Top five wines under $20

Nov 12th
Posted by shambo  as Wine
Top 5 wines under $20

Top 5 wines under $20

Let me say this about that.

I will be the first to admit that the subject matter in the LMSTAT blogs are, at best, eclectic, and at worst, worthless mental regurgitations of a retired baby boomer with too much time on his hands.  When one reaches his sixties, two things happen.  1) Not much embarrasses you.  And 2) You don’t really care if the general population listens to what you have to say or not.  Please don’t think that these comments are the dark summations of a down-trodden old man.  Quite the contrary.  This attitude is what gives old men credibility.

You want the truth.  Ask an old man.

Old men have pretty much seen it all.  They have heard the best bullshit proffered by professionals.  Simply put – old men are…    hard to con.  Old men are not particularly ‘politically correct’.  Old men stay in hot-water with the younger generation because the younger generation has not developed an appreciation for the truth that is treasured by old men.

So, with that preamble, today’s blog deals with a subject that is of upper-most importance to many – young and old.  It is a subject that cannot be left to the inexperienced, the naive, the incredulous, nor those who have not ‘walked-the-walk’.  In short, it requires the time-tested credibility of an old man. 


Only old men have drank enough of the stuff to be able to offer a credible opinion on which wine is “good” and which wine is “crap”.  Only old men have the non-politically correct stones to send a sommelier back to the cellars because the $120 bottle of wine he just ordered was “crap”.  Only old men have the pugnacity to declare that a $6 bottle of Oregon wine is better than anything that has come out of Bordeaux in years – because it is.  When it comes to judgement on a qualitative subject like the quality of wines, rely on someone that is 1) experienced and 2) dauntless in the face of possible public disapproval.  To wit: an old fart.

Over the years, I have developed a deep appreciation for high quality wines; moreover, an appreciation for quality wines that do not require a second mortgage to purchase.  Show me an old man who recommends a good bottle of wine that costs under $20 and I’ll show you my new best friend. 

So, good LMSTAT readers.  I give you the benefit of my many decades of wine drinking with the top five wines currently available for under $20 (in no particular order).

Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004:  This estate bottled cab is from a Napa Valley vintner who combines 98% cabernet sauvignon grapes with 2% pinot verdot.  The wine is aged 18 months in French oak barrels which produces a distinctive cab in one of America’s most popular varietals.

Shug Chardonnay, 2007:  A product of the Sonoma Coast, this caneros estate wine is produced by a California winery that has been producing high quality product for nearly half a century.  It’s hard to be distinctive in the crowded chardonnay market, but Shug has succeeded.

Estancia Pinot Noir, 2008:  I must admit to being a bit of a Pinot Noir snob.  As such, I generally reserve my budget-busting ‘over-spending’ on Pinot Noir over six years old.  So imagine my surprise when I discovered this one year old – under $20 - gem.  It has the further pedigree challenge of being bottled in Monterey county.  Swallow your egos, my fellow winos – then swallow some of the best “cheap” wine you will ever taste.

Les Piliers Viognier, 2008:  The single French wine in my top 5 selection is slightly fruity, while maintaining an overall dry character – tough to do.  I’m not much on French wine, not because they don’t make an excellent product, but because their national labor laws make my $20 ceiling all but impossible to achieve.

Kelly Creek Merlot, 2006:  This Sonoma County vineyard is one of the best kept secrets in American wine making.  Or, I should say, was one of the best kept secrets.  My wife bought a bottle on-line.  OH MY GOD.  It was an orgasmic experience – especially given it’s $12 price.  We immediately ordered an additional two cases.  Since then, we have been bombarded by our friends’ requests as to where they can find the stuff because no one seems to have any left.  Good luck finding it – or invite us over for dinner and I’ll bring a bottle.

And, that’s all I have to say about that.



Leave a Reply

Copyright 2013 - 2009, All Rights Reserved - Powered By Wordpress || Designed By Ridgey