Best Value Wines of 2017

Best Value Wine of 2017
Today is celebrating it’s fifth anniversary and it’s been a milestone year. Since we started reviewing wines in January 2013 we have reviewed more than 1,000 wines. In retrospect it’s very interesting for us to see how we have grown in tasting and evaluating wines, evolved preferences for wines we like best and are well on the way to learning how to pair them with food. In response to readers comments and suggestions we made several changes to the review format this year. For example we added: a map showing the vineyard/winery location, a link to the producers website and combined the “he said” “she said” comments into a single review.

As we looked over our reviews completed during the last five years a couple of things jumped out…

1. We drink a high percentage of European wines primarily because we like them, but also because we think their generally the best value for the money. When we sorted our wine reviews by country we were surprised to see so many from France, Italy, California, Spain and Australia, but also how small a percent all the rest represented. Australia is a bit of an anomaly because we spent several months in that part of the world in 2015 and just drank local Australian wines.

2. This says it all, we think the best value wines are in the $10-20 category and that’s what we have reviewed mostly over the last 5-years. Prices may have risen slightly since 2012 and yes there are a tremendous number of outstanding wines at a price point higher than $20, but for “everyday drinking” we are more sure than ever that the best values can be found in this price range.

We don’t rate wines using the traditional 100-point scale, but at the end of the year there are always some wines that we remember as being exceptional out of the hundreds we have tasted and reviewed over the year. These are the ones we call the best value wines of 2017 and the purpose for compiling the list is so you can be on the watch for them as you buy wine in 2018. Our year end review format for the best value wines of 2017 includes: 1. An alphabetical listing of the wines we thought were the best value for the price. Within that list we have identified what we thought were truly OUTSTANDING VALUE WINES or the Best-of-the-Best1 (identified with bold type). It is from this list that we made the selection for THE BEST VALUE WINE OF 2017…Paolo Petrilli Motta del Lupo 20162. 2. A second list includes wines we thought were truly memorable regardless of price; they are exceptional wines, but really don’t fit into anyone’s definition of “value wines”. Generally these tend to be the more expensive wines we reviewed and it is from this list we selected the single MOST MEMORABLE 2017 WINE…Morella Old Vines Primitivo 20133. 3. Last, but not least is our pick for the single BEST VALUE LOCAL WINE we had in 2017…Junius Lindsay Vineyard Cellar Select Viognier 20154.

We drink a LOT of very excellent wines over the course of a year, so these lists are significant and really separate the wheat from the chaff…read our review to see if their “your” kind of wine, than buy and drink any of them and you will not be disappointed…GUARANTEED!!!

The wines that had Outstanding Quality and were the Best Value in 2017:
(in alphabetical order)

4 Monos Tinto 2014 (Vinos de Madrid, Spain $19.99)
Aubai Mema Liverna 20151 (Languedoc-Roussillon, France $13.50)
Baron Philippe De Rothschild Mouton cadet Bordeaux Rosé 2015 (Bordeaux, France $8.99)
Borgo Moncalvo Barbera Superiore 2013 (Piedmont, Italy $14.40)
Chateau des Deux Rocs Premices 2013 (Languedoc Cabrières, France $14.40)
Chateau Flotis Fronton 20121 (Fronton, France $13.50)
Chateau Tour Bayard Montagne-Saint-Emilion 2010 (Bordeaux, France $20.70)
Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet sur Lie 2015 (Loire Valley, France $13.50)
Domaine de la Prebende Beaujolais Blanc 20161 (Beaujolais, France $14.40)
Domaine De Villaine Les Clouis 2015 (Burgundy, France $32.40)
Domaine Luc Lapeyre L’Amourier 20141 (Languedoc-Roussillon, France $14.95)
Donnas Vallee d’Aoste 2009 (Vallée d’Aosta, Italy $23.40)
Duffour Côtes de Gascogne Blanc 20151 (Côte de Gascogne; France $9.00)
Estemas Bobal 2015 (Utiel-Requena, Spain 49.90)
Faury L’Art Zélé Syrah 2015 (Northern Rhone Valley, France $19.80)
Granajolo Corse Porto-Vecchio Blanc 2015 (Corsica, France $13.50)
Grange de 4 Sous Serrottes 2011 (Languedoc-Roussillon, France $20.70)
Il Conte Pinot Grigio 2016 (Veneto, Italy $10.80)
Janvier Jasnieres Cuvee du Silex 2015 (Loire Valley, France $20.70)
J. L. Bonaccorsi Santa Barbaara County Pinot Noir 2013 (Santa Barbara County, California $19.95)
Jobard Rully Montagne La Folie 2011 (Burgundy, France $23.40)
La Soeur Cadette Macon Villages Blanc 2016 (Burgundy, France $25.20)
La Viarte Friuli Colli Orientali Pinot Grigio 2015 (Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy $14.40)
La Vieille Ferme Recolte Rosé 2015 (Southern Rhone, France $5.35)
La Zorra Sierra de Salamanca 2013 (Sierra de Salamanca, Spain $14.40)
Les Aphillanthes Côtes du Rhône Rosé 20161 (Côtes du Rhône, France $12.60)
Les Faverelles Bourgogne Vézelay Le nez de Muse 2011 (Burgundy, France $17.10)
Les Traverses de Fontanes Cyriaque Rozier 20151 (Languedoc-Roussillon, France $12.60)
Louis Claude Desvignes Morgon Javernieres 2014 (Beaujolais, France Unknown price)
Maranges 1er Cru La Fussiere 2015 (Burgundy, France $27.00)
Marco De Bartoli Rosso di Marco 2012 (Sicily, Italy $23.40)
Nicolas Potel Mâcon-Villages Blanc 2013 (Burgundy, France $12.60)
Paolo Petrilli Motta del Lupo 20162 (Northern Puglia, Italy $10.80)
Piaugier Sablet Rosé 20161 (Southern Rhône valley, France $13.50)
Pietralta Terra Rosa 20151 (Tuscany, Italy $14.40)
Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2015 (Sonoma County, California $32.00)
Sardus Pater Is Solus Carignano del Sulcis 2015 (Sardinia, Italy $13.50)
Señorío de P. Peciña Crianza Rioja 20111 (Rioja, Spain $18.95)
Tablas Creek Vineyard Syrah 2014 (Central Coast, California $32.00)
Teso La Monja Almirez Toro 2013 (Toro, Spain $24.95)
Thurnhof St. Magdalener 20151 (Alto Adige, Italy $16.20)
Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2012 (Tuscany, Italy $19.95)
Visintini Rosso Palmoira 2014 (Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy $11.70)
Volpaia CittoToscana 2013 (Tuscany, Italy $11.95)
Zugober Belezos Rioja Blanco 2012 (Rioja; Spain $16.95)

