Best Inexpensive Wine

216705
Frost Bitten
2015 Ice Wine Riesling
Golden straw color. Attractive, fruity, creamy aromas and flavors of spicy peach compote, flan, and pineapple cake with a velvety, tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a sleek, complex, long candied apricot, mango sorbet, and acacia honey finish with no oak. A delicious, mouthwatering dessert wine rivaling some of America’s best at a price that is hard to beat.
96 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216467
Racines de Lauriga
2015 Côtes Catalanes IGP
Garnet black color. Inviting, interesting aromas and flavors of peanut brittle, berry chutney, and caramelized apricots with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length black cherry and raspberry, marinated beets, roasted nuts and cedar, and melon finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and light oak. A lively, savory red with excellent structure and layers of flavor.
95 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217085
Axel
2014 Carmenère
Bright violet color. Complex aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts, olives, currant chutney, and clay and leather with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, nuanced, medium-long delicate spice, chocolate mint, and forest floor finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A sumptuous and supple Old World styled Carmenère for all occasions.
95 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216880
Santo Stefano
NV Lambrusco Italy
Dusty garnet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of spiced peaches, plums, and apples, nougat, and grape skin with a supple, tangy, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length cherry compote and lime sorbet finish with fine tannins and no oak. A very toothsome and mouthwatering Lambrusco that will be quite versatile.
94 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216568
Salt of the Earth
2015 Moscato Rubino California
Bright medium ruby black color. Spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of spicy berry and cherry sorbets, strawberry rhubarb pie, and suede with a satiny, tangy, petillant, sweet medium-to-full body and a sleek, complex, long apricot jam, peach soda, and candied citrus finish with fine tannins and no oak. A rich, concentrated dessert wine with great purity of fruit.
94 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218256
Honeywood
White Clover Mead
Bright yellow straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of peach cobbler, dried apricot, and golden raisin -gooseberry chutney with a velvety, tangy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, intricate, long honeyed spiced apple and orange and creme brulee finish. A satiny, elegant dessert style mead that drinks like a Beerenauslese.
94 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217630
Samson Estates
NV Cassis Black Currant Dessert Wine
Ruby garnet color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of warm cassis compote, chocolate mint, and spiced nuts with a satiny, tangy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long cranberry sauce, eucalyptus lemon lozenge, and menthol tobacco finish with crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A rich, spicy fruit wine with great dimension and length.
94 points $13 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217410
La Quercia
2014 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC
Bright dark garnet black color. Earthy, fresh aromas and flavors of mulberry compote, dried apricot, nougat, and marinated meat and mushroom with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length spiced apple, cherry and pear, nut, and grassy earth finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A fun combination of fruit and earthy, meaty rusticity.
94 points $13 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216794
Castillo de Albai
2011 Reserva Rioja DOC
Garnet black color. Toasty, complex aromas and flavors of buttery nut brittle, dark chocolate, spiced berries, and sarsaparilla and leather with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and an effortless, stimulating, medium-length caramel apple, nuts, earth, and menthol mint finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A delightfully balanced and flavorful Rioja.
94 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215067
Heron Hill Winery
2014 Semi-Dry Riesling
Bright light silvery straw color. Delicate, fruity, smoky aromas and flavors of toasted lemon meringue, grilled apples, nougat, and white clay with a glycerous, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-length dried peach, roasted lemon and lime, melon, and earth finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A mouthwatering, rock solid riesling that will cover many bases.
94 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab