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Gascogne and Other Value White Wines

Gascogne and Other Value White Wines

It’s easy to remember Côtes de Gascogne white wines. Just remember The Three Musketeers, who hail from this out-of-the-way region of Southwest France also known as the producer of France’s great Armagnac brandies.

These are great wines to have with seafood and most appetizers, especially those involving shellfish, as the whites, although fruity, are largely crisp in the finish. Most of the grapes are little known in America, but their good acidity makes them ideal for both brandy production and as wines to begin a meal. They include grapes such as colombard, ugni blanc and gros and petit manseng blended with international varieties such as sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. The prices — all under $10 — are unbeatable.

Also in this review are some interesting white wines from another emerging region: Sicily.

Domaine Duffour Côtes de Gascogne 2013 ($9)

The vinous equivalent of a spicy, tangy fresh apples with notes of apple skin. However, it is full-bodied, with the lead grape being colombard.

Domaine des Cassagnoles “cuvée gros manseng” Côtes de Gascogne 2013 ($9)

Somewhat floral notes plus citrus fruits — lime and lemon — and good finishing acidity.

Domaine de Pajot “Les Quatre Cépages” Côtes de Gascogne 2013 ($9)

Sauvignon blanc joins the native varieties here to make a quite juicy wine with flavors of fresh grape juice, kiwi fruit and tart lime. Obvious good acidity makes this a great pre-meal choice to get the gastric juices pumping.

Domaine de Pellehaut “Harmonie de Gascogne” Côtes de Gascogne 2013 ($8)

Juicy-tart with green apple and green gooseberry tastes, but with a touch of creaminess. Still tight in the finish.

Tariquet “Rosé de Pressé” Côtes de Gascogne 2013 ($8)

As this rosé fall more into the white category, it is included here as a tart pink with flavors of fresh and dried strawberries.

Feudo Arancio Stemmari Sicily pinot grigio 2013 ($9)

A little plump, but with good acidity to rescue. Mixture of tropical and green fruity flavors.

Feudo Arancio Stemmari “Dalila” Sicily white wine 2012 ($12)

An 80/20 mixture of grillo (be prepared to hear more about this grape) and viognier produces a wine with soft apple flavors, some viognier floweriness and a pleasant apple finishing taste.

Feudo Arancio Stemmari “Baci Vivaci” Sicily white wine nonvintage ($12)

Very light and slightly fizzy with tangy acidity. At 10.5 percent, it is also a good wine for those who prefer low alcohol.


John Wilson: Five good-value discoveries from Marks & Spencer&rsquos Found series

Marks & Spencer has always tried hard to offer an interesting and eclectic range of wines. It recently released its Found series, featuring wines from lesser-known regions, unfamiliar grape varieties, or sometimes both. The full range features 12 wines, eight of which have found their way to Ireland so far. These will sit alongside M&S’s Classic and This Is ranges, launched last year. Wines made from esoteric grape varieties tend to be expensive, but happily those in the Found range all cost between €10.50 and €15. As well as the five bottles featured here, they include a Feteasca Regala, from Romania, a Vinho Verde rosé, a Nerello Cappuccio from Sicily (all €10.50) and a sparkling Blanquette de Limoux (€15).

M&S Found Ribolla Gialla 2020, Venezia Giulia, €10.50
This is a very moreish springlike light white with melons and pears and a cleansing citrus note. Try it solo or with shellfish or summer salads.

M&S Found Gros Manseng 2020, IGP Cotes de Gascogne, €13.30
Gros Manseng and its cousin Petit Manseng are components in the dry and sweet wines of Jurançon, in southwest France. Here in nearby Gascony, it produces a very seductive textured wine with mouth-watering peaches and pears. I would drink this alongside baked salmon or a Thai green prawn curry.

M&S Found Moschofilero & Roditis 2020, €12.50
Two indigenous Greek grape varieties, the Moschofilero adding perfume and fresh grapey fruit to the honeyed citrus of Roditis. This is a very moreish fresh, crisp, lightly saline white with real character. Tiring of Sauvignon Blanc? Try this.

M&S Found Xinomavro Mandilaria 2020, Greece, €14
Xinomavro is one of Greek’s best grape varieties, but it can be quite tannic on its own. Mandilaria, widely grown throughout Greece, provides softer, easier fruits to provide balance. This has warming, savoury, earthy dark-cherry fruits, light tannins and a dry finish. One to savour with a beef or lamb stew, or maybe moussaka.

M&S Found Mazuelo 2019, Rioja, €12.50
Mazuelo, otherwise known as Carignan, is not widely grown in Rioja and usually features as a minor part of a blend. Here it works extremely well with nicely concentrated fresh, ripe dark fruits, good acidity and a long finish. Drink it with roast lamb or roast Mediterranean vegetables.


BEST VALUE UNDER €15

Baron de Baussac Carignan, Gascogne, France - €8.50

Carignan is definitely having a moment with excellent old vine versions available now from Chile, Spain and the Languedoc. This is however from South West France and is packed with bright red fruit aromas, berry fruits on the front palate with textured darker fruits coming through later. Remarkably juicy and drinkable for the price. A party wine if ever I saw one.

