($13) and the ’09 Semi-Dry Riesling ($13), for its subtle tropical notes.

Where: On the eastern shores of Seneca Lake in New York State.

When: These structured rieslings can pair with an elaborate
Alsace feast.

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars, Lodi, NY


What: A range of affordable wines from California’s leading
grape varieties.

Standout: The 2009 California Pinot Grigio ($12), for its tart pear flavors mingled with sweeter notes of apricot, litchi and passionfruit.

Where: Modesto, California.

When: Serve the Pinot Grigio with a Cobb salad, and the tart, ripe, raspberry-scented 2008 California Pinot Noir ($12) with roast turkey.

Mirassou, Modesto, CA


What: Affordable bottlings of Pacific Northwest fruit, from David O’Reilly’s Owen Roe Winery.

Standout: A succulent 2008 Oregon Pinot Gris ($12) and an elegant 2007 Yakima Valley Riesling ($9): Both are forward and inviting while remaining balanced and on point.

Where: Sourced from esteemed vineyards in the Columbia and Willamette valleys, including Outlook, an estate vineyard, and DuBrul, both in the Yakima Valley.

When: The Riesling and the Gris make fine aperitifs or pairings with striped bass.

Owen Roe Winery, St. Paul, OR

Robert Mondavi Private Selection

What: A taste of California at unbeatable prices from a time-tested Napa Valley producer.

Standout: The soft, baked apple-scented 2009 California
Chardonnay ($11).

Where: Based in Oakville, Mondavi focuses on California’s North and Central coasts for the Private Selection label.

When: Serve the Chardonnay with a holiday roast bird. For rare prime rib, try the gentle 2007 California Meritage ($11).

Robert Mondavi, Woodbridge, CA

Rutherford Ranch

What: Stylish Napa Valley classics without the high price tag.

Standout: The bold, spicy and firm 2007 Napa Valley Zinfandel, a steal at $18.

Where: From a base in Oakville, Rutherford Ranch blends wines from estate and purchased fruit grown across Napa Valley.

When: Serve the generous yet graceful 2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($16) with seared scallops or any fresh catch; show off the Zinfandel with a thick-cut steak.

Rutherford Ranch, St. Helena, CA


What: Elegant sauvignon blanc and pinot noir from a veteran Sonoma County producer.

Standout: The 2008 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($15), with its biscuity complexity and peach and lemongrass flavors.

Where: Estate vineyards in the Alexander and Russian River valleys augmented by purchased grapes from across Sonoma County.

When: The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc shines with veal or chicken sausages, while the toasty 2008 Sonoma County Chardonnay ($18) could stand up to a grilled pork chop.

Simi, Healdsburg, CA


What: Rhône and Alsace-inspired bottlings from a collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins.

Standout: The earthy, tart, vibrant and floral 2009 Mendocino Pink Belly Rosé ($16)—everything you could ask for in a California rosé, and then some.

Where: Based in Hopland, Skylark sources grapes from Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino.

When: Pair the Pink Belly Rosé with grilled lamb chops, and match the Alsatian-styled 2009 Mendocino County Orsi Vineyard Pinot Blanc ($17) with weisswurst.

Skylark, Hopland, CA


What: Affordable reds from one of the first Walla Walla wineries.

Standout: The full-bodied, cherry-scented Columbia Valley Merlot–Cabernet, a consistent performer in both the 2007 ($13) and 2008 ($11) vintages.

Where: Vineyards such as Les Collines in Walla Walla and Oasis and Canyon Ranch in the Yakima Valley.

When: Drink the Torrontés well chilled with raw seafood, and the powerful 2009 Mendoza Malbec ($9) with steak.

Waterbrook, Walla Walla, WA

Top 2 Argentine Value Brands


What: Affordable Argentine wines from Catalan Cava leader Freixenet.

Standout: The floral, refreshing 2010 Torrontés ($9), grown in the heights of Cafayate.

Where: Freixenet has vineyards in Gualtallary, Uco Valley and Mendoza as well as Salta, up in the north of Argentina.

When: Drink the Torrontés well chilled with raw seafood, and the powerful 2009 Mendoza Malbec ($9) with steak.

Freixenet USA, Sonoma, CA


What: Traditional Argentine reds from one of the biggest and oldest wineries in Argentina.

Standout:The 2008 Mendoza Bonarda ($17), from the reliable Broquel line, is as juicy and spicy as the variety can be.

Where: Headquartered in Maipú, Mendoza, Trapiche sources grapes from the best sites within this region and from Cafayate.

When: Uncork the Broquel Bonarda with braised duck and the refreshing 2009 Broquel Cafayate Valley Torrontés ($17) with
roast pork.

Frederick Wildman and Sons, NY

Top 5 Australian Value Brands


What: Old-vine values ranging from marsanne to shiraz, each with its own cheeky name.

Standout: The 2009 Stump Jump McLaren Vale Riesling–
Marsanne–Sauvignon ($11), with its wild and refreshing combination of lemon, marzipan and green spice.

Where: On 500 acres of estate vineyards in McLaren Vale, with an additional 1,700 acres of old vines from growers.

When: The Stump Jump is built for grilled fish, especially if eaten on a beach; the lush, peachy McLaren Vale Hermit Crab
Viognier—Marsanne ($16) wants crab cakes.

Old Bridge Cellars, Napa, CA

Jacob’s Creek

What: Gulpable South Eastern Australian wines for less than
ten bucks.

Standouts: A tie between the light, juicy 2007 South Eastern Australia Shiraz ($7) and the fresh, limey 2009 South Eastern Australia
Riesling ($8).

Where: From all over South Australia, with 20 percent estate grown.

When: At a cookout: the Riesling while the fire builds, the Shiraz with grilled pork chops.

Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY


What: Classic expressions of South Australian shiraz and chardonnay.

Standout: The fresh and firm, plush and minty 2008 South Australia Step Two Shiraz ($10).

Where: McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Langhorne Creek all supply fruit for the brand. When: Open the 2008 Step Three Chardonnay–Semillon ($10) for barbecued fish and the Shiraz for meatier options.

Bacchus Importers, Baltimore, MD


What: A strong portfolio of value-oriented Promised Land wines that augments the terroir-driven Jaraman and St. Andrews lines.

Standouts: Both the ’08 and ’09 Clare Valley Estate Riesling ($17) are muscular and rich, with potent acidity delivering focused lime and mineral notes.

Where: A fertile terra rossa site laden with seahorse fossils in South Australia’s Clare Valley.

When:As a late summer sipper, enjoy the Riesling on its own or
with shellfish.

American Wine Distributors, San Francisco, CA


What: A wide array of consistently good wines from South Australia, especially grenache, shiraz, riesling and viognier.

Standout: The ’09 Barossa Bush Vine Grenache ($18), which packs vibrant strawberry and red currant fruit in a finely woven
tannic framework.

Where: Based in Angaston for 160 years, the winery has old-vine plots throughout the Barossa and Eden valleys.

When: Chill the ’09 Y Series Riesling ($12) for an early evening picnic; pour the ’08 Y Series Shiraz–Viognier ($10) with herby
lamb lollipops.

Negociants USA, Napa, CA

Top Austrian Value Brand

Hermann Moser

What: Rich, soil-expressive riesling and grüner veltliner from
Austria’s Kremstal.

Standout: The graceful, deeply flavored ’09 Kremstal Karmeliterberg Grüner Veltliner ($15).

Where: An hour west of Vienna, on the Danube River near Krems.

When: Serve the Karmeliterberg Grüner Veltliner with refined cuisine of any sort—it’s flexible with vegetables and light meats; the Per Due ($12) has the richness for pork schnitzel.

Boutique Wine Collection, Philadelphia, PA

Top 6 Chilean Value Brands

Concha y Toro

What: A wide array of quality varietal wines and blends from the main viticultural force behind Chile’s modern wine era.

Standout: The 2009 Maule Palo Alto Reserva ($11), a spicy, tense and refreshing new blend of cabernet, carmenère and syrah.

Where: At its two main wineries in Maipo, Concha y Toro processes grapes from virtually every major wine valley in Chile.

When: Serve the citrusy 2010 Casillero Limarí Reserve Pinot Grigio ($12) with roasted sea bass; pour the 2008 Casillero Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon–Syrah ($14) with lamb chops.

Banfi Vintners, Old Brookville, NY

Cono Sur

What: Some of the most reliable sources of cool-climate whites from Chile, from a brand that’s part of the Concha y Toro group.

Standout: The 2010 San Antonio Sauvignon Blanc may be the best partner you can find for ceviche at $13.

Where: Based in Colchagua’s Chimbarongo, with top vineyards for white wines and pinot noir in Casablanca, Bío Bío and San Antonio, and for robust reds in Maipo and Colchagua.

When: Grill octopus for the crisp, herbal 2010 Casablanca Vision Sauvignon Blanc ($14) and order in Chinese noodles for the mellow 2010 Central Valley Riesling ($10 in the Bike line).

Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL

Loma Larga

What: Cool-climate reds from some of the coolest reaches of Chile.

Standout: The spicy and vibrant 2009 Lomas del Valle Casablanca Cabernet Franc ($18), the Chilean answer to Chinon.

Where: An estate vineyard and winery in Bajo Casablanca, the coolest part of the valley.

When: Pour the refreshing 2010 Casablanca Sauvignon Blanc ($16) as an aperitif; the juicy 2010 Lomas del Valle Pinot Noir ($17) for grilled sardines and the Cab Franc for steak frites.

GOS Int’l. Distributors, Jacksonville Beach, FL


What: Chilean coastal wines from Pablo Morandé, the pioneer of the Casablanca Valley.

Standout: The floral and pure 2010 Casablanca Reserva Sauvignon Blanc ($12), an ideal pour for summer evenings.

Where: The winery is in Cachapoal; the main vineyards are in Maipo and Casablanca.

When: Pour the 2009 Maipo Pionero Carmenère ($9) with charcuterie; enjoy the apricot flavor and pungent acidity of the 2008 Casablanca Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($13) with apple pie.

Morandé USA, Atlanta, GA


What: Exciting sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and syrah from a leader in Limarí’s emerging viticultural scene.

Standout: The cool, mineral ’09 Limarí Sauvignon Blanc ($12).

Where: Valle del Encanto, 250 miles north of Santiago.

When: The Sauvignon Blanc has the verve for ceviche; the spicy, mineral 2009 Reserva Syrah ($15) wants braised lamb.

Southern Wine Group, Bend, OR


What: Great value reds, especially carmenère, from
cool-climate Limarí.

Standout: The mellow, herb-scented 2009 Limarí
Reserva Carmenére ($16).

Where: In Cerrillos de Tamaya, on the northern bank of the Limarí river.

When: Serve the stony 2010 Estate Chardonnay ($9) with poached shrimp; pair the ’09 Limarí Reserva Carmenére with hanger steak and the smoky, blackberried 2009 Winemaker’s Selection Carmenère ($18) with roast venison.

Ecovalley, Salisbury, NC

Top 4 French Value Brands

Château Bois de la Salle

What: Dense, intensely structured cru Beaujolais.

Standout: The powerful, smoky 2009 Juliénas Tradition du Bois de la Salle, which offers a lot of structure for just $18.

Where: Grapes are sourced from about 100 growers spread among eight Beaujolais crus.

When: Cellar both the Juliénas and the 2009 Morgon La Croix ($17) for two years or more; then serve with duck.

Gabriella Importers, Bohemia, NY

Georges Duboeuf

What: Budget-friendly Beaujolais, including single-property domaine wines under $20.

Standout: The earthy, ageworthy ’09 Domaine des Quatre Vents Fleurie ($17), which lasts on pepper and minerally soil scents.

Where: All over Beaujolais, pulling fruit from roughly 400 growers.

When: Whether the Fleurie or the gravelly, tannic ’09 Moulin-à-Vent ($16), these are go-to wines anytime there’s charcuterie on the table.

W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Harrison, NY


What: Cru Beaujolais from choice growers.

Standout: The schisty, powerful ’08 Morgon Côte du Py ($18) from Jean-Marc Burgaud’s 40-plus-year-old vines.

Where: In prime plots of sustainable, organic and biodynamically farmed old bush vines across six of the Beaujolais crus.

When: The sleek yet rustic ’08 Moulin-á-Vent ($18) is a prime candidate for steak frites; step up to a grilled ribeye for the
muscular Morgon.

Frederick Wildman & Sons, NY

La Vieille Ferme

What: Affordable, everyday wines from France’s sunny south, crafted by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel.

Standout: The raspberry-juicy, thyme-tinged
’07 Côtes du Ventoux ($8).

Where: Vineyards in the Côtes du Ventoux and Luberon.

When: Picnic time—the light, green-grapey ’09 Côtes du Luberon ($8) for chicken salads; the Ventoux for sliced steak sandwiches.

Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL

Top German Value Brand

Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler

What: Elegant, mineral-driven rieslings in the classic Mosel style.

Standout: The lithe, tensely balanced ’09 Mosel Riesling
QbA ($10).

Where: Bernkastel, in the heart of Germany’s Mosel Valley.

When: With fish and shellfish, Asian cuisine or anytime the sun
is shining.

W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Harrison, NY

Top 2 Greek Value Brands


What: Affordable renditions of Greece’s most traditional wines.

Standout: The dark, spicy Mavrodaphne of Patras ($12).

