Best Wine Picks of 2021 - $15 and Under
Purchasing wine and feeling you made the correct decision seems like a rarity as it pertains to the wine world. With tens of thousands of options out there, who can blame you? For this reason, we have compiled an extensive list of the best wines of 2021 that covers many varietals and vineyards across the entire globe. Wine is such a fascinating thing because of the varying degree of quality as well as the price. A common misconception is that the best wine is typically the most expensive, but today we will showcase some wines that would have you second guessing that notion.
Today we will focus on the best buy wines for $15 and under meaning no buyer’s remorse in the bunch; These wines pack a serious punch. We’ve included all time favorites such as the best cabernet sauvignons as well as the best chardonnays. From the sunny coasts of California, to the South American charm of Mendoza Argentina, or the beautiful green hills of Tuscany Italy, these wines and their winemakers have a story and history to tell with every bottle.
Bargain Buy Wines $15 and Under
Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay –
Bogle is one of the top recognized wineries in the entire world and for good reason. Bogle was voted by Wine Enthusiast as the Winery of the Year back in 2019 which is no small accomplishment. The winery is historic in its’ own right as it is now into six generations of winemaking with no indication of slowing down. When talking about a great cabernet under $15, you don’t have to look any further than the Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon deserves all the praise it gets as a fantastic budget cabernet sauvignon that drinks like a wine much pricier. The 2018 growing season was longer than usual resulting in a deep and succulent grape. The cherry and bright cassis holds both your nose and palate on a wild ride from beginning to end. You will taste coconut and spicy oak derived from the American oak barrels they were aged in. Not only does Bogle make fantastic red wines at varying price points, but they are also well known for their white wines. Our other best wine picks of 2021 from Bogle is their Bogle Chardonnay.
The Bogle Chardonnay is priced well under $10 and can compete with the big dogs. This wine is harvested by hand and pressed as whole clusters. Half of the harvested grapes go into stainless steel tanks while the other half is put in new American Oak barrels to age for 8 months. When finished, these two halves are blended together resulting in a complex and delightful wine. On first uncorking you will smell the honeycomb and vanilla tantalizing aromas. On the palate you’ll get a long and soft finish of Asian pears and Honeycrisp apples that will be the perfect refresher on sunny days. And on top of all of this, this wine is certified sustainable by the California Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing. What could be better!?
Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Small Lot Pinot Noir –
Parducci Wine Cellars was founded way back in 1932, making it Mendocino County’s longest running winery, and has been making fantastic wines ever since. Parducci was started as just a dream of an Italian immigrant in the early 1900s and was built from the ground up by a father and his four sons. The first vintages of their wines were tilled manually and the first bottles were filled with hoses and the corks had to be pounded in by mallets! The rich history of Parducci is only one of the many great things revolving around this winery.
The Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon exemplifies the rich history of Parducci in every single way and doesn’t break the bank doing it! This deep purple cabernet opens up with flavors of current and dark cherries that follows with a subtle olive tapenade. Yum! The round tannin profile then finishes with a lingering vanilla bean finish all culminating in a ranking on our Best Wines of 2021 list.
We also know that the Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir is without a doubt deserving of our top picks list. The longevity of the vines at this vineyard are perfect when talking about crafting a complex and elegant Pinot Noir. This pinot noir is medium-bodied and is textured with lush strawberry and raspberry flavors creating a mesmerizing mouthfeel. The finish on this is nothing short of amazing with the woodsy taste of cedar on the tongue and smooth finish.
Vietti Moscato –
Heading across the ocean brings us to our next pick which is the Vietti Moscato. The Vietti Winery is in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery there is in the village of Castiglione Falletto on the Lagnhe hills. The winery was founded hundreds of years ago in the late 1800s by Carlo Vietti.
The Vietti Moscato is produced from vines that are close to 40 years old which produce fantastic grapes. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks until it is ready for bottling. The color of this wine is a beautiful and vibrant sunshine yellow. On the nose you will get intense aromas of peaches, ginger, as well as rose petals. The palate gives a sweet and delicate sparkle combined with a neutral acidity. The wine finishes with a hint of fresh apricots which will only make you wanting more.
