'Tis the time of year where we all take stock--of goals, mistakes and, if you're anything like me post-holiday season, depleted wine collections. Replenishing your wine stores is easy at K&L, even if you're on a budget. To get you started, we've put together a list of our 10 best selling red wines under $25. Tomorrow, the whites!
10. 2009 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipu Valley ($9.99) K&L's Susan Thornett says: "It's interesting to taste a really expensive wine and to try to figure how much of the wealth of winemaking and vinegrowing expertise, perfect fruit and state-of-the-art facilities cost out. So that's how they achieve such richness, fine structure, body, velvety texture and approachability. But inevitably someone always points out, Yes, but Pascual Toso can do that for 10 bucks."
9. 2009 Urbanite Cellars "Amplio" California Cabernet Sauvignon ($10.99) From K&L's Jacques Moreira: "I tend to shy away from those over-the-top, high alcohol, heavily oaked domestis wines regardless of how many points they are awarded. And that's why I enjoyed this Cabernet. It drinks so well with food or simply by itself..."
8. 2008 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($22.99) K&L's Adam Parry says: "This Pinot Noir is a complex little creature. It has a fantastic spicy minerality, with subtle hints of wild cherries and raspberries...it's a tough little guy with a heart of gold!"
7. 2006 Bodegas LAN Crianza Rioja ($9.99) #44 on the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2010 and only 10 bucks. Need we say more?
6. Urbanite Cellars "Redart" Red Blend ($9.99) Another value from Luis Moya's Urbanite label, and a staff favorite. K&L's Doug Davidson sums it up best: "What a great everyday, all-around drinker! This delicious Cab/Syrah/Zin blend is just the thing for BBQ season...or for Tuesday night pizza."
5. 2007 La Maialina Chianti Classico Riserva ($19.99) A 92-point Chianti Riserva? Parker's Italian wine reviewer Antonio Galloni nailed it when he wrote: "When you factor in the price, these are some of the most stunning values to come out of Tuscany, or anywhere for that matter."
4. 2008 Étoile du Rhône (Stephane Vedeau) Côte du Rhône ($10.99) David Driscoll, who writes K&L's Under the Radar column (and is also one of our amazing spirits buyers) says: "A steal of a deal while it lasts...this '08 from Vedeau is fantastic--mouthfilling fruit, peppery spices and a long finish make for a top-notch bistro-style wine at a friendly price."
3. 2008 Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino-Lake County ($11.99) K&L's Wine Club director, Alex Pross, knows a good deal when he sees one. He says: "The 2008 Bonterra Cab is the perfect example of wine that over-delivers. This wine has juicy red fruit with great balance and subtle hints of vanilla and spice. The finish is long with good lift and there's just enough acidity to make this a perfect food wine. A great everyday Cab that's organic to boot."
2. 2006 Penfolds Limited Release (Koonunga Hill Seventy-Six" Shiraz-Cabernet South Australia ($9.99) A special bottling commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Koonunga Hill from Penfolds, with a retro label and even more depth and concentration than the reglar Koonunga HIll. More of this is coming in soon, so sign up for the waitlist to guarantee you'll get yours.
1. 2005 Terra da Vino "Essensze" Barolo ($19.99) A 92-point Barolo for only 20 bucks? You can see why this has topped the charts here at K&L since it came in. Italian buyer Greg St. Clair says: "This is a full-bodied wine, with lots of dense, forward fruit, a touch of earth and a classic Barolo structure...It has enough fruit to enjoy now, but it's also got plenty of life ahead of it, too.