What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

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John Glas
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#51 Post by John Glas » March 3rd, 2020, 3:35 pm

Mondavi cab is a safe choice.
Depends on the vintage. Their 50th Anniversary wine was awful.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#52 Post by Brandon R » March 3rd, 2020, 3:39 pm

Gabe Berk wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 8:18 am
2017 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles. $20 at Total Wine with a 92 point score from Parker. If they like Caymus this will be 1/5 the cost for relatively the same style wine...
I went to the BevMo in La Jolla while on vacation (what a deplorable wine selection) and walked out with this, never having tasted it. Here's my TN: "This was a little too sweet for my tastes. Sweet blackberry juice. Not bad, but just not my cup of tea. 84 points" So...what you say sounds about right! [cheers.gif]
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#53 Post by dave kammerer » March 3rd, 2020, 4:05 pm

+1 on the 2017 Daou. If they like Caymus this is as good for About $21 at Costco.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#54 Post by tpetty » March 3rd, 2020, 4:14 pm

I like some "bargain" priced cabs - but not a Daou fan.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#55 Post by Dave J » March 3rd, 2020, 10:01 pm

Josh Grossman wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 3:33 pm
I've never had a good $20 cab. With $35 and a sale, I can think of some good ones.
I’d lover to hear what $35 would get. Thanks!

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#56 Post by J a y H a c k » March 4th, 2020, 5:04 am

Go all the way with Two Buck Chuck. I set up a blind tasting on a dare of that versus a random $15 cab I also got at trader Joe's. I left the room, one of my partners poured two glasses, I returned, sniffed the glasses and didn't even have to taste. It was PAINFULLY obvious.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#57 Post by Mike DiSalvo » March 4th, 2020, 5:44 am

I would second (or third) the recommendation to go with a Sangiovese in the under $20 range specifically from the 2017 vintage which are highly approachable right now. Vopaia is wonderful and ready to drink with a couple of hours of airtime. You might want to throw in the 2017 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Super Tuscan as a ringer which is under $30 and is mostly Sangiovese with a splash of Merlot.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#58 Post by Victor Hong » March 4th, 2020, 5:48 am

I offered my ideas, in different threads. But people prefer the newest, freshest wines, at that price threshold.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#59 Post by Frank B » March 4th, 2020, 7:26 am

Focus on style first - otherwise it would be difficult to develop a meaningful comparison. I've done this previously with Sangiovese (from simple Chianti, to Riservas, to Grand Riservas). It's also good to do this with Rioja. You could have a great line up with the many bottlings of La Rioja Alta or Lopez Heredia.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#60 Post by williamwhelan » March 4th, 2020, 8:14 am

LRA Vina Alberdi is pretty hard to beat in this category, for me.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#61 Post by HoosJustinG » March 4th, 2020, 10:41 am

As somebody who drinks Cali reds quite often (probably too much), I already kind of have an issue with the Ridge and Caymus as your first two picks. Both are quality producers, but made in a much different style (and from different regions). I think a much more fair comparison would be to grab Caymus Special Selection, Caymus Cabernet and Conundrum Red, for instance. Those roughly hit your price points...

Lots of Napa producers have first and second labels that will fall into your first two price points at ~200 and ~80 bucks ... once you've picked those, I'd come back here and ask for a $20-35 wine that's made in a similar style and with high QPR. I think that will likely be the most illuminating set up if you're trying to have a QPR discussion with your friends.

Sounds fun, either way, though ...
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#62 Post by Michae1 P0wers » March 4th, 2020, 11:18 am

I'm not sure I fully understand the goal. Do you really want people's impression of the best $20 bottle? Do you want the $20 bottle people find most likely to be confused for an $80 or $200 bottle? Are you also asking for advice on which $80 bottle could be confused for the $20 bottle? Also, who is your audience? What do they like? How knowledgeable are they about wine?

I'm fairly certain no wine I love for $20 is going to be confused for Caymus. In a blind tasting the bigger wine often wins; sweetness and oak make a wine "stand out." I'd guess this is particularly true for less experienced tasters. Caymus and Mollydooker are both sweet, alcoholic, wines that taste manufactured, so maybe it really isn't the worst idea if you're looking to sow confusion. There are a lot of Spanish and Southern French wines at that price point that garner big scores from Parker, Dunnuck and others, and they might be ideal in that situation. Unfortunately I can't remember any of these wines by name. There was a thread not that long ago titled something like "the best $15 wine" or something like that, about exactly this kind of wine - modern, plush, intense, and I'm wanting to say the subject wine was from the Languedoc. Other areas for consideration include Toro or Ribera del Duero. You might also have