VALUES

Our panels tasted 1,388 new-release wines for the December 2005 issue, and singled out a range of inexpensive wines for the value offered. W&S critics Patrick J. Comiskey, Joshua Greene and Tara Q. Thomas then tasted these wines and rated them for their quality-price ratio. These 10 wines - designated "Good Value" or "Exceptional Value" - represent the best overall quality for the lowest price. Suggested national retail prices have been quoted by the winery or importer, but prices in your area may vary considerably. If you shop carefully, you may be able to find these wines at a significant discount to the price listed here.

SPARKLING
GV I Domaine Ste. Michelle $11
Columbia Valley Extra Dry Sparkling Wine
Grapey and clean with a lively mousse, Ste. Michelle's Extra Dry is a simple, straightforward sparkler with apple and dried pineapple flavors that walk a good line between tart and sweet. Chill for tapas.
Domaine Ste. Michelle, Paterson, WA

 
GV I Vietti $14
2004 Moscato d'Asti Cascinetta (Italy)
Rich scents of banana cream fill this soft moscato, balanced by acidity that keeps it clean. It's a simple wine for ripe peaches and cream.
Rèmy Amèrique, NY
 
WHITES
EV I J.L. Wolf $10
2004 Pfalz Villa Wolf Pinot Gris (Germany)
This is well balanced, with fragrant pear and lemon flavors and an underlying leesy richness. Clean and bright, it fills the mouth with broad aromas and a texture like soft-water sake, finishing dry and stony. Try it with broiled hamachi.
Loosen Bros. USA, Oregon City, OR

 
GV I Rancho Zabaco $10
2004 California Dancing Bull Sauvignon Blanc
This green, grassy sauvignon has a lime juice spice, a simple white for sole sautèed with grapes.
Zabaco Vintners, Healdsburg, CA
 
EV I Seebrich $15
2004 Rheinhessen Niersteiner Rosenberg Riesling Kabinett (Germany)
From the vineyard above Pettenthal on the Roter Hang, this has crisp minerality under silky, supple fruit. It's richly concentrated, with vibrant mandarin orange flavors that dance through the finish.
Chapin Cellars, Springfield, VA

 
REDS
GV I Hoodsport $9
2003 Columbia Valley Cabernet-Merlot
Sweet red cherries dominate in this soft, fruit-driven red from Columbia Valley. To pour with rosemary-roasted chicken and new potatoes. (3,000 cases)
HPW, Zillah, WA

 
GV I Neirano $9
2004 Barbera d'Asti (Italy)
This simple, meaty barbera finishes soft and sweet, a light red for sausages.
Biagio Cru and Estate Wines, Roslyn Heights, NY
 
GV I Big Yellow $11
2003 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
Green herb scents fill this soft, simple cabernet, to pour with pizza.
Mendocino Wine Co., Ukiah, CA
 
GV I Corvo $9
2003 Sicilia Nero d'Avola-Perricone-Nerello Mascalese (Italy)
Herbal and savory, this light, minty red with fresh cherry flavors goes down easily, especially with a roast chicken.
A.V. Imports, Columbia, MD

 
GV I Ravenswood $12
2003 California Cabernet Sauvignon
A peppery cabernet with green herb flavors, this has soft-textured tannins for roast leg of lamb.
Ravenswood, Sonoma, CA
 


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