Levalet Marsanne Viognier, Languedoc, France - €9.50

This and its sister wine Levalet Malbec both won ‘best wine under €10’ at the supermarket focused ‘Quality Drinks’ awards a few weeks ago. This is the better of the two I think, honeyed peach and melon aromas, soft white fruits with good texture and citrus freshness on the finish – a good mix of ripe fruits and decent concentration for the price.

Domaine Duffour Côtes de Gascogne, France - €9.95

Stockist: O’Briens Wines nationwide www.wine.ie

I’ve always had a grá for the crisp fresh whites of Gascony, wines that were once quite simple and mainly distilled into Armagnac but now have a firm fan following in their own right. A blend of Colombard, Gros Manseng and Ugni Blanc this has lots of floral fruity aromas – lilies and limes and a hint of peach but with sprightly acidity and freshness.


Seductive wines from southwest France

Domaine Lasserre Jurançon, France 2014 (£6.99, 37.5cl, The Co-op) ‘Manseng means Jurançon means sex!’ They don’t make wine ads like this any more. The strap line words, which appeared on the posters put together in the 1920s by producers from Jurançon, were inspired by Colette. She had a bit of thing for these southwestern French wines made from the petit and gros manseng grapes, calling them the ‘great seducer’. It was a comment that probably made most sense in a Parisian boudoir, but you can test the poet’s aphrodisiac hypothesis by picking up a bottle in the rather less glamorous surrounds of your local Lidl or Co-op, both of which have some striking sweet nectars from these hilly vineyards near Pau, with the Co-op’s Lasserre just about pipping the Lidl Jurançon 2015 (£7.99, 75cl) for luminous tropical fruit and crystallised grapefruit tang.

Clos Lapeyre Jurançon Sec, France 2015 (£8.99, Smiling Grape) If Jurançon was historically best known for its fabulously long-lived late-harvested sweet wines (and it has a long history with references to its superior quality dating back to the 14th century), it makes great dry wines, too. Generally speaking, it’s the smaller-berried petit manseng that makes the stickies, while gros manseng is usually reserved for dry wines. That’s the way one of the great modern masters of Jurançon, Jean-Bernard Larrieu, goes about his business. His brilliant-value Sec has all gros manseng’s qualities of penetrating tanginess, exotic fruit and brisk, Pyrenean stream freshness, while the extravagantly exotic, honeyed, richness and citric acidic cut of petit manseng is shown off in La Magendia de Lapeyre 2014 (£14.99, 37.5cl).

Tesco Finest Côtes de Gascogne, France 2016 (£6.50) Beyond Jurançon, the mansengs are no less attractive in Gascony, where they make some of the best-value dry white wines around. Gros manseng is joined by the rather less sexy colombard in this zesty-tangy, citrussy Tesco number, which is made by the same excellent co-op (Plaimont) behind the slightly richer, more tropical but still mouthwateringly juicy and brisk Marks & Spencer Saint-Mont 2015 (£9), a blend of gros manseng with the Gascon locals petit corbu and arrufiac. And from the same winemaking district as the intense reds of Madiran, which goes by the name of Pacherenc de Vic Bihl when it’s making white wines dry and sweet, the great Brumont estate makes the vivid, but graceful, grapefruit marmalade sweetie Château Bouscassé Les Larmes Célestes Doux 2014 (from £14.50, 50cl, The Wine Society).

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The Best Affordable White Wine, $15 and Under

Here are more than 60 still and sparkling whites, all steals, that are on store shelves now. These terrific bottles come from some of the world's best wineries.

There are plenty of super-pricey white wines in the world𠅊 bottle of Domaine de la Romanພ-Conti Montrachet will set you back $5,000𠅋ut most of us are not billionaires. Fine. Life may not be fair in that way, but it&aposs got its good points, too: For instance, you can also seriously improve your evening by picking up one of these great white wines that all run $15 or under. Even if you are a billionaire, in fact.

2019 Aveleda Fonte Vinho Verde ($8)

A blend of Trajadura, Loureiro, Arinto and Azal Branco grapes, this is bracing, with citrus and green apple notes.

2019 La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Luberon Blanc ($8)

From Rhône&aposs southernmost zone, this is fresh and peachy.

2019 Indaba Western Cape Chenin Blanc ($10)

Lemon-lime and herb flavors mark this refreshing white.

2020 Berger Kremstal Grüner Veltliner ($11 for 1 liter)

Sealed with an easy-to-pop crown cap, this zesty one-liter bottling makes a great summer white.

2020 Le Jaja de Jau Pays d&aposOc Sauvignon Blanc ($11)

Tart and refreshing, with lime and grapefruit flavors.

2019 Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore Secco ($8)

Fresh and fragrant, with citrus, peach and floral flavors.

NV Segura Viudas Cava Brut Reserva ($10)

This low-priced gem is packed with green apple and citrus.

2017 Catena Alamos Mendoza Chardonnay ($10)

Oak aging adds a vanilla note to tangy citrus and pear flavors.

2019 d&aposArenberg The Stump Jump McLaren Vale White ($12)

A medium-bodied blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne that&aposs packed with fruit flavor.

