20 Wines for $20 and Under

January 6, 2020

With the start of a new decade already here, it’s time to start thinking about your resolutions. Many take this as a way to reflect upon past years and improve on themselves. Others like to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. If finding better values in the wines you drink is one of your resolutions for the year of 2020, then we’ve got just the thing for you.

Here’s our list of our 20 favorite wines for $20 and under to help you get more bang for your buck in 2020.

2017 Acrobat Pinot Gris, Oregon ($15)

90 Points & Best Buy – Wine Enthusiast

“Strikingly fresh, textural and minerality, this offers crisp flavors of celery, grapefruit, and lime. Excellent length and mouth-tingling freshness make it a wine to drink over the next year.”

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2015 Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County AVA ($20)

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is aromatic on the nose with notes of blackberry, cassis, and spicy oak. The mouthfeel is rich and full in this structures wine with flavors of dark cherry and blackberry that preclude a long, velvety finish.

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2017 Three Rivers Riesling, Columbia Valley ($18)

Aromas of Saturn peach, lychee, and coriander lead into an off-dry, mouth-filling experience of juicy stone fruits and followed by a balanced acidity on the finish.

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2014 Guenoc Petite Sirah, Lake County AVA ($20)

This 2014 Petite Sirah is infused with aromas of freshly harvested currants, rhubarb, blackberries, and raspberries with notes of leather. On the palate, flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and juicy plums open to vanilla and white pepper with a long oak finish. Full, well-structured tannins build over time creating dimension and depth.

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2016 Sebastiani Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($19)

The 2016 Pinot Noir is a wonderful example of a cool climate Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast. Ruby in color, it opens with aromas of Maraschino cherry, clove, and background hints of toasty oak. The palate is medium-bodied showcasing flavors of cherry, jasmine, and dusty cocoa. Its bright acidity is blanaced by lingering tannins and sweet vanilla oak on the soft finish. Pair with a fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella flatbread. - David Nakaji, Winemaker

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2017 Three Rivers Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley ($20)

Three specialty yeast strains were chosen to help amplify the aromatics and barrel fermented to bring out a rounder mouthfeel. This 2017 Sauvignon Blanc has a floral palate with refreshing acidity. Aromas of kiwi, lemongrass, and jasmine blossom give way to Asian pear, followed by a clean and crisp finish.

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2015 Guenoc Late Harvest Viognier, Guenoc Valley AVA ($20)

This Late Harvest Viognier evokes images of apricots drizzled with caramelized honey, peach, and jasmine. The palate is rich with notes of pear and apricot infused honey of the forefront with the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

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2016 Acrobat Pinot Noir, Oregon ($19)

The 2016 vintage is a brilliant example of Pinot Noir from a consistent and warmer than average Western Oregon growing season. In the glass, there is a garnet-colored center with bright ruby edges. The nose has rich, fruit-forward aromas like ripe cherries and strawberry pie, with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and mocha. The palate echoes with ripe strawberries and dark chocolate up front, followed by earthy and spicy notes of forest floor and clove. Expect this to age beautifully through the next decade.

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2017 Roth Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley ($20)

The 2017 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a sophisticated and authentic expression of the estate fruit. This classic Bordeaux-style Sauvignon Blanc is blended with 14% Semillon to impart balance and texture while also highlighting the nectarine and papaya notes. Its fruit-forward aromas of citrus zest and guava lead into bright and crisp flavors of nectarine, candied mango, papaya, and lime zest that balance beautifully with a crisp minerality. A long and juicy finish ties together a truly gorgeous vintage of Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

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2016 Guenoc Victorian Claret, North Coast ($18)

The 2016 Victorian Claret entices the senses with fruit-forward aromas of juicy raspberry, dark chocolate covered cherry, and a hint of sultry spice. It’s full-bodied with soft, round tannins that complement supple flavors of dark cherry, raspberry, Earl Grey tea, and dark chocolate on the finish.