Apothic Red Blend –
Anybody that knows wine, knows the name Apothic. Apothic is an extremely well known brand from California and for under $10 a bottle, it surely deserves to be part of our Best Wine Picks list. In particular, the Apothic Red Blend Winemaker’s Blend is their best and most popular.
The Apothic Red is both bold and intriguing and help catapult the Apothic brand to where it is today. This blend has notes of black cherry and dark red fruit and is complemented by hints of vanilla and mocha giving this blend a bold and exquisite taste. This particular blend features rich Zinfandel, smooth Merlot, flavorful Syrah, and bold Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chateau d’Esclans The Palm Rose –
With Summer in full swing, we just had to include a Rose and look for no better Rose growing country than France. Our choice of a top rose of 2021 is the Chateau d’Esclans The Palm Rose. The Cheatea d’Esclans winery is would take your breath away. It sits atop a hill in the center of the Department of the Var where just about all of the Provence AOC rose is being produced. The land has been civilized dating back 2500 years ago and the original chateau dates back to before the 12th century with the original cellar being the only remaining thing.
Chateau d’Esclans main grape grown is the Grenache and it followed closely by the Vermentino grape from vines that go up to 90 years old. The Palm is a pale pink color with hints of clear green hues. Unscrew this delectable wine and you are greeted with the fresh and subtle fruits. This freshness brings out an exceptional round and lengthy finish that is crisp all the way through.
OZV Old Vine Zinfandel –
We head back in time as we look at our top zinfandel of 2021 for under $15. This one is from the Oak Ridge Winery which is the oldest operating winery in all of Lodi, California. The roots of this family winery date all the way back to the early 1900s when Angelo Maggio immigrated from Italy to Lodi. The OZV Old Vine Zinfandel perfectly captures the grit and age of this winery as well as the terroir of the region. Lodi is a fantastic region for Zinfandel as it typically enjoys warm days and cool nights that allow grapes to realized their full potential fully ripening while maintaining natural acidity.
OZV Old Vine Zinfandel is no different. This wine has a deep ruby red color in the glass and a vibrant explosion of dark fruit on the palate the full-bodied tannins. On the nose you are greeted by notes of delicious blackberry and plum all coated with vanilla and baking spices.
Kris Pinot Grigio -
we would be mistaken not to include the Kris Pinot Grigio on our top wines list of 2021. The Kris winery is situated in the cozy town of Montagna Italy that is part of the Alto Adige region. This winery has the expertise of seven generations of winemakers going into every bottle meaning you’ll get a consistent and reliable taste each and every time.
The Kris Pinot Grigio gets all the love that it deserves from its’ winemakers and is expressed in the bottle. This wine is bursting with aromas and flavors derived from the high vineyards of the Veneto region. On the nose you get beautiful acacia flowers, lime, tangerines, and some subtle apricots and almonds. This wine is not only bold and clean, but also very refreshing on the palate, so go ahead and open one up and enjoy the sunset. The finish is unlike many pinot grigios with a tingly long finish of orange blossom and honey.
Conundrum White –
When you talk about a real heavy hitter in the wine world and one of the most recognized brands in the world, you would have to be talking about the Caymus Winery. Caymus was started by a man named Chuck Wagner in partnership with his parents Charlie and Lorna way back in 1972 and have been creating slam dunk wines for decades. For one of our top picks featuring this winery, we just had to include the Conundrum White Blend which was created more than 25 years ago.
The winery doesn’t reveal exact blends for proprietary reasons but every vintage will include some Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli, and Viognier. The Conundrum White has mesmerizing tropical notes paired with natural acidity. It is highly recommended to serve chilled and you will be sure to please whomever has the pleasure of taking a sip of this delectable wine.
Charles Smith Velvet Devil –
Charles Smith produces so many fantastic wines for under $15 that it was incredibly difficult to choose only one. For this, we just had to go with the best merlot wine for under $15 with the Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot. Unlike many of our other wines and wineries on this list, this winery has garnered wide spread appreciation for only 20 years but they have been rocking and rolling ever since. Charles Smith was named the Winemaker of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine in 2009 and then got the same accolade from Wine Enthusiast in 2014.
