Best American Wines $15 & Under: Other Whites
Additional research by Megan Krigbaum
2006 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling ($12)
This is definitely one of the great wine bargains in the world. Lime-zest aromas, lively acidity, intense fruit—if you want to know why Riesling inspires such devotion, this is a great introduction to the grape. And starting with the 2006, Chateau Ste. Michelle sells this wine nationwide, instead of just in the northwest.
2005 Ca’ del Solo Big House White ($10)
A blend of Viognier and other white grapes from all over California’s wine regions, this crisp wine has floral notes and an appealing fruitiness.
2006 Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc ($12)
Most of Dry Creek Vineyard’s wines sell for well over $20, but this rich, melony, full-bodied white, made without a trace of oak aging, is a welcome exception.
2006 Folie à Deux Ménage à Trois White ($12)
This easy-drinking blend of Chardonnay, Muscat and Chenin Blanc is aged in stainless steel tanks to keep its ripe, tropical flavors bright.
2006 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris ($15)
It’s rare to find this much depth of flavor in a wine under $20. Pear and melon fruit, light floral notes and firm acidity all combine to make this Oregon white one of the best deals around, especially in a great vintage like 2006. Plus, it’s from a winery that’s dedicated to eco-friendly sustainable agriculture.
2006 Konstantin Frank/Vinifera Cellars Salmon Run Riesling ($13)
From one of the top producers in New York state’s Finger Lakes wine region—itself one of the best regions for Riesling in the United States—this pear-inflected, vibrant white wine makes a great partner for seafood of any kind.
2006 Paraiso Monterey County Riesling ($14)
Paraiso’s vineyards lie on the windswept slopes of California’s Santa Lucia Highlands, inland from Monterey. The region’s cool ocean-influenced climate is one reason why this dry, nectarine-scented Riesling is so refreshing.