Everyone is looking for value, and our clients are no different. Because of this, we put together our top 10 value wines of 2015. All of these wines are between $25-$60 a bottle. You will find all the major, and some of the minor, varietals represented here from 4 different countries. Enjoy and have an amazing wine year in 2015.
Unlike our Top 100 which was based upon our staff’s ratings during tastings, as well as popularity with our clients, our top varietal countdowns are based purely upon score (In the event of ties, we award the higher ranking to the more popular wine with our clients). We took the thousands of wines that we tasted and narrowed it down to the best of the best.
It’s not just Domestic Reds that we are counting down, take a look at the bottom of this post for full countdown schedule.
*If you are curious on how we tabulate our scores, please see the bottom of this post.
1 – 2007 Parador ‘Reserva’ – $59/b
Red Wine | Napa Valley | Order Online
Wine Spectrum Rated 96: Reserva cuvèes are barrel-selected and aged at least an additional year in barrel. The total barrel aging is minimum 3 years prior to bottling. It is then aged in bottle for 5 years, totaling a minimum of 8 years of aging from the time of harvest. The 2007 Reserva is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Tempranillo. This Reserva displays round, juicy layers of baked raspberries and black cherries, with hints of dusty cocoa and just a touch of toasty oak. The palate shows robust red fruits, earthy minerality and hints of aged leathery spice. Soft tannins and a mouth-watering finish round out this unique vintage wine. Drinking well now, but can be layed down for another 5-10 years. 117 cases produced. OUR #60 WINE OF 2015.
2 – 2010 Giuseppe Lonardi ‘Amarone della Valpolicella Classico’ – $59/b
Amarone | DOC, Italy | Inquire Here
Wine Spectrum Rated 96: Of all the wines of Italia, none is more breath-takingly unique than the wine of Verona called Amarone. And, in our opinion, few make it better than Giuseppe Lonardi. His Amarone is remarkably port-like and very concentrated, with powerful, heady aromas of dried fruit potpourri, chocolate, cedar chest, and exotic spice. The production is micro, and it shows in this luxurious, breathtaking wine. That is one reason why this monumental wine will age for 30+ years. 75% Corvina, 20% Molinara, 5% Rondinella. OUR #10 INTERNATIONAL WINE OF 2015.
3 – 2012 Noemi – $59/b
Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley | Order Online
Wine Spectrum Rated 95+: Noemi certainly doesn’t disappoint with this gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon from the rich and bountiful 2012 vintage. Aromas of perfume, violets, lavender, and macerated black cherries emanate from the glass. The palate boasts a silky smooth texture and mouthfeel with flavors of rich red berry fruits, hints of toffee and a touch of brambly chalk and underbrush. The tannin structure and balance are seamless and promise plenty of age-worthiness. A long, mouth-coating finish completes this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 20 months in French oak. About 500 cases produced. Made by Rolando Hererra. OUR #1 WINE OF 2015.
4 – 2012 La Pitchoune – $59/b
Pinot Noir | Sonoma Coast | Order Online
Wine Spectrum Rated 95+: The 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a perfect representation of what a La Pitchoune wine should be; elegant, restrained, and yet full of flavor. It is also an excellent reflection of its origin. The soil, the fog, and the influence of the cool ocean air make an impression in the glass. Upon the first sip, the superb viscosity will not go unnoticed. Notes of black cherries, orange blossoms, and the suggestion of black tea soon follow, and continue to tempt the senses. The finish is deliciously spicy, with a distinct characteristic of freshly ground black pepper. While this wine is more than happy to stand up on its own, pairing it with some food will set the tone and enhance any meal. Decanting recommended. Aged in French oak for 11 months. 270 cases produced. OUR #6 WINE OF 2015.
5 – 2012 Montagna ‘Tre Vigneti’ – $59/b
Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley | Inquire Here
Wine Spectrum Rated 95+, Antonio Galloni: Montagna’s 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Tre Vigneti has wonderful depth for an entry-level bottling. Dark blue/black fruit, iron, smoke and tobacco all flesh out in a gorgeous, layered wine endowed with terrific balance and overall harmony. The 2012 has an inner radiance and generosity that is hugely appealing, but at the same time there is plenty of precision and focus in the glass. The combination of richness and vibrancy is pretty much impossible to resist. In 2012, the Tre Vigneti is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec and 6% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
“Winemaker Nile Zacherle has done a terrific job with these wines from Montagna, the Pritchard Hill property owned by Robert Long. In 2011 Zacherle opted for short cold soaks, fast and hot macerations as the skins were thin and therefore degraded more quickly than normal, pretty much the opposite of 2012, where grapes were far healthier and longer cold soaks and fermentations were the rule.” ~ Antonio Galloni
6 – 2012 Teeter Totter – $59/b
Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley | Inquire Here
Wine Spectrum 95+: Benoit describes the wines as “opaque ruby/purple-colored, exhibit[ing] tons of fruit on the nose: crème de cassis, black currants and blackberries intermixed with notes of baking spices, lavender, graphite and licorice. It is a medium to full-bodied, round and juicy wine that could be drunk now or over the next decade or more.” Sourced from Pritchard Hill, Calistoga, Oakville and Saint Helena, the inaugural release of this wine was aged in 60% new French oak for 16 months. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 3% Zinfandel, 2% Petit Verdot. 1000 cases produced. OUR 79 WINE OF 2015.
