February 2007

From the 1,831 new-release wines our panels tasted for this issue, our critics singled out these ten (all $15 or less) for their remarkable price/value ratio. Suggested national retail prices have been quoted by the winery or importer, but prices may vary, and you may be able to find these wines at a significant discount in your area.

EV  I Deakin Estate $9
2004 Victoria Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
A light claret with herbal tobacco scents and cassislike fruit, this contrasts a touch of sweetness with dry tannins, ready for pot roast or brisket.
Freixenet USA, Sonoma, CA
EV  I Forest Glen $10
2003 California Cabernet Franc
2003 California Cabernet Franc This has a spicy herbal character that's balanced by ripe cherry flavors. Open a bottle for grilled fennel sausages.
Forest Glen Winery, Sonoma, CA
GV  I Shenandoah Vineyards $10
2005 Amador County Special Reserve Zinfandel
Scents of violets and raspberries fill this sweet zin, for a cookout in the foothills or a deep-dish pizza.
Shenandoah Vineyards, Plymouth, CA
GV  I Terrazas de Los Andes $10
2005 Mendoza Malbec (Argentina)
This delivers violet and cherry aromas and a tense tannic structure. Its freshness whets the appetite for lasagna Bolognese.
Moët Hennessy USA, NY
GV  I Bodegas del Abad $12
2003 Bierzo Abad Dom Bueno Roble (Spain)
This slowly reveals the charm of the mencía grape with its ripe blackberry flavors and a touch of minerality. A red for the cellar.
Frontier Wine Imports, Dover, NJ
GV  I Bonterra $15
2004 Mendocino County Zinfandel
A bright, unpretentious, red-fruited zin, this has a spicy herbal edge and a light floral lift. It ends clean and cool, great for a picnic along the coast.
Bonterra Vineyards, Hopland, CA
GV  I J. Lohr $15
2004 Paso Robles South Ridge Syrah
Oak introduces this soft, rustic wine with scents of coffee and char. Serve it with grilled sausages.
J. Lohr Winery, San Jose, CA
GV  I Pepperwood Grove $8
2005 California Pinot Grigio
Floral notes of honeysuckle and hints of toasted almond lead to a silky texture. A good match for grilled squid.
Pepperwood Grove Winery, Oakville, CA
GV  I  Fairview $10
2006 Coastal Region Goats do Roam (South Africa)
The sweet, ripe peach and gingersnap flavors end with a light touch, for grilled fish.
Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL
EV  I  Cono Sur $15
2005 Casablanca Vision Sauvignon Blanc (Chile)
As bracing as fresh, cold lemonade with mint, this offers a bright, pure expression of sauvignon. It's ready to match Pacific oysters.
Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL

Click here for 2006

Click here for 2005