The great winemakers of the world, unsurprisingly, often make very expensive wines. But it’s more and more common these days for many of them to divert a portion of their time to making affordable (relatively speaking) and accessible wines, as well. Sometimes these are less expensive companion labels to winemakers’ top products; sometimes they are consulting projects taken on by winery owners whose focus isn’t the $100-Cabernet market; and once in a while, a winemaker from a marquee region like Napa or Bordeaux decides that it might be an interesting adventure to make wine in a more far-flung place, like Argentina, say, or South Africa. Either way, these bottles are a way for fans to get a taste of greatness for a modest price.
2006 Cocodrilo Cabernet Sauvignon ($17)
If you want an amazing, $250 Napa Valley Cabernet, you can go to Paul Hobbs. And if you want a very good, $17 Argentine Cabernet, you can also go to Paul Hobbs. One of California’s top winemakers, Hobbs started this winery in Argentina back in 1991; his aromatic, cassis-rich Cocodrilo Cabernet shows that winemaking talent travels very well indeed.
- 50+ Values, Legendary Regions
- 30 Classic, New & Value Cabernets
- Robert Parker: 30 Years of Wine Trends
- Spain's Brilliant $8 Winemaker | Telmo Rodríguez
2006 Copain L’hiver Syrah ($18)
Wells Guthrie, whose Copain Pinot Noirs and Syrahs are produced in miniscule quantities and snatched up by collectors upon release, also makes a seasonal line of affordable varietal wines, Saisons des Vins. The winter offering, his L’hiver Syrah, has the flinty power and complexity of top-notch Syrah.