I have made it my mission in the world of wine to find those hidden gems that cost less than $20 and offer more to the drinker than some higher end styles. These wines, in my opinion, show the true extent of a winemaker’s talents and also the quality of the vineyards themselves.
The Rivetto Nebbiolo D’Alba ($15/750ml) is indeed a diamond in the rough. The Nebbiolo grape is used in the neighboring regions of Barolo and Barbaresco for making very prestigious wines that sell from $50 to several hundreds of dollars. The Rivetto offers a more new world approach to the Nebbiolo grape by making a more fruit driven, concentrated style typically not seen in Italian wines. From France, I offer you a wonderful taste of the original Malbec. The Clos La Coutale Cahors ($17/750ml) is divinely made with 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot its subtle aromas of plums and earth followed by flavors of plum, black currants and a hint of dark chocolate. A wonderful alternative to Chardonnay the Nessa Albarino ($15/750ml) is a racy, refreshing full-bodied white wine from the Rias Baixas region located in northern Spain, just north of the Portuguese border and is considered to be the perfect matches with seafood.
A tremendous value from Argentina the Llama Old Vine Malbec ($13/750ml) is 100% organically grown and produced from fifty-year-old Malbec vines. This Malbec offers deep concentrated flavors of plum and chocolate with a hint of tobacco summed up by a bold tannic finish. The Michael David Petite Petit ($18/750ml) which is a blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot and delivers a wonderful bouquet consisting of rich blackberries and dark chocolate that leads into a chewy palate of blackberry pie and huckleberries with hints of dark chocolate and is a nice alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. After a few heavy reds I like to cleanse my palate crisp refreshing white that breathes new life into my taste buds. Perfect for this is the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier ($12/750ml) which maintains a bright, crisp acidity coupled with luscious pear and melon flavors that captures the youthful exuberance of this 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Viognier blend. These wines are meant to stimulate the most experienced drinker, as well as, entice newcomers with flavors that excite at price that is affordable. Enjoy!