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2017 Acrobat Chardonnay, Oregon ($16)

Gold Medal Winner – Best of Northwest Wine, September 2019

A bouquet of notes ranging from peach and key lime to gooseberry and dried apricot shine through. A clean and refined entrance gives way to layers of nectarine, pineapple, and honeydew on the mid-palate.

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2018 Firestone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley ($14)

The 2018 Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc is 100% estate grown. Fermenting and aging in stainless steel allows the integrity of the fruit to shine with minimal manipulation. This clean, refreshing wine expresses tropical aromas of pineapple and citrus blossom. Crisp refreshing flavors of pineapple-guava and citrus characters are coupled with bright lively acidity followed by a hint of minerality on the finish.

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2015 Guenoc Chardonnay, Guenoc Valley, Lake County AVA ($16)

The 2015 growing season was early, light, and of exceptional quality. Mild temperatures gave way to warmer summer days and cool nights that garnered wines of complex tannin structure and bright acidity. This 2015 Lake County Chardonnay is a beautiful golden hue with aromas of crisp apple, ripe peach, and vanilla. The palate is full and round with flavors of pear, oak, and crème brûlée accented by butter and a touch of sweetness on the finish.

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2015 Guenoc Merlot, California ($12)

The 2015 Merlot displays a fruit-forward character of raspberry and cherry aromas with subtle notes of vanilla oak. Expressive flavors of raspberry and cherry dominate the palate with soft, approachable tannins and a supple finish. Enjoy with a charcuterie plate or pasta with fresh basil and tomato.

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2018 Acrobat Rosé of Pinot Noir, Oregon ($15)

The nose exudes fresh cut strawberries with lemon zest and floral tinges. The palate is laser focused with bright flavors of fresh strawberries and raspberries, with a pleasant structure of lively, clean acidity. There is an overall striking balance of fresh fruit and structure that begs to be paired with a variety of food, especially cheeses and charcuterie.

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2016 Guenoc Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County AVA ($16)

The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc has a complex tannin structure and bright acidity. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks to showcase its natural aromas. One the nose, guava, pineapple, and lemon greet your senses. The palate’s bright acidity and fruit-forward notes typify Guenoc Valley Sauvignon Blanc and lead into a crisp finish.

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2014 Wayne Gretzky Chardonnay, Central Coast ($14)

This Chardonnay showcases classic Chardonnay character, offering fruit aromas of Fuji apple, citrus zest, and vanilla. The aromas are also complemented by toasted oak, bread dough, vanilla, and caramel. The palate has bright acidity that is nicely balanced and gives a soft and round finish.

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2014 Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County AVA ($20)

The 2014 growing season was consistent and long overall. Warm summer temperatures during the day kept the acids high while still bringing the fruit to optimal maturity. On the nodes, this wine is fruit forward with dark cherry, spicy white pepper, and oak notes with hints of lavender and vanilla. The concentrated fruit flavors continue on the palate with flavors of cherry and blackberry jam, white pepper, integrated firm tannins, and a long, supple finish with touches of leather.

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2017 Sebastiani Chardonnay, Sonoma County ($20)

The 2017 North Coast Chardonnay is a light golden color with aromas of fresh apples, citrus, and nectarine. The palate is rich yet crisp with flavors of apricot, baked peaches, lemon, and vanilla. Undertones of crème brûlée and toast are met with balanced acidity and a smooth finish. This easy to drink style Chardonnay can pair with a variety of food and also stands well on its own. – David Nakaji, Winemaker

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2018 Three Rivers Riesling, Columbia Valley ($20)

Aromas of crunchy Asian pear, lychee, peach, and white blossom lead to a beautiful off-dry, mouth-filling experience of juicy stone fruits. A bright, balanced wine with crisp acidity on the finish. The wine was inoculated with a Riesling-specific yeast and fermented the juice at a relatively cool temperature. Fermentation was stopped to soften the wine’s crisp acidity.

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