2005 Red Truck Red ($10)
Sonoma’s Cline Cellars started producing Red Truck in 2002, and it was an immediate hit. Now the brand is independent, but Cline winemaker Charlie Tsegeletos still makes it, and the quality-for-price ratio is still high. He blends Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and a host of other red grapes for a juicy red with spicy berry notes.
2005 Stephen Vincent Crimson ($11)
The aroma is muted, but don’t be fooled—there’s a lot of dark blackberry fruit in this structured Rhône-style California red blend.
- 67 Best American Wines
- Best American Wines $15 & Under: Cabernet Sauvignon
- Best American Wines $15 & Under: Merlot & Pinot Noir
- Best American Wines $15 & Under: Syrah & Petite Sirah
- Best American Wines $15 & Under: Zinfandel
2004 Robert Pepi Sangiovese ($11)
Pepi was one of the first wineries in California to plant the Sangiovese grape, and that experience shows in this delicate red. A versatile wine, it’s light enough to drink as an aperitif, but with enough cherry fruit to accompany a main-course dish.