Best of 2016

WineSpectator reviewed thousands of wines in 2016.  Their list of the top 100 is always fun but usually the wines are hard if not impossible to find.  In this blog we will look at the best of 2016.  What is meant by best is not the best wine at all costs and not wines that are hard to find.

This list consists of really good wine at under $20 that are easy to locate and enjoy.  Many of these wines are what we are consuming in the Lucarelli household.  Good stuff cheap as they say.  You will find some of these wines at Costco or Total Wine.

The country / location of origin is an important element to remember for wines in this price range as it usually indicates a strong growing season that would apply to wines not listed here.  Bulk wines rated at 90 points by WineSpectator usually indicate a strong vintage for that region. With this in mind you may wish to keep in mind wines from New Zealand, Washington State, Chile and Australia.


Red Wine

ST.-COSME Côtes du Rhône 2015      Score: 91 points    Price: $16

Ripe, with vivid blueberry and boysenberry fruit, harnessed on the back end by a bold graphite edge. Anise and violet notes add range. Drink now through 2019. 25,000 cases made

We have purchased the St Cosme in the past and recently had a bottle of Guigal’s current Cotes du Rhone and found it soft and very nice at a great price

VIÑA SAN PEDRO Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 1865 2014      Score: 91 points   Price: $18

Rich and refined, with good cut to the red plum, crushed berry and raspberry flavors matched to notes of sandalwood and cardamom. Creamy midpalate, with a finish that’s filled with chocolate and dark currant details. Drink now through 2021. 50,000 cases made.

14 HANDS Kentucky Derby Red Blend Limited Release Columbia Valley 2013 Score: 90 points    Price: $15

Features a firm texture around a generous core of ripe blackberry, cherry and mocha flavors, hinting at licorice as the finish rolls on. Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and other red grapes. Drink now through 2019. 30,000 cases made.

We continue to enjoy the wines from 14 hands which you will find at Total Wine.  The Derby is wonderful but do not overlook the “hot to trout”.

COLUMBIA CREST Merlot Horse Heaven Hills H3 2013        Score: 90 points     Price: $15

Supple and generous, rich but not weighty, with ripe cherry, blackberry and tobacco flavors melding harmoniously as the finish rolls on smoothly. Drink now through 2019. 75,000 cases made

You will also find Ste Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet outstanding but not reviewed.  You will find this most likely at Costco.

HAHN GSM Central Coast 2014       Score: 90 points      Price: $15

Offers plenty of personality, with aromas of cherry, white pepper and smoky herb leading to zesty flavors of raspberry and licorice. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2022. 25,071 cases made

HESS FAMILY LATIN AMERICA Malbec Salta Amalaya 2015    Score: 90 points    Price: $16

A fleshy red, with concentrated blackberry and dried blueberry flavors supported by fresh acidity. Mineral and dark chocolate notes linger with hints of white pepper on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 50,000 cases made.

CONCHA Y TORO Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Reserva Privada 2015    Score: 90 points     Price: $18

This ripe and muscular red offers dense dark currant, dried blackberry and green olive flavors that lengthen out nicely, with plenty of fresh acidity. Savory green herbal and bittersweet chocolate notes show on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 62,878 cases made.

BODEGA NORTON Malbec Mendoza Reserva 2014   Score: 90 points    Price: $19

This has a silky mouthfeel, with rich, plush flavors of boysenberry, dark currant and black olive that carry plenty of creamy accents. Features dark chocolate and Asian spice details on the finely textured finish. Drink now through 2020. 125,000 cases imported

Usually a stable at Costco.

White Wine

SPY VALLEY Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015     Score: 90 points     Price: $20

Intense and aromatic, this opens with a whiff of smoke to the Meyer lemon, melon and apple flavors, mingling with honeysuckle and pear details and lingering on the long finish. Drink now. 60,000 cases made

RODNEY STRONG Sauvignon Blanc 2015     Score: 90 points     Price: $17

Up-front peach and apricot flavors segue into a juicy lemon core, with whiffs of smoke and dried flowers. Finishes with a charming note of yellow raisin. Drink now. 71,900 cases made

We were very pleased with this wine.  Well done by Rodney Strong.  We purchased at Whole Foods, yes Whole Foods at a good price.

KIM CRAWFORD Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015         Score: 90 points    Price: $18

Spicy honeysuckle notes add dimension to the core of juicy, fleshy apricot, nectarine and passion fruit flavors, with plenty of intensity and spice on the finish. Drink now. 950,000 cases made.

Talk about large productions.  You should easily find this wine and my memory is Costco carries this.  We enjoyed the wine but only if priced under $15 which my memory is the price at Costco.

Other Whites:  We have been enjoying white wines from Spain and Italy as well.  You will find great Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand.  We tend to enjoy the Spanish and Italian wines with fish as they tend to has a little minerality especially those from coastal regions. 

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:49-04:00 January 26th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

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