Top 100 Best Buys 2012

Once people discover where we work, a common question tends to follow: What are the best wines under 20 dollars? It’s the constant conundrum of the wine lover, and a topic that attracts us all—how to find a good wine that gives you the most bang for your buck. To help guide smart shoppers the world over, we created our annual Top 100 Best Buys list.

The wines listed here carry suggested retail prices of $15 or less and are all labeled as Best Buys, meaning each possesses an excellent quality-to-price ratio. Our 2012 list is one of the most diverse and exciting collections of Best Buys that we’ve ever released, emphasizing the incredible assortment of high-quality selections that are currently available at affordable prices. Our quest to find even more wine values continues on, but for now, check out this year’s selections below.

Download the Full List in PDF Form

#100
90
points

Foris 2009 Dry Gewürztraminer (Rogue Valley)

  • Best Buy
  1. $14
Labeled dry and tasting very much so, this clean, floral-scented Gewürztraminer has a pleasingly dusty aspect; rose petals with a thin veneer of incense. Long and complex.  — P.G.  (3/1/2012)
#99
88
points

Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) 2010 Val de l'Ours Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah (Pays d'Oc)

  • Best Buy
  1. $13
Black tea leaves and sweet spices season the fresh black-cherry and cassis spine of this attractive red blend. A good grip in the mouth lends structure to the fruit-forward palate and gives longevity to the dry finish.  — L.B.  (6/1/2012)
#97
89
points

Raiza 2006 Reserva Tempranillo (Rioja)

  • Best Buy
  1. $14
Traditional in style and approachable, with aromas of brick dust, dried berry, tobacco and leather. Feels flush and just concentrated enough, while the flavors of baked berry, sweet plum and earth work well together. Finishes round and solid. A very good value.  — M.S.  (4/1/2012)
#96
87
points

Arge & Tina 2009 Malbec (San Juan)

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $8
Honest plum and berry aromas get it going, followed by a fresh, comfortable palate with raspberry and plum flavors and nonpushy tannins. Feels entirely clean, with a pleasant red-fruit aftertaste. Everyday Malbec that gets it right.  — M.S.  (5/1/2012)
#95
88
points

Alamos 2010 Red Blend (Mendoza)

  • Best Buy
  1. $13
This is the first blend from Alamos, and it sings a nice tune. Rubbery, slightly medicinal aromas give way to a full, honest, bulky wine. Ripe blackberry and cherry flavors rest in front of a good finish that’s full of vanilla and chocolate notes. Malbec, Bonarda and Tempranillo are the primary grapes.  — M.S.  (11/1/2012)
#93
90
points

Eola Hills 2010 Chardonnay (Oregon)

  • Best Buy
  1. $13
This has notes of sleek mixed fruits and toasty, bourbon-barrel-influenced flavors of toasted hazelnut and buttered popcorn that usually come at a higher price. Drink now.  — P.G.  (8/1/2012)
#92
89
points

Rotari NV Brut Talento Chardonnay (Trento)

  • Best Buy
  1. $14
With its well-recognized yellow label, Rotari’s Brut Talento (based on Chardonnay grapes) offers value and quality with toasty aromas of roasted almond, freshly baked bread and yellow fruit. The wine is creamy and smooth with a touch of citrus freshness on the close.  — M.L.  (12/31/2011)
#91
89
points

Castle Rock 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $12
Castle Rock does a fine job with this value Cabernet Sauvignon. Smooth and supple, the very pretty fruit flavors range from cranberry to black cherry. Delicate suggestions of mushroom, cocoa and dusty earth add welcome complexity.  — P.G.  (7/1/2012)

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