Great Wine Finds for $20 or Less

When you do your homework, you can find great wines under $20.


What can you get for a $20 bill these days? A great bottle of wine if you do your homework.

You don’t have to lower your standards. Plenty of top-rate winemaking is happening, even at this price point. Check out these great finds, which may inspire you to purchase a bottle the next time you have a spare $20 dollar bill.

Stephen Vincent, 2013 Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 13.5%, $15. This tasty quaffer has notes of cherry, blackberry, toast and pepper. Medium bodied. A smart value.

Guenoc, 2015 Guenoc Valley, Lake County Sauvignon Blanc, 14.1%, $13. This tropical sauvignon blanc reels you in with a trio of flavors — pineapple, guava and passion fruit. Nice structure. Balanced.

Broadside, 2014 Central Coast Wild Ferment Chardonnay, 13.5%, $18. A straight-forward chardonnay with notes of melon, lemon, mineral and a hint of toffee. Nice length. A smart budget pick.

Olema, 2014 Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 14.2%, $20. The Olema is surprisingly supple for the price, but it is set apart by its gorgeous red berry aromas, with a great concentration of bing cherry fruit on the palate. Layered notes of cocoa and spice in the mix. The pinot comes full circle with an impressive, lingering finish.

Cycles Gladiator, 2014 Central Coast Chardonnay, 13.5%, $11. A tasty wine that’s a steal the price. Its stone fruit is a standout, with just the right oak treatment — light. While it’s not complex, it is layered, which makes it an interesting chardonnay. Smart.