The most MEMORABLE wines we reviewed in 2017, regardless of price:
(in alphabetical order)

André Perret Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2015 (Northern Rhône, France $35)
Bartolo Mascarello Dolcetto d’Alba 2014 (Piedmont, Italy $26.10)
Bastide Blanche Bandol Rosé 2016 (Provence, France $21.60)
Beneduce Vineyards Blue 2 Blaufrankisch 2013 and a Visit to Beneduce Vineyards Pittstown, New Jersey (Hunterdon County, New Jersey $28.99)
Bevan Cellars Ontogeny Napa Valley Red Wine 2014 (Napa Valley, California $ Gift, about $149.00)
Bitouzet-Prieur Meursault Clos du Cromin 2012 (Burgundy, France $51.30)
Bussola Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2011 (Veneto, Italy $36.95)
Chateau Climens 1st Cru Sauternes-Barsac 1995 (Bordeaux, France $59.95, 375 ml bottle)
d’ Yquem Lur-Saluces Sauternes 1985 (Bordeaux, France $299.95)
Domaine Chevilloné Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Roncieres 1er Cru 2013 (Burgundy, France $109.80)
Domaine Huet Clos du Bourg Vouvray 2011 (Loire, France $28.80)
Gerard Boulay La Cote Sancerre 2014 (Loire Valley, France $53.00)
Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes 2013 (Burgundy, France $52.20)
Junius Lindsay Vineyard Special Delivery Rosè 2016 (Yadkin Valley, North Carolina $19.99)
Morella La Signora Primitivo 2013 (Puglia, Italy $46.80)
Morella Old Vines Primitivo 20133 (Puglia, Italy $42.30)
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Monforte e Perno 1964 (Piedmont, Italy $315.00)
Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit Blanc De Tablas 2011 (Central Coast, California $40.00)
Turley Paso Robles Ueberroth Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Central Coast, California $55.00)
Villaine Côte Chalonnaise La Digoine 2015 (Burgundy, France $36.90)

The Best Value local wine of 2017

Junius Lindsay Vineyard Cellar Select Viognier 20154 (Yadkin Valley, North Carolina $ Unknown)

1. There are always a small number of wines that are extra special and we identify them as The-BEST-OF-THE-BEST. The wines that make this list have outstanding quality but are way under valued and we think are the best value wines we reviewed in 2017.
2. Annually we identify one wine as the BEST VALUE WINE from all those we reviewed over the past year. It’s usually an inexpensive wine (around $10 or $15) that drinks like a wine that costs many times that price. These are wines that literally give you the biggest bang for the buck compared to all the wines we review each year…and this years selection does that in spades.
3. The most MEMORABLE WINE OF 2017 totally blew us away. We like Zinfandel and drink many examples from around the world each year, but when we tasted the Morella Old Vines Primitivo 2013 paired with North Carolina BBQ pork it really set a new high standard for wine made from Zinfandel grapes. Out of all the wines we drank in 2017 this is the most unforgettable!!!
4. The BEST VALUE LOCAL WINE. For us this means North Carolina. We have tasted a lot of North Carolina wines over the years and quite frankly we haven’t found many that were very drinkable, let alone good. So this listing in the year end review is VERY significant. And, possibly even more noteworthy is that we identified Junius Lindsay Vineyard Cellar Select Roussanne 2011 as the best local wine in 2015 and the Junius Lindsay Vineyard Syrah Reserve 2010 as the best local wine in 2016 . Try any of them and you will have a whole new appreciation for Yadkin Valley, North Carolina wines!!!