This Merlot is as the name suggests, velvety smooth from start to finish. On the palate you get deep and delicious black fruit, cedar, cassis, and tobacco. The richness of this wine pairs fantastically with a juicy burger, a grilled steak, or just pure bacon overload.
Frescobaldi Remole Toscana Rosso –
The Frescobaldi winery is legendary across the globe. Their heritage in the wine industry can be traced all the way back to the early 1300s. That is over 700 years of wine making in their blood! Their family tree is full of historic figures that include literary figures, explororers, bishops, statesmen, financiers, and even musicians. This family makes so many incredible wines and for our top wine list of 2021 we went with the Frescobaldi Remole Toscana Rosso.
The Remole Rosso shows off a bright and intense velvet-red color. The fruity aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry, and black cherry pack a real punch followed by delicate spicy notes. On the palate you get is a clean and balanced wine perfect for any occasion. We recommend pairing this wine with mildly spiced cured meats and full-flavored pasta dishes.
Girl and Dragon Malbec –
This wine is not just another pretty label. This wine is the result of meticulous planning and winemaking. This wine is grown in the Mendoza region of Argentina which is known for its’ high elevations, dry climates, and challenging soils. All of this results in grapes that are highly concentrated with flavor and richness.
The Girl and Dragon Malbec is filled with the concentrated flavors from top to bottom. A fierce red wine with the heavy scents of black cherry and vanilla spice. On the palate you get bold black cherry cola and blueberry with a smooth finish of chocolate spices. In typical South American fashion this wine pairs perfectly with Paella, grilled meats, and a hearty stew.
Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio –
We could not leave out one of our best pinot grigios of 2021 with the Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio. The Castello Banfi winery is one of the most honored estates in all of Tuscany. Castello Banfi is known for their Sangiovese vine research that has led to being able to produce killer Brunello and super Tuscan wines. Not only does Banfi have that on their pedigree, but they are also the very first winery in the entire world to be awarded international recognition for their environmental, ethical, and social responsibility as well as being leaders in customer satisfaction.
The Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio is also deserving of equal praise with the lush tropical fruit aromas and flavors. The crisp citrus notes are unique to the Tuscan character of this wine. This Pinot Grigio pairs perfectly with lighter dishes of grilled vegetables, pasta primavera, and many different seafoods.
Bartenura Moscato –
Let’s travel on the sweeter side of the spectrum with the Bartenura Moscato. No top wine list of 2021 would be complete without the addition of this beautiful wine. This wine is a refreshing and crisp lightly sparkling wine that starts with sweet fruit and lingers with nectar flavors on the finish.
You’ll get notes of wildflowers, ripe melons, and honey instantly with notes of pears, nectarines, and apricot following closely. Bartenura Moscato is perfect chilled and paired with just about anything and for any occasion!
Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo –
Hailing from the Abruzzo region, I present to you a relatively young winery featured with the Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The Cantina Zaccagnini winery was established in the early 1970’s in Bolognano which is located in the middle of Abruzzo sitting at the base of Gran Sasso. The winery is supposed to be a cultural hub for artists, musicians, scholars, and of course wine enthusiasts.
This wine is an intense ruby red and purple reflections. This wine has an intense nose of dark fruit that bring about a robust and full-bodied palate full of delicious tannins.
Allegrini Palazzo della Torre –
To round out the last of our Bargain Wines list of 2021, we have the Allegrini Palazzo della Torre. The history of the Allegrini family can be traced all the way back to the 16th century in the Valpolicella region of Italy. The Palazzo della Torre is an elegant and well balanced wine with amazing structure and aromas.
The ruby red and purple hues mesmerize the eyes and the notes of vanilla, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon indulge the nose. The blend of 40% Corvina Veronese, 30% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Sangiovese give this wine the long, velvety finish, and soft tannins that keeps many coming back for more. Pair this wine with various grilled meats as well as classic pasta dishes.