Where: Based in Naoussa, in northern Greece, the company operates six wineries across the country.

When: Chill the lightly piney Retsina ($8) for hot summer days; open the Samos ($13) with cookies or nut pastries. Save the Mavrodaphne for winter and spice cake.

Nestor Imports, NY


What: Elegant, restrainedly floral whites from the moschofilero grape.

Standout: The ’09 Mantinia ($18), a savory, rose-scented white firm with minerality.

Where: On a high plain south of Nemea in the Peloponnese.

When: : A grilled fish could hardly ask for a more elegant companion than the Mantinia; mushrooms and spicy Thai food find their match in the strawberry-filled Meliasto Rosé ($16).

Athenée Importers & Distributors, Hempstead, NY

Top Hungarian Value Brand

Attila Gere

What: Juicy, modern wines—particularly reds—from local and international varieties.

Standout: A deliciously fresh, gentle, purple-fruited
’09 Portugieser ($16).

Where: Villány in southern Hungary, not far from the border
with Croatia.

When: Chill the crisp, herbal ’09 Olaszrizling ($13), a fine welschriesling, for a watercress and goat cheese salad; pour the
Portugieser with grilled salmon.

Blue Danube Wine Co., Los Altos Hills, CA

Top Israeli Value Brand

Galil Mountain

What: Affordable, fresh alternatives to Israel’s pricier bottles.

Standout: A light, mouthwatering ’07 Galilee Pinot Noir ($18) with savory minerality.

Where: A low-slung, modern winery on a high rise in the Upper Galilee’s Kibbutz Yiron.

When: The sweet, red-fruited ’09 Rosé ($15) is built for gyros slathered with garlic sauce; the Pinot Noir for grilled eggplant; the tarry, plummy ’07 Shiraz–Cabernet ($18) for grilled lamb.

Yarden, NY

Top 4 Italian Value Brands

Michele Chiarlo

What: Fresh and approachable terroir-driven wines from native Piemontese grapes.

Standout: The intense, brambly ’08 Barbera d’Asti Superiore
Le Orme ($15).

Where: 148 acres of estate vineyards in the Langhe, Monferrato
and Gavi.

When: Try the Barbera with long-simmered ragùs, or the vivacious ’09 Moscato d’Asti Nivole ($15) alongside fresh berries for an
after-dinner treat.

Kobrand, Purchase, NY

Feudi di San Gregorio

What: : Cutting-edge wines from Campania’s ancient grape varieties.

Standout: The ’08 Sannio Falanghina ($16), with its apricot fruit, lemongrass scents and persistent minerality.

Where: Based in the small village of Sorbo Serpico in Irpinia, the estate has vineyards all across the region.

When: Pour the Falanghina with clams in an aromatic broth; try the ’07 Rubrato Aglianico ($16) with charcuterie.

Palm Bay Int’l., Boca Raton, FL


What: Traditional Chianti and a range of reliable wines from a historic estate.

Standout: The ripe and spicy ’09 Chianti Borghi d’Elsa—a mere $9.

Where: From more than 1,280 acres of estate vineyards in Chianti, mostly in the Classico zone.

When: The Chianti is the wine for brick-oven pizza on a breezy terrace. Open the fresh and fruity ’09 Rosé di Toscana ($8) for an aperitif.

Frederick Wildman and Sons, NY

Sella & Mosca

What: Estate-grown vermentino and cannonau, as well as Sardinia’s first cabernet sauvignon.

Standout: The ’08 La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna ($12), with its smoky minerality and kumquat scents.

Where: In the northwest corner of the island, near the port of Alghero.

When: Chill the Vermentino for grilled octopus; decant the red-fruited, cigar box-scented ’06 Cannonau Riserva ($15) for beef carpaccio
with capers.

Palm Bay Int’l., Boca Raton, FL

Top New Zealand Value Brand

Brancott Vineyards

What: Textbook Marlborough sauvignon blanc and pinot noir at paperback prices.

Standout: The clean and complex ’09 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($13) is the reigning bang-for-your-buck champ.

Where: In the river silts, stone and clay soils of the Wairau and Awatere valleys.

When: Pour the Sauvignon Blanc with chilled crab claws; call on the ocean breeze salinity of the ’07 Marlborough Reserve Pinot Noir ($18) anytime you roast sea bass.

Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY

Top 3 Portuguese Value Brands


What: Great quinta-grown Vinho Verde at unbeatable prices, plus a range of fresh whites from Portugal’s coastal hills.

Standout: The 2009 Alvarinho ($13), for its cool apple and fleshy peach flavors.

