Top 100 Best Buys 2013

Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck, especially when it comes to wine. While there are plenty of occasions that warrant an expensive bottle, most of the time we’re all just looking for delicious selections that are easy on the wallet.

We also want a lot of them, as each one provides something special and satisfying: the ability to transport ourselves to that wine-producing region without ever having to board a plane. In support of this honorable and timeless mission, we present our annual list of the Top 100 Best Buys of the year.

All of the wines included here have suggested retail prices of $15 or less and are all awarded our Best Buy qualification, meaning they possess an excellent quality--to-price ratio. Of the thousands of wines reviewed over the past 12 months, only 922 (or roughly 5%) were awarded the Best Buy designation.

From there, we select the top wines that exhibit the best relationship between score and price while also considering other factors like availability and buzz. We also examine the list’s overall balance, so we can ultimately offer a selection that spans a wide array of styles, varieties and regions.

With a red Bordeaux in the number one spot and selections from 17 different countries, our 2013 list is one of the most exciting and diverse collections of Best Buys we’ve ever released, emphasizing today’s incredible range of high-quality wines at affordable prices. There’s no need to compromise quality for value. Enjoy!

Download the Full List in PDF Form

#100
87
points

Vaeni 2008 Emeros Dry Red Xinomavro (Naoussa)

  • Best Buy
  1. $11
Clove, cinnamon and raspberry aromas are followed by bright red-fruit and spice flavors on the palate. A dancing minerality keeps the wine’s spice and tannins in check. A good everyday red for burgers and pizza.  — S.K.  (4/1/2013)
#99
87
points

Evans & Tate 2011 Split River Shiraz (Western Australia)

  • Best Buy
  1. $10
Surprisingly full bodied and beefy for a $10 wine, this boasts scents of asphalt, scorched coffee and plummy fruit that lightens to cherry with air. Drink it over the next several years.  — J.C.  (9/1/2013)
#98
87
points

Valentin Bianchi 2012 Elsa Bianchi Torrontés (Mendoza)

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $10
This light, tropical wine captures the positives of Torrontés. The nose offers melon and mango, with no bitter notes. A citrusy, bouncy palate delivers spiced orange and pink grapefruit flavors before finishing juicy and chalky.  — M.S.  (10/1/2013)
#97
89
points

Three Rivers 2011 River’s Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

  • Best Buy
  1. $14
A very fine edition of River’s Red, this returns Merlot to the first chair (55%) position, with Syrah and Cab Franc splitting the rest. Sturdy, chewy, bone dry, tannic and authoritative, it’s a quintessential steak wine. Cassis, earth, hints of dried mushroom and those stiff but powerful tannins combine to make this a standout at the price.  — P.G.  (7/1/2013)
#96
88
points

Penya 2012 Viognier (Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes)

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $12
This is a fresh and vibrant wine, with upfront aromas of ripe peach, melon and Anjou pear all accented by hints of white florals and orange blossom. Lightweight, with an approachable, fruit-forward palate and a crisp, clean finish. Drink now.  — L.B.  (11/1/2013)
#95
87
points

Domaine Boyar 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Thracian Valley)

  • Best Buy
  1. $9
Pristine flavors of cassis and black cherry give an elegant floral quality to this dry, full-bodied Cabernet. Crisp with acidity, it’s balanced and impeccably crafted. It finishes long on a delicious coffee-inflected note.  — A.I.  (12/1/2012)
#94
89
points

L de Lyeth 2011 Merlot (Sonoma County)

  • Best Buy
  1. $14
Really impressive at this price for its depth of flavor and overall balance. Dry and elegantly constructed, it shows extravagant flavors of blackberries, cherries, sweet currants and sandalwood. A lovely Merlot of great charm and drinkability. Production was 5,800 cases.  — S.H.  (8/1/2013)
#93
89
points

Valdelainos 2012 Verdejo (Rueda)

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $14
Fleshy aromas of melon and passion fruit introduce a rock solid palate that’s pithy and round. Flavors of citrus pith lend bitterness to core grapefruit and passion fruit flavors, while the finish is briny and tastes of citrus and green fruits. Drink this Verdejo right away.  — M.S.  (10/1/2013)
#92
89
points

Palagetto 2012 Tenute Niccolai Vernaccia (Vernaccia di San Gimignano)

  • Best Buy
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $14
This spicy Vernaccia has lovely fragrances of jasmine and pear, with glimmers of clove and white pepper. The refreshing palate delivers flavors of pear, green apple, banana peel and nutmeg. It has a crisp finish that cleans the palate.  — K.O.  (10/1/2013)
#91
90
points

Abacela NV Vintner’s Blend #12 Red (Southern Oregon)

  • Best Buy
  1. $15
This blend of Tempranillo, Malbec, Dolcetto, Merlot and Syrah could have turned into a generic red, yet it is seamless and nicely proportioned. It’s a real crowd-pleaser, with a ripe red-fruit flavor and generous new-barrel-derived toast and spice notes.  — P.G.  (3/1/2013)

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