2019 Santa Carolina Casablanca Reserva Chardonnay ($13)

The Casablanca Valley&aposs cooler climate imparts a nice vibrancy to ripe apricot and peach flavors.

2019 Maculan Pino & Toi Veneto ($15)

A peachy, floral blend of Toi (formerly known as Tocai), Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio at a super price.

2019 Veramonte Casablanca Reserva Sauvignon Blanc ($11)

Bold tropical aromas are followed by lime flavors.

2019 Ken Forrester Petit Stellenbosch Chardonnay ($14)

A creamy, aromatic white from renowned South African vintner Ken Forrester.

2020 Los Vascos Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($10)

Zippy and refreshing, with savory lime and grass flavors.

2020 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling ($11)

Year in and year out, this Washington State Riesling—which is crisp, dry, and full of vibrant lime-zesty fruit—is one of the best deals in white wine around.

2018 Hogue Cellars Columbia Valley Riesling ($11)

Citrus and peach flavors mark this lovely off-dry bargain.

2019 Elsa Bianchi Mendoza Torrontés ($11)

Orange blossom and minerals mark this delicious white from one of the coolest areas in Mendoza&aposs San Rafael subregion.

2019 Marqués de Cres Ruedo Verdejo ($10)

A citrus and floral-tinged Verdejo from esteemed Rioja producer Marqués de Cres.

2019 Anselmo Mendes Pássaros Vinho Verde Loureiro ($10)

Loaded with bright, zippy lime and green pear flavors, this refreshing white is a terrific value.

2020 Condes de Albarei Rias Baixas Albariño ($14)

An ideal summer sipper, this Albariño features light, zesty green apple notes and a salty kick.

2020 Yalumba Y Series Unwooded South Australia Viognier ($11)

Crisp and evocative, this affordable version of a notoriously difficult grape to grow is particularly impressive.

2018 Santa Rita Casablanca Reserva Sauvignon Blanc ($13)

Consistently an amazing value, this Sauvignon Blanc is loaded with fragrant lime, herb and tropical flavors.

2018 The Chard Project California Chardonnay ($14)

An appealing everyday Chardonnay with ample yellow apple flavors at an incredible value.

2019 Dry Creek Vineyard Clarksburg Chenin Blanc ($14)

Made with grapes from a vineyard located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, this features lively citrus tones.

2019 Edna Valley Vineyard Paragon Edna Valley Chardonnay ($13)

A great everyday white, bursting with refreshing green apple and citrus notes.

2019 A to Z Wineworks Oregon Pinot Gris ($15)

A great value, with bright apple and lime on the palate.

2019 Acrobat Foley Oregon Pinot Gris ($14)

A great value full of satiny quince, nut and apple flavors.

2018 Lamoreaux Landing Finger Lakes Dry Riesling ($13)

This white&aposs robust peach flavors are deliciously juicy and made vivid by bright acidity.

2019 Château de Saint Cosme Little James&apos Basket Press Vin de Pays d&aposOc ($14)

This unusual, crisply delicious blend of lush, tropical Viognier and zesty Sauvignon Blanc comes at a compellingly low price.

2019 Inama Soave Classico ($15)

Citrusy and refreshing, this Soave boasts a round texture and loads of minerals on the finish.

2019 Tasca d&aposAlmerita Sicilia Regaleali Bianco ($14)

Almerita&aposs Regaleali estate turns out this fresh, floral-edged blend of three native grapes.

2019 Pierre Sparr Alsace Pinot Blanc ($15)

Fresh apple and pear notes mark this food-friendly wine.

2019 Mulderbosch Western Cape Chenin Blanc ($15)

Bursting with intense zesty lime and green apple flavors.

2018 Hugel Alsace Gentil ($15)

This filigreed, aromatic white blend has lots of personality.

2019 Bodegas Nekeas Vega Sindoa Navarra Chardonnay ($13)

Silky baked pear and stone fruit mark this great-value white.

2019 Kendall-Jackson Vintner&aposs Reserve California Chardonnay ($13)

Straightforward citrus flavors are rich yet focused in this tasty KJ white.

2020 Cousiño-Macul Isidora Maipo Sauvignon Gris ($15)

Lemon-lime flavors reveal a pleasant trace of sweetness in this Chilean white.

2020 CVNE Monopole Rioja Blanco ($14)

Zippy acidity and ripe melon and citrus notes make this a textbook introduction to the Viura grape.

NV Mionetto Prosecco Treviso Brut ($13)

Crisp and bright, with zippy lemon and apple accents.

2019 Matetic Corralillo San Antonio Sauvignon Blanc ($15)

Marked by vivacious passion fruit and grapefruit.

2019 Buitenverwachting Constantia Sauvignon Blanc ($15)

A firm backbone of acidity and brisk grass and mineral flavors.

2019 Simonsig Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc ($14)

There&aposs an appealing green apple note amid citrus flavors.

2019 Alois Lageder Alto Adige Pinot Grigio ($15)

A fragrant, mineral white that makes a strong case for the Pinot Grigio grape.

2019 Martín Cx Albariño ($14)

This widely available bottling makes a great introduction to Albariño, with zesty lime and herb flavors and a hint of fizz.

