Best Inexpensive Red Wine

218991
Belasco de Baquedano
2015 Llama Old Vine Red Blend Bonarda-Malbec
Opaque color. Aromas and flavors of plums, cherry, and flowers with a lively, dryish full body and an appealing, long finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A superb full-bodied red with plenty of terrior, dark fruit flavors, kirsch notes, and well integrated tannins; this could easily pass for a top end red Bordeaux.
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
220376
Augustale
2012 Nero di Troia Riserva Castel del Monte DOCG
Bright dusty garnet color. Earthy, inviting aromas and flavors of red licorice and ripe cassis, star anise and rose petal, freshly turned earth, and suede with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a prodigious, very long dried basil and caper berries, sun dried berries, red velvet cake, and bay leaf and allspice finish with well-integrated, silky, fine tannins and moderate oak. An impressive, earthy wine to delight your guests with.
95 points $20 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
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
219431
Signature de Bel-Air
2016 Beaujolais-Villages
Medium violet color. Aromas and flavors of juicy cherry, cranberry, banana, and violets with an bright, dryish medium body and an interesting, easy warm soil finish with fruit tannins and no oak. There’s nothing simple nor pedestrian about this stellar example of a Beaujolais-Villages.
94 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216097
Taylors
2015 Merlot
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of boysenberry tart, melted chocolate mint, and hint of menthol and eucalyptus with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long pomegranate-cranberry chutney, nutskin, pepper jelly, and cedar finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, chewy merlot with lots of spicy and herbal complexity.
94 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216097
Taylors
2015 Merlot
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of boysenberry tart, melted chocolate mint, and hint of menthol and eucalyptus with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long pomegranate-cranberry chutney, nutskin, pepper jelly, and cedar finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, chewy merlot with lots of spicy and herbal complexity.
94 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218996
Axel
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of blue eucalyptus, menthol mint, and blueberry cobbler with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, engaging, long spiced berries and blood oranges, pistachio and cherry and watermelon gelati finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A rich, spicy cabernet with impressive complexity and depth.
94 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab