April 2006

From the 1,522 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 Le Bellerive $15
Prosecco di Valdobbiadene
A clean, crisp prosecco, this sets dry chalkiness against fresh citrus flavors. Refreshing with fried calamari.
Enotec Imports, Denver, CO
GV  I  Pierre Luneau-Papin 12
2004 Muscadet Vieilles Vignes Clos des AllŽes
With ripe litchi, guava and lemongrass flavors held in a taut, stony structure, this is delicious now, but will get only better with time.
Louis/Dressner Selections, NY
GV  I  Airlie $12
2003 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
Lean and limey, this gris has ripe quince flavors, assertive acidity and a backbone of minerality. Chill for spot prawns. (1,161 cases)
Airlie Winery, Monmouth, OR
EV  I  Soellner $13
2004 Wagram Wogenrain Grźner Veltliner
This is crisp and snappy, balancing green apple and lime flavors against savory green bean and white pepper notes.
Weygandt-Metzler Importing, Unionville, PA
EV  I  Silvan Ridge $14
2004 Oregon Chardonnay
Soft and vanilla scented, this wine has clean sweet golden apple flavors bolstered by oak. Serve with roast turkey. (250 cases)
Silvan Ridge, Eugene, OR
2004 Chianti
This light and soft Chianti has clean cherry flavors that last. A great party pour.
Prestige Wine Imports, NY
GV  I  Meridian $13
2004 Central Coast Pinot Noir
Red-fruited with gentle pinot noir sweetness, this is built for lasagna layered with mozzarella and pork ragù.
Meridian Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA
GV  I  Clayhouse $13
2003 Paso Robles Syrah
Sweet berry fruit melds into the coffee-like richness of this wine's tannins. It's full and giving, a great everyday red. (692 cases)
Clayhouse Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA
GV  I  Joseph Drouhin $14
2004 Morgon
Full and earthy, with violet scents and dark fruit density, this is balanced and not at all grapey. A vinous cru Beaujolais for coq au vin.
Dreyfus, Ashby & Co., NY
GV  I  Hangtime $15
2004 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
If good, cheap pinot noir is your holy grail, look no further. This spicy elixir of berries, pepper and mint is light and pretty. For grilled fish.
Hangtime Cellars, Graton, CA

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