2020 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc / Viognier ($14)

Melony and crisp, this juicy but unoaked white comes from a producer primarily known for high-end Napa Valley Cabernets.

2019 Badenhorst The Curator White Blend ($11)

South African wine superstar Adi Badenhorst crafts this supple white from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier from cool vineyards on the country&aposs western coast.

2019 Novellum Chardonnay ($13)

Three months on the lees (leftover yeasts) from Domaine Lafage&aposs Viognier-based whites give this Chardonnay from France&aposs Roussillon surprising depth and richness.

2019 Herencia Altés Garnatxa Blanca ($14)

Old vines in Spain&aposs Terra Alta region are the source for this fresh, juicy white Grenache, which has a touch of citrus peel bitterness (in a nice way) on the finish.

2019 Azul y Garanza Viura ($13 for 1 liter)

A Spanish white for Sauvignon Blanc lovers, this liter-sized bottle from Navarra offers bright, grapefruit-inflected flavors that would be perfect with raw oysters.

2019 Telmo Rodriguez Basa White ($15)

One of Spain&aposs most talented winemakers, Rodriguez works in a number of regions and with a number of grapes varieties. This spritely white from Rueda has fresh lime and mineral notes.

2019 Garofoli Macrina Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico ($15)

This floral, straw-colored Italian white ends on the almondy note typical of Verdicchio. It&aposs eminently refreshing, and ideal for an early evening cocktail party.

2019 Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio/Verduzzo ($14)

Famed Amarone producer Masi doesn&apost just make powerful, pricey reds. Witness this minerally blend of Pinot Grigio with the far less well known, local Friulian variety Verduzzo.

2018 Hess Select Monterey County Chardonnay ($13)

Creamy pear notes and a judicious amount of oak spice make this Chardonnay from California&aposs cool Monterey region an excellent deal.

2019 J Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay ($13)

Ripe peach and tropical fruit notes abound in this full-bodied white. For those who like their Chardonnay in the richer and more creamy California style, this is a consistent winner.

2020 Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino ($14)

This Sardinian white has a seashell minerality to it, together with plenty of citrusy fruit. Grilled shrimp would be an ideal pairing.

2019 La Carraia Orvieto Classico ($12)

Floral and melony, this Italian white𠅊 mix of Grechetto and Procanico, with a little Viognier and Vermentino to add aromatic lift—is a crisp winner at an excellent price.

2020 Vermonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Made with Organic Grapes ($12)

This organic Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is peppery, grapefruity and has a finish that recalls salty lime zest—think spicy margarita in wine form and you won&apost be far off.

2020 Cousiño-Macul Isidora Sauvignon Gris ($15)

Sauvignon Gris offers a little more texture than its more well known relation, Sauvignon Blanc. In this Chilean white, it has green apple and cut grass notes, with a hint of white pepper on the finish.

2019 Kris Pinot Grigio ($15)

A consistent white wine value, Kris consistently delivers more personality than most similarly priced Pinot Grigios—think white peaches and a hint of citrus blossom, dry and light.

2019 Bila-Haut Côtes de Roussillon Blanc ($15)

Famed Rhône winemaker Michel Chapoutier started this Roussillon several years back - the white, a blend of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Macabeu & Vermentino, is lush and citrusy.


Wine Berserkers - international wine social media, online community, and discussion

Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#1 Post by PawelP » March 17th, 2020, 12:21 pm

I am relatively new to wines, my taste preference is probably a bit unorthodox for this forum but I think experienced drinkers will not have a problem with recommendations.
I am after bold, colourful, passionate, most aromatic good quality white wine. I like in particular notes of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, butter, oaky but other recommendations more towards fruity if aromatic and engaging are also appreciated. Rather value segment in terms of pricing - best would be 10 - 15 EUR.
From what I have tried so far 19crimes is top on my list although it has this drawback that it loses its aroma quite quickly after opening, a few hours later is pretty much gone.
I guess Ménage a Trois, Meomi and Bogle Chardonnay would fit in well, there are on the list but have not tried them yet as Poland is not the best place in terms of wine availability.
So any recommendations are very welcome, in particular popular, iconic ones.

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#2 Post by dave kammerer » March 17th, 2020, 12:39 pm

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#3 Post by Brandon R » March 17th, 2020, 12:58 pm

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#4 Post by Bill H o o p e r » March 17th, 2020, 1:05 pm

If you can get it where you live (I assume so, since you asked in EURs), Rebholz Muskateller is the best value aromatic white in the world IMO.

The 2019 should be released soon. Amazing!

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#5 Post by Nathan Smyth » March 17th, 2020, 1:12 pm

You should have access to vastly more cultivars of Vitis vinifera in Europe than we do in the United States.

In terms of fruity-tooty aromatics which are relatively close to Poland, you have Gewurztraminer in Eastern France [Alsace], Welschriesling [Riesling Italico] in Austria, and Furmint from Hungary.

Those are all fairly close to you geographically, and it seems like you ought to be able to find them in your local stores [. ].

Way down south, in Greece, you also have Assyrtiko, which can produce strong aromatics.