Where: The quinta wine comes from Peñafiel, northeast of Porto, while the others include grapes from growers throughout the region.

When: Open the ’09 Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde ($9) with spicy Thai calamari salad and the ’09 Alvarinho with grilled shrimp.

FJN Fine Wines, Cumberland, RI

Casa do Valle

What: Complex and fragrant estate-grown Vinho Verdes from granite and schist soils.

Standout: The ’09 Vinho Verde Grande Escolha ($15), with its fresh apple blossom scent and chipped-granite minerality.

Where: The Sousa Botella family estate, rising above the banks of the Tâmega River in Vinho Verde’s Basto district.

When: Pour a glass of the mouthwatering ’09 Grande Escolha with fresh-shucked oysters; try the orange-zesty ’09 Vinho Verde ($10) with grilled trout.

Vinoterra Importers, Boulder, CO

Quinta de Gomariz

What: Stylish, modern varietal wines from an estate in the heart of Vinho Verde.

Standout: The fresh, grapefruit-scented ’09 Vinho Verde Loureiro ($10), with its plump nectarine and litchi ripeness.

Where: On south-facing, granitic soils in the cool hills of the
Vale do Ave.

When: Chill the Loureiro for fat, pan-seared scallops and the lush ’09 Alvarinho ($15) for crab.

P.R. Grisley Co., Salt Lake City, UT

Top 3 South African Value Brands

Man Vintners

What: An entire range of South African wines with personality that max out at $11.

Standout: The ’10 Coastal Region Chenin ($10), with succulent fruit and flinty minerality.

Where: In the shale soils of the Perdeberg Hills.

When: The Chenin makes a terrific party pour; the ferrous, tannic ’09 Pinotage ($11) can take on blood sausage.

Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL

Rooiberg Winery

What: Modern wines ranging from plump and easy-drinking to spicy and sophisticated.

Standout: The ’08 Robertson Reserve Merlot ($15), with foresty fruit and fleshy red tannins.

Where: Based in the Breede River Valley, Rooiberg works with 34 growers spread across Robertson’s limestone soils.

When: Pour the gentle, $9 Robertson Chardonnay at brunch; save the Merlot and the tart ’08 Roodewyn Cabernet–Merlot ($10) for barbecued spare ribs.

Worthwhile Wine Co., Atlanta, GA

Two Oceans

What: Easy-drinking single variety wines from South Africa’s coast.

Standout: The smoky, meaty ’09 Western Cape Cabernet, a substantial wine for $8.

Where: From vineyards across the Western Cape, vinted in Stellenbosch.

When: At $8, enjoy the Cabernet and the sea-breezy ’10 Sauvignon Blanc anytime.

Aveníu Brands, Baltimore, MD

Top 4 Spanish Value Brands

Dama de Toro

What: True Toro reds at unbeatable prices from Bodegas Fariña.

Standout: The exuberant ’04 Crianza ($15), a decadently ripe wine with bottle age.

Where: In Casaseca de las Chanas, near Zamora.

When: The fruity ’09 Toro Tempranillo ($11) makes a good house pour; serve the ’04 Crianza with grilled baby lamb.

Specialty Cellars, Santa Fe Springs, CA

Bodegas La Emperatriz
What: Expressive, terroir-driven wines from native Spanish grapes.

Standout: The ripe ’06 Finca La Emperatriz Crianza ($15), with its full-bodied cherry and porcini flavors.

Where: A 250-acre estate in Rioja Alta, on soils of river stones over sand.

When: The ’09 Tempranillo ($11) is a mouthwatering red for roast beef, while the ’06 Crianza has the finesse for setas al ajillo or a pan-roasted pork chop.

MHW Imports, Manhasset, NY

Marqués de Cáceres

What: Elegant and affordable reds from the heart of La Rioja Alta.

Standout: The stylish ’06 Rioja Crianza ($15), consistently one of the great buys in Rioja, its sleek fruit cushioned by aging in
French oak.

Where: From local growers in Cenicero, where the winery is based.

When: Chill the tangy ’09 Rioja Rosé ($9) for a summer picnic; pour the ’06 Crianza for a steak.

Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL


What: Quality Sherries in virtually every style, from a classic name in Jerez.

Standout: The Papirusa Solera Reserva Light Manzanilla ($17), for its green olive scents and mineral acidity.

Where: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

When: Crack open some oysters to enjoy with the refreshingly saline Jarana Solera Reserva Light Fino ($17); the Papirusa is a classic match for jamón Iberico.

Europvin, Bordeaux, France