20 Fabulous Red Wines under $20

After tasting many wines under $20 (some were poured down the sink quickly), we found a nice selection to pass on.  We would like your feedback on any of the choices, and most certainly let us know if you have wines that should get on our list.  A few of these wines we separately review, providing more information (look through our postings). So, here goes….
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 #20:  La Posta Angel:  2011 Paulucci Vineyard Malbec

Argentina Malbec averaging $18.00.
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 #19:  Scala Dei:  2010 Priorat Prior

Spanish (Catalonia) red made from Garnacha Tinta, Cabernet Sauvignon and  Syrah averaging $17.00
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 #18:  Leone D’Oro:  2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Italian (Tuscany) red made from Prugnolo Gentile, a clone of Sangiovese, averaging $19.00.
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 #17: Angulo Innocenti:  2010 La Consulta Malbec

Argentina Malbec averaging $19.00.
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 #16: Romero & Miller:  2005 Rioja Rentas  de Fincas Reserva

Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $18.00.
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 #15: Vina Equia:  2011 Rioja Riserva

Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $15.00.
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 #14: Seghesio:  2010 Sonoma Zinfandel

California zinfandel averaging $19.00.
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 #13: Bodegas De La Marquesa:  2009 Rioja Valserrano Crianza

Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $13.00.
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 #12: Bryn Mawr:  2011 Pinot noir

Oregon pinot noir averaging $15.00.
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 #11: Renzo Masi:  2009 Chianti Riserva

Italian (Tuscany) red made from Sangiovese, averaging $16.00.
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 #10: Bernard Magrez:  2006 Herència del Padrí Priorat

Spanish red made from Carignan, Grenache, Merlot, and Cabernet, averaging $18.00.
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 #9: Mohua:  2011 Pinot noir

New Zealand (Central Otago) pinot noir, averaging $18.00.
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 #8: A to Z:  2011 Pinot noir

Oregon pinot noir averaging $18.00.
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 #7: Fattoria Carpoli:  2010 Toscana Sada Integolo

Italian (Tuscany) red made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, averaging $18.00.
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 #6: Mocali:  2011 Morellino di Scansano

Italian (Tuscany) red made from  Sangiovese, averaging $19.00.
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 #5: Fattoria del Cerro:  2011 Chianti Colle Senesi

Italian (Tuscany) red made from  Sangiovese, averaging $15.00.
A bit bolder than our #4 selection from the same producer, it also has a nice balance of acidity and tannins. Contrasting with the Vino Nobile, this Chianti has a deeper cherry, black currant and spice flavors which lingers on the finish.
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 #4: Fattoria del Cerro:  2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Italian (Tuscany) red made from  Sangiovese, averaging $15.00.
These folks make higher end wines, but we see no reason to move up in price.  This medium-bodied, deep red wine is balanced and elegant.  There is a lot of bright cherry and spice flavors, similar to other Sangiovese wines, but has a smooth and lengthy finish.  Stands up well with pasta, pizza, and steak.
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 #3: Chateau de la Bonneliere:  2010 Chinon Rive Gauche

French (Loire Valley) red made from  Cabernet Franc, averaging $18.00.
This French beauty is a universal red – working well with poultry, pork, fish, and stands up to a bit of spice (think a medium curry).  The taste is an intense blackberry and cherry fruit with some tobacco and herbal notes that ripple underneath. There’s a nice bright finish, which lingers.
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 #2: La Braccesca:  2010 Rosso di Montepulciano Sabazio

Italian (Tuscany) red made from Prugnolo Gentile, a clone of Sangiovese, averaging $19.00.
This is a surprisingly elegant red, with a great cherry, strawberry and tobacco nose, with similar flavors.  Great food wine, with a nice balance of acid and tannins.  This will last in your cellar for up to 5 years.
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 #1: Tenuta Le Velette:  2010 Rosso Orvietano

Italian (Umbria) red made from Sangiovese, Canaiolo, merlot, and other grapes from the Orvieto area, averaging $18.00.
This wine is intense ruby red with purple tints, has a bit of a fruity aroma with a hint of chocolate. The ripe cherries taste that dominates the first part of the taste comes from the sangiovese grape, but then comes the combination of surprises, primarily the light note of vanilla and a hint of mint with an underlying stone fruit finish.
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We have tasted each wine, and some on this list we would consider outstanding bargains.  For example, once we tasted the Rosso di Spicca, we ordered a case – we call it the Chateauneuf-du-Pape of Italy, as it is a blend of many grapes.
The majority of the wines on this list come from Italy and Spain – clearly the low priced red wines from these two countries had the most sophisticated taste for the price, and were good wines to match with food.  The Argentinian Malbecs were also good values, and we had a hard time selecting a few which would make our top 20 list.  Many of these wines could also be stand-alone sippers.
We will publish more complete tasting notes on a selected few wines in the next few weeks.

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