If you can find some inexpensive [but well made] Gewurztraminer & Assyrtiko, then for aromatics, I think I'd start with those two cultivars. And I'd like to imagine that you could find some very nice table wines [made from those cultivars] in the price range of 7.5 to 12.5 euros [heck, you might even be able to find some great wines down around 5 euros].

You also shouldn't have any trouble finding Furmint - Hungary is just a stone's throw across Slovakia from Poland - and if Hungary can't export Furmint to Poland, then they need a new business model.

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#6 Post by John Davis » March 17th, 2020, 1:53 pm

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#7 Post by John Morris » March 17th, 2020, 4:15 pm

Chocolate almost never occurs in white wine, but vanilla, caramel, butter and oak are easy to find, particularly in New World chardonnays -- American and Australian, for example.

What you're describing, including the vanilla and caremel, is classic oaky flavors. (Butter is usually from malolactic fermentation but is often found in oak-aged chardonnay.)

You're much less likely to find those flavors in wines that aren't aged in new oak (or have oak chips used, in the case of cheaper wines). I wouldn't expect to find those flavors in Côtes-du-Rhône blanc, Gewurztraminer. Welschriesling, Furmint or Assyrtiko since those rarely see any new oak.

So I'd recommend concentrating your focus on chardonnays like 19Crimes, Meomi and Bogle.

"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

"I penciled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#8 Post by Scott Brunson » March 17th, 2020, 4:42 pm

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#9 Post by Nathan Smyth » March 17th, 2020, 8:55 pm

Chocolate almost never occurs in white wine, but vanilla, caramel, butter and oak are easy to find, particularly in New World chardonnays -- American and Australian, for example.

What you're describing, including the vanilla and caremel, is classic oaky flavors. (Butter is usually from malolactic fermentation but is often found in oak-aged chardonnay.)

You're much less likely to find those flavors in wines that aren't aged in new oak (or have oak chips used, in the case of cheaper wines). I wouldn't expect to find those flavors in Côtes-du-Rhône blanc, Gewurztraminer. Welschriesling, Furmint or Assyrtiko since those rarely see any new oak.

So I'd recommend concentrating your focus on chardonnays like 19Crimes, Meomi and Bogle.

CHARDONNAY: Smells of a certain type of hominid congress which is not spoken of in polite discourse, but which, in the seedier parts of town, is known as "Funk".

RIESLING: Smells of liquid excrement from the hominid bowel tract spoken of in polite discourse as "petrol".

SAUVIGNON BLANC: Smells of feline genito-urinary discharge [although the best vintners can work with that].

Anyway, getting back to other recommendations more towards fruity if aromatic and engaging , I think Gewurtraminer & Assyrtiko would be excellent places to start, with Furmint & Welschriesling being very good second steps to take after that.

Re: Most aromatic value white wine recommendations

#10 Post by PawelP » March 17th, 2020, 11:53 pm

>Chocolate almost never occurs in white wine, but vanilla, caramel, butter and oak are easy to find, particularly in New World chardonnays -- American and Australian, for example.
That has been my conclusion from a year of active researching and trying so it seems that should be the main direction - New World chardonnays.

>You're much less likely to find those flavors in wines that aren't aged in new oak (or have oak chips used, in the case of cheaper wines). I wouldn't expect to find those flavors in Côtes-du-Rhône blanc, >Gewurztraminer. Welschriesling, Furmint or Assyrtiko since those rarely see any new oak.
That is also my experience With one remark though. There is aromatic life outside Chardonnay On the top of my personal list in the 15 EUR segment is this lady: Villa Wolf GEWÜRZTRAMINER - wonderfully aromatic, with this unusual rosey note. Tastes much unlike a few other Gewurztraminers I have tried. That is the main basis why I put the question more open, not narrowing it to Chardonnays.
And above described, my humble wine experiences so far lead me to believing that general discussions about grape varieties do not bring the value I would happily tap to in this forum
Also I have tried more than a dozen Chardonnays and most of them have been rather classic breed, also New World.

>So I'd recommend concentrating your focus on chardonnays like 19Crimes, Meomi and Bogle.
So it seems my list looks as a good start but what about expanding it ?
Or except Ménage a Trois which is now off - do you think it does not match the target ?

I'd like to propose a voting for top aromatic list of specific wine brands.
I can see two rankings:
A) Oaky caramel vanilla creamy or buttery Chardonnay up to 15 EUR:
My vote:
1. 19Crimes
2. Bogle
3. Meomi

B) Non-Chardonnay aromatic wine 15 EUR:
1. Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer

I would very much appreciate your rankings for A) and/or B) - no limits for the number of contenders - the more (quality ones from OWN experience) the better

If someone cannot resist the temptation to hint at an upper shelf challenger because it is really extraordinary aromatic (and good quality, possibly iconic) then also welcome but maybe not over 30 EUR, overdue recession might be coming :/


12 Wines Under $12: How Low Can You Go and Still Find Values?

The quest for exciting bottles gets trickier as the price drops. But you can still find some gems with a $12 limit.

What kind of wines can you buy for $12? More important, what kind of values will you find?

The relationship between price and quality is neither exact nor easy to define. But the lower the price and the higher the quality, the greater the wine value.

