Updated: May 27, 2020
Amazingly, these 8 Red wines are going for $15 and under and they’ve even got a 90+ rating. That’s not always easy to find because these types of noble grape reds can command high prices.
These chilly days and nights make you want to curl up on the couch with a nice glass of red wine. And it always tastes better when you get it at a value. Am I right? Well, friends, I’ve got a great line up for you. I’ve found 8 quality red wines $15 and under for you to try out.
And wine critics love these wines! All of them are rated in the 90-94 range! On a scale of 0-100, the 90-94 range is classified as “Outstanding” which is defined as “a wine made of superior character and style.”
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This wine is produced in Leyda Valley which is about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The area enjoys fog and sea breezes making it especially conducive to growing the ever-finicky Pinot Noir grapes.
The winemaker and wine critic describe this wine as having raspberry and sour cherry notes. It’s fresh with vibrant acidity and moderate tannins. Pairs with grilled vegetables, chicken, turkey, or baked fish.
Rating: JS 91 (James Suckling)
This wine uses Pinot Noir grapes from prime central California vineyards to create this outstanding Pinot. The Pinot Project started in 2009 with the goal of producing top-quality wine at a value. I’d say they’ve done just that.
This wine is described as having notes of raspberry, cherry, and strawberry with moderate tannins and acidity. It is lightly oaked with 20% of the wine maturing in French oak barrels while the other 80% matures in stainless steel tanks and then blended together. Wine Enthusiast calls it a Best Buy.
Rating: JS 91, WE 90 (Wine Enthusiast Magazine)
This Merlot is produced from a small region in Monterey County called Arroyo Seco. It enjoys one of the longest growing seasons allowing the fruit to become very ripe.
The winemaker and Wine Enthusiast magazine describe the wine as deep purple in color, with dark jammy fruits with medium tannin and acidity. It pairs with Italian style sausages, jambalaya, seared blackened salmon.
Dark jammy fruits should be expected with grapes produced in a warm climate and allowed to become very ripe. The medium tannin (aka bitterness and dryness) and medium acidity (aka pucker) is typical of Merlot and helps to balance out the jammy fruit in this wine.
Rating: WE 91
Colchagua Valley situated in Rapel Valley near Santiago has a Mediterranean type climate that is perfect for growing high-quality red wines. Casa Lapostolle uses French winemaking techniques to produce a variety of high-quality wine.
This wine is actually a blend of Merlot (86%), Syrah (12%), and Petit Verdot (2%).
The winemaker and James Suckling (wine critic) describe it as having notes of both red and black fruit with juicy tannins and wonderful acidity. An ideal pairing with red sauces, peppers stuffed with quinoa and tomatoes, or pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni.
Rating: JS 91
Another quality red wine for under $15 and from a unique location. The vineyards in Mendoza are situated in a high-altitude desert at 3,000 to 5,000 feet. The dry, cool temperatures with an abundance of sunny days and snowmelt from the Andes Mountains provide a unique growing climate for these vineyards.
This Argentinian Cab reveals typical taste characteristics of dark berry fruit, black pepper, and vanilla from oak aging. The typical high tannins found in Cabernet Sauvignon are softened because of the unique growing climate.
Rating: JS 91
Cabernet commands prices well over $15 in Napa Valley because they can. So, we’ll hop next door to Sonoma County for a Cabernet that flies a little under the radar. Louis Martini has been churning out high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon from both Napa and Sonoma for over 80 years. For the past few years, their Sonoma Cabernet has garnered 90+ ratings from wine critics.
This wine has the typical black currant, blackberry and cherry notes with supple tannins.
Rating: JS 92, WW 91 (Wilfred Wong of Wine.com)
The northern portion of the Limestone Coast is a warm climate region known for producing high-quality Shiraz. In 1996 Bob Berton established Berton Vineyards after having a successful career working for leading wineries in Australia. Bob decided to build his winery from the ground up, literally. He planted his own vines on a plot of land in the coveted Limestone Coast and has been producing high-quality wines using both grapes from his own vineyards, as well as, grapes sourced from top-rated vineyards within the Limestone Coast.
The winemaker describes this Shiraz as bold with deep colors and juicy notes of blackberries, plum, and vanilla. Recommended pairing with beef eye fillet and roasted vegetables.
Rating: TP 92 (Tasting Panel)
Penfolds has a long rich heritage, producing wines since 1844. They set the stage for Australian fine wine and have won several accolades that made the rest of the wine world sit up and take notice of the wine from down under.
The winemaker and wine critic tasting notes describe this wine with the typical characteristics you would find in a Shiraz. Deep ruby color and full body with big bold dark fruit flavors.
Rating: JS 90
8 Red Wines $15 and Under
This scrumptious line up of red wines $15 and less will keep you stocked up for a while. Enjoy these wines with your favorite stews and steaks. Or get that fireplace going and snuggle up on the couch with a good book and a quality, inexpensive glass of red. Enjoy!