7 – 2010 Chateau Croix de Labrie ‘Chapelle de Labrie’ – $49/b
Bordeaux | St. Emillion | Inquire Here
Wine Spectrum 95.5: This tiny winery produces on average just 280 cases, from three small vineyards. One is next to the winery in Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, one is near Pavie, and the third is near Valandraud. All three vineyards total 6.2 acres. The wine is aged 24 months in 100% new oak before bottling. Jean-Luc Thunevin, the proprietor of Valandraud, and Michel Rolland, are the consulting enologists. Chapelle de Labrie is made from younger vines, and is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. OUR #6 INTERNATIONAL WINE OF 2015
8 – 2013 Tantara ‘Dierberg Vineyard’ – $49/b
Chardonnay | Santa Maria Valley | Inquire Here
Wine Spectrum Rated 95+: A glassy straw yellow full-bodied Chardonnay with aromatics of butterscotch, lemon blossom, and pears. Hints of pineapple and melon dominate the palate, complemented by clean minerality, bright acid and a long, refreshing finish. 90 cases produced.
Since 1997, Tantara has been dedicated to producing the very finest Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Located in the beautiful Santa Maria Valley (Santa Barbara County), their wines are sourced from top Central Coast growers and single vineyards such as, Dierberg, Rio Vista, Bentrock, Talley Rincon, La Colline (Laetitia), Lindsay’s, Tondre, Zotovich and Brosseau. Tantara’s dedication to quality and detail has kept production levels low and to the utmost standards.
9 – 2012 Stolpman ‘Hilltops’ – $52/b
Syrah | Ballard Canyon | Inquire Here
Wine Spectrum Rated 95: The deep and enveloping nose spreads out to lighter notes of Blackberry, sage, and toast. As the nose opens up, ripe black cherries appear backed by tobacco. On the palate, the flavor profile is high toned and the wine finishes with excitement. Notes of rosemary behind bright red fruit. The mid-palate will continue to fill in with age promising a decades-long life. The 2012 Hiltops arrives in the new, custom Ballard Canyon Syrah bottle with the words BALLARD CANYON subtly raised in the shoulder of the glass. The debut of the bottle, only used by Ballard Canyon grower-producers for Syrah, happens to coincide with the ideal, even 2012 growing season. 550 cases produced. OUR #85 WINE OF 2015.
10 – 2012 Schwarz ‘The Butcher’ – $38/b
Pinot Noir | Burgenland | Inquire Here
Wine Spectrum Rated 95: Han Schwarz is a butcher whose family has owned the vineyard for generations. In 1994, Alois Kracher convinced Hans to make his own wine, and with his help and that of Manfred Krankl, he made his first vintage in 1999. Both Gerhard Kracher, Alois’ son, and Krankl continue to consult with Hans on his wines. 100% Pinot Noir. Just 350 cases produced.
Q. Why should I pay attention to the Wine Spectrum score?
A. The reason is simple. We taste and score wines with our entire sale’s team – the owner, the wine buyer, the sales manager, and all of our sale’s advisors. It’s not only one person’s opinion and rating of the wine, but a total average of the whole tasting panel. That adds up to decades of combined tasting experience to ensure that we bring only the BEST wines to our clients.
It is because of this and many other factors that our clients have come to respect our score and use it to help determine what wines they want to procure for their cellars and display on their tables. At Wine Spectrum you get a much better representation of how people will ENJOY a wine.
2015 wines of the year release schedule
12/15: #2 ranked wine
12/16: #1 ranked wine
12/18: #11 – #25 ranked wines
12/21: #26 – #50 ranked wines
12/21: 2015 Winemaker of the Year
12/22: #51 – #75 ranked wines
12/23: #76 – #100 ranked wines
1/4: Top Chardonnay’s of the Year
1/7: Top Pinot Noir’s of the Year
å1/11: Top Cabernet Sauvignon’s of the Year
1/14: Top Other Domestic Red’s of the Year
1/18: Top International Wines of the Year
1/21: Top Wines of the Year under $60