Though it seems simple, this equation is contorted by many variables. There’s supply and demand, of course. Changing vintage conditions or the unexpected rise to cult status of a once-obscure producer from a long-ignored region can further complicate the economics.

Value is also a relative term. A great deal from Burgundy will be vastly different from a steal from Abruzzo.

Over years of thinking about this issue, I have concluded that for most consumers, the greatest values are found in the range of $15 to $20 a bottle. At this price, you will find wines that are not only sound, but exciting. These bottles are often the works of traditional craftsmanship, which makes wine an expression of culture.

I’ve held to this formula for more than a decade, putting together lists of great values from all corners of the wine world. Sometimes, the bottles have been obscure, as the general esteem in which a region is held is inversely proportional to value. But often the wines come from regions right under our noses.

While $15 to $20 is the land of plenty, I inevitably hear from people who believe $20 is too much to pay for a bottle of wine. Some argue that $20 is beyond their budgets, which I understand. Others simply feel that no bottle is worth more than $10, $5 or another arbitrarily chosen figure.

I understand that position, too. We all have different spending priorities.

If, for example, you prefer wines that are farmed conscientiously for environmental, moral or health reasons (practices that produce better grapes) it becomes difficult to find acceptable bottles in this price range. Farming organically, for example, is much more labor-intensive. Cutting costs often means scaling up and mechanizing.

Similarly, in the winery, shortcuts like dunking oak staves or oak-dust tea bags into tanks of wine to infuse them with flavor are far more economical than aging wine in oak barrels. So is adding yeast nutrients, bacteria and enzymes, all intended to ensure the achievement of a wine that will fit predetermined specifications with a minimum of fuss and chance.

These and other cost-saving techniques can be crude, and tend to make dull, obvious wines. While such bottles can cost far more than $20, it’s easier to escape the tyranny of such processed wines at $20 than it is at $8 or $10 or $12.

Exciting wines can be found at $12 or less, though it is not easy. While this list contains some gems — like a red from Bodegas Olivares in the Jumilla region of Spain, made from very old vines of monastrell — these wines are for the most part simple pleasures.

I don’t mean that as faint praise. I will always have a place for wines like these.

Here are 12 bottles, each under $12, in no particular order.

Il Conte Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 $8.99

The appellation, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, reveals exactly what this wine is: montepulciano grapes from the Abruzzo region of central Italy, on the Adriatic coast. Nothing complex here, just the wonderful, quintessential combination of sweet cherry fruit tempered by a bit of bitterness and acidity found in so many Italian reds. It’s delicious and refreshing. (Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

Domaine Duffour Côtes de Gascogne 2017 $9.99

This intensely floral, unusual white comes from the Côtes de Gascogne, a catchall region in southwest France perhaps better known for brandy. In fact, the main grapes in this wine, colombard and ugni blanc, are better known as components of Cognac. Altogether, this wine is lively, balanced and intriguing. (Skurnik Wines, New York)

Moulin de Gassac Pays d’Hérault Guilhem 2017 $9.99

This cheerful, dry red blend comes from one of the best Languedoc producers, Mas de Daumas Gassac, working in concert with a local cooperative. It’s a typical modern southern blend: 40 percent syrah, 25 percent grenache, 20 percent mourvèdre and 15 percent carignan. At $9.99, it’s a great value, with bright, earthy flavors of red fruit that linger. (Polaner Selections)

Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava Brut NV $9.99

This cava, the bubbly of Spain, is straightforward and uncomplicated. It’s dry and fresh, with yeasty, apple flavors and a lacy texture. In case anybody confuses it with a far more exalted sparkling wine, the label will set you straight: “Jaume Serra Cristalino is not affiliated with, sponsored by, approved by, endorsed by, or in any way connected to Louis Roederer’s Cristal Champagne or Louis Roederer.” (CIV U.S.A., Miami)

VRAC Bordeaux 2015 $10.99

Here’s a bottle of plain old Bordeaux from the outlying areas of the exalted region, the sort of wine, we are told, that nobody buys anymore. Except, this is the proverbial great drink: a dry, delicious, refreshing wine that goes with all sorts of foods. It’s 70 percent merlot, 20 percent cabernet franc and the rest cabernet sauvignon, and harks back to a time when local villagers bought their wines “en vrac,” or in bulk, in containers that they filled and refilled directly from the producer. (Village Wine Imports, Bronx, N.Y. )

Altos Las Hormigas Mendoza Malbec Clásico 2017 $10.99

Violet-scented Argentine malbec is a good thing. Violet-scented Argentine malbec that is medium-bodied, unmarred by clumsy oak treatments or other cellar techniques, is a great thing. This bottle, from an excellent producer, is a superb value. (Skurnik Wines)

Viña Zorzal Navarra Graciano 2016 $10.99

Graciano is often part of the Rioja blend, but I rarely see it on its own. This wine is 100 percent graciano, from the Navarra region of north central Spain, aged in old oak barrels. It’s lightly floral, with plenty of crackling, refreshing acidity. (David Bowler Wine, New York)

Pine Ridge California Chenin Blanc & Viognier 2017 $10.99

Pine Ridge, a Napa Valley producer, has been making this lively blend of chenin blanc and viognier for ages. The grapes don’t come from Napa, which keeps the price down. It’s light and bright, with flavors of flowers and herbs and maybe a touch of residual sugar. It will go well with seafood or chicken.

Trimbach Alsace Pinot Blanc 2016 $11.99

Pinot blanc is just an everyday wine in Alsace. And while producers there make many pinot blanc wines, the majority, like this one, are not made from the pinot blanc grape. Instead, they are often auxerrois, another white grape, with perhaps a small percentage of pinot blanc. Regardless of the constituents, this is light and pleasant, with aromas and flavors of citrus and herbs. (Esprit du Vin, Boca Raton, Fla.)

CVNE CUNE Rioja Crianza 2015 $11.99

This is easygoing, pure tempranillo, blended with a little bit of garnacha and mazuelo. It’s a classic formula for Rioja, complete with a modest cushioning of oak. It’s not a complex wine, but it’s highly satisfying. (Arano, Boca Raton, Fla.)

Bodegas Olivares Jumilla Altos de la Hoya Monastrell 2016 $11.99

Sandy soils, as in this vineyard in the Jumilla region of southeastern Spain, are intolerable to phylloxera, the aphid that started to eat its way through European vineyards in the 19th century. As a result, these old vines of monastrell, or mourvèdre as it’s known in French, did not have to be grafted onto American rootstock, which resists phylloxera. Is that why this powerful, spicy red is so deep and rich? I don’t know, but this bottle is an extraordinary value. (Rare Wine Company, Brisbane, Calif.)

Valdespino Deliciosa Manzanilla NV 375 milliliters $9.99

I love manzanilla sherry, and it astonishes me that world-class bottles, and half-bottles like this one, are available for $10. This savory, briny, delicate wine would be a lovely aperitif anytime, but especially when served cool in warmer weather. Want another treat? You can find half-bottles of Valdespino Inocente, Deliciosa’s iconic fino sibling, for the same price. (Polaner Selections)


Futures Policy

You pay for wines on a Futures order, plus any local alcohol taxes, at the time of order confirmation. You are responsible, at the time of pick-up, for any charges billed to Binny&rsquos Beverage Depot which are above the prepaid price of the wine and may include tariffs, duties, sales taxes and/or shipping and insurance costs.

The minimum order for Wine Futures is 6 bottles per item. You will be notified by e-mail that we received your order request. By the next regular business day, you will receive an e-mail confirming available quantities on your order request.

We reserve the right to limit quantities of wines ordered on a Futures request.

When your wine arrives, we will contact you to make arrangements for pick-up or shipping. In the event we are unable to contact you within 90 days of receiving your wine, we reserve the right to dispose of the wine and refund the original price you paid, less a 20% service fee.

Due to the rarity of these wines, we request shipped orders be insured. Shipments include insurance up to $100. Current insurance rates, after the first $100, are 80 cents per $100 of value. Required tariffs, duties, sales taxes and shipping and insurance charges are assessed at the applicable rate when the wine is shipped to you. Wines are shipped in damage resistant containers made for shipping wine bottles. If you would like to have the original wooden crates, they can be shipped separately via UPS ground for an additional shipping charge.


22 Great-Tasting White Wines for $20 or Less


If you think cheap white wine is only for grandma's spritzer, think again. As a wine and spirit educator and judge, I've encountered hundreds of wines working with the Ultimate Beverage Challenge and selling and buying for restaurants and stores — and there are white wines costing no more than $20 to satisfy almost anyone's palate. At Cheapism, we've spoken with experts and wine vendors, read reviews, and held tastings to round up the best white wines that achieve a certain level of quality at a low price. Often the trick is to look beyond the chardonnays and pinot grigios (though they’re here, too) to less common varieties of grapes, such as melon de bourgogne or viura. And if your local wine shop lacks, check larger retailers such as Total Wine or BevMo. Looking for some suggestions for reds as well? Check out 50 Great-Tasting Red Wines Under $20.

Prices and availability are subject to change, and shipping is not available in all states.


Gascogne and Other Value White Wines - Recipes

91 Points, James Suckling

The Bisol “Jeio” Prosecco NV is a delicious sparkler that comes from the Veneto region of northeast Italy. A brilliant straw yellow color, the first sip is an intense and fresh nose of citrus fruits and saline sensations. If you love fruit forward sparklers… this one is for you.

Three Wine Contra Costa County Zinfandel 2018

90 Points, Wine Spectator

Fresh off its feature as one of Wine Spectator’s ‘Exciting California Values Under $25’, winemaker Matt Cline’s 2018 Contra Costa Zinfandel is a gem crafted off old-vines between 110-140 years in age. This is a bowl of blackberry fruit with a dusting of baking spice. The fruit is pure, fresh and long making it both delicious on its own or terrific with a burger, BBQ ribs, or grilled leg of lamb. Crazy cheap for what is in the bottle, load up!

Clos Julien Price Canyon Chardonnay 2019

The 2019 Clos Julien is a classic example of California coastal Chardonnay, zippy-fresh and long on the palate. It starts out with a great nose of Granny Smith apple, citrus rind and acacia. In the mouth, the fruit is pure, with plenty of extract and the finish is clean and crisp. This Pacific-influenced wine is the perfect house white, delicious by itself as an aperitif but a fantastic foil to the cuisine of summer, scallops, grilled poultry, and summer corn.

Frenzy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019

The 2019 Frenzy Malborough Sauvignon Blanc is a fabulous value white wine, loaded with green apples, pears and white peaches plus a hint of spice. It’s juicy and fresh, the perfect cocktail hour white. It’s what is referred to as the perfect ‘pool wine’. It’s great paired with just about anything or just enjoyed on its own.

Gianni Doglia Barbera d’Asti 2019

The 2019 Barbera from my friend Gianni Doglia just got off-loaded from its temp-controlled container and is ready to go. Black in color to the core, bright and wonderfully aromatic, this is an organic, juicy red wine that is flat-out epic with a Rosie’s pie. Do not miss out on what should be your next House red!

Cascade Heights Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2018

Drawn from two choice spots in the Columbia Valley where Washington’s high desert land meets the Columbia River – the 2018 Cascade Heights is a juicy, inky purple, full-bodied Cabernet. Despite the bright tannins that argue for a successful drinking window of over 10+ years, this big, juicy cab is drinking excellent right now. The ‘X’ factor though is the price.

Quinta de Couselo Albarino 2019

If you’ve never had one of Jose’s wines, you’re in for an absolute treat. Jose’s estate, Couselo is located just north of Portugal in Rias Baixas. It’s a coastal wine, sourced from old Albarino vines. It’s beautiful Albariño with a stony minerality and creamy, long finish that makes it both fantastic with anything from the sea but also just as good with a pre-meal apertif. The perfect backyard sipper.

Fabre Montmayou Mendoza Malbec Reserva 2019

91 Pts, Decanter Wine Awards

It’s hard to imagine a wine that delivers more bang for your buck and consistency than what Herve Fabre is able to produce from his 100+ year old vines each vintage. Last year, his Malbec Reserva landed on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Buys of the Year. Tasted last week, I expect similar accolades will roll in soon for this one. It’s a big, full-bodied Malbec with The 2018 Reserve Malbec from the heart of Mendoza is garnet in color with inviting aromas of raspberry pie, sage, herbs and roasted mushrooms. This is a wine that pairs perfectly with some cooler weather.

Xavier CDR 100% 2017

90-92 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Xavier Vignon’s highest ever rated CDR 100% from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate was described as, “Rich, velvety and long”. All three adjectives accurately describe what Xavier Vignon believes might be his greatest vintage of winemaking yet. His 100% Cotes du Rhone offers the best value in his impressive arsenal, with big, juicy flavors flooding out of this one and making it the ideal wine to enjoy with most anything at the table or by itself so it can truly shine.

Torres Alto Ibericos Rioja Crianza 2016

92 Points, James Suckling

A wine that was originally slated to be doled out amongst some of the bigger restaurant players, instead is available to the Nicholas faithful today. 92 points from James Suckling who called it “full-bodied with with firm, tight tannins that are polished and soft” before calling the wine, “extremely well done”. Big and bold with spicy and smoky notes, this is the kind of wine that screams for food and pairs well with everything.

Roc des Anges Côtes Catalanes Blanc Effet Papillon 2020

It’s hard to beat a great value white wine and this one is a at least a cut above the rest. One prominant industry insider called the 2020 edition, “the best white wine by any within $20/cs of this price.” It’s super crisp with a great mineral streak, and was carefully picked by hand when the temperature is coolest and is kept cool all the way into the press. From there, the effect of the mineral soil takes over, providing great finesse and freshness in every bottle. This white blend has great backbone and a lot of juicy fruit coming through behind aromas of flowers and stone fruits. At this price, it’s a no brainer.

Trousse Chemise Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2019

Every year since inception, Anne Sery’s Trousse Chemise wines have wowed folks from Coast to Coast (like Daniel Boulud). Her newly released 2019 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is easily one of the best in Oregon dollar for dollar. Wildly aromatic and bursting with an intense, berried up fruitiness– when people compare Oregon as the closest thing to Burgundy in America, this is what they are talking about. Juicy and vibrant, with even more expressive aromatics as a result of a cool September that allowed for maximum hangtime and concentration.

Pierre Sparr Riesling Alsace 2018

92 Points, Tasting Panel

This is a killer Riesling from one of the most trusted names in Alsace. The wine opens up to a bevy of different smells citrus and stone fruits, ripe melon and a hint of petrol. On the mouth, dry and crisp flavors of peach, pear and orange tang with a stony minerality and great tension. The mouthfeel on this is super long and expressive– a real treat with most food pairings at a true Tuesday night price.

Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana 2018

91 Points, Vinous

The Wine Advocate already knows: “Aia Vecchia is one of the more under the radar producers in Bolgheri, but the wines rarely fail to deliver the goods.” In the outstanding 2018 vintage, they delivered the goods and then some. The 2018 Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana is an absolute stunner. I’m calling early again this year – this will likely be my bargain of the year in Tuscany. Lush, dark fruits, licorice and baking spices with a lengthy smooth finish. It’s delicious.


Watch the video: Brown Baggin It - Episode #22 - Bellevue Seillan Cotes de Gascogne Blind Wine Tasting (December 2021).