Top 100 Best Buys 2011

Wine lovers the world over share a common complaint: Why does the stuff we so adore often seem to cost more than we can afford? This list is our antidote to rising wine prices, the remedy For what ails us. All of these wines carry suggested retail prices of $15 or less, which makes it a list of brands, regions and varieties you can bank on to keep your palate happy and your wallet fat.

Over the past 12 months, our tasting panelists reviewed more than 16,000 wines, granting the coveted Best Buy designation to only 1,224 (7.6%). From there, we whittled the numbers down to the Top 100 listed here, based on the relationship between score and price and factoring in availability and buzz. We also tried to balance the list in terms of wine style, variety and origin. The result is one of the finest and most eclectic collections of Best Buys we’ve ever come up with, testament to the efforts of the wine industry to offer ever-improving wines at realistic prices, and—dare we toot our own horn a little—our reviewers’ efforts to find the wine world’s best values.

#100
87
points

Cantina di Soave 2010 Re Midas Garganega (Soave)

  • Best Buy
  1. $10

Packaged in a screwcap bottle with an eye-catching purple label, Re Midas is a textbook expression of Soave with fresh aromas of melon, peach and honey. This well-priced white delivers a compact but crisp mouthfeel.

 — M.L.  (8/1/2011)
#99
88
points

Villa Pillo 2008 Borgoforte Red (Toscana)

  • Best Buy
  1. $12

Borgoforte is a well built and very well priced super Tuscan blend that would taste great with meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The wine is dense and round in the mouth with pretty but simple aromas of wild cherry and blueberry.

 — M.L.  (12/15/2010)
#96
91
points

Arbor Crest 2009 Bacchus Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley (WA))

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $8

Pungent aromas of concentrated stone fruits, bubble gum, a whiff of diesel and pine tar introduce a multidimensional wine with lip-smacking acidity. All stainless fermented, no malolactic, no acidification—just a clean, pure, natural and richly delicious wine, loaded with ripe, luscious peach, pear, papaya and apricot fruit.

 — P.G.  (2/1/2011)
#95
88
points

Delas Frères 2009 Saint-Esprit White (Côtes du Rhône)

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $12

Predominantly Grenache Blanc, this surprisingly mineral-laden white displays hints of graphite that underscore modest pear and melon fruit. It’s powerful yet restrained, and would be at home with a wide variety of fish or chicken dishes. Drink now.

 — J.C.  (9/29/2011)
#94
88
points

Monte Antico 2007 Red (Toscana)

  • Best Buy
  1. $12

From the excellent 2007 vintage, Monte Antico (a blend of 85% Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) offers easy spice aromas of clove and cinnamon followed by a fresh dose of cherry fruit.

 — M.L.  (10/1/2011)
#91
89
points

Cachette 2009 Red (Côtes du Rhône)

  • Best Buy
  1. $14

Rich, ripe and chocolaty in style, this is a full-bodied yet soft and velvety-textured wine. It’s a rich, satisfying mouthful of lusty red from the right bank of the Rhône, made by Laudun Chusclan Vignerons for the importer.

 — J.C.  (10/1/2011)

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