Cheap Wine Challenge
In Defense of Cabernet Franc
2011 Charles Joguet Cuvée Terroir Chinon
Photo courtesy of Charles Joguet

Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.

Who: Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen, lead sommelier at RN74 in Seattle and the winemaker behind W.T. Vintners in Columbia Valley and Columbia Gorge.

What: 2011 Charles Joguet Cuvée Terroir Chinon

Why: "When grown in the right place and crafted with the right hands, Cabernet Franc has the potential of other noble grapes, like Cabernet Sauvignon," says Lindsay-Thorsen. This Cabernet Franc, from Charles Joguet in Chinon in France's Loire Valley is a classic example of the wine. "It has notes of crushed violet and freshly tilled soil along with ashy tannins and vibrant acidity," he says. It's a terrific wine for drinking with all kinds of food.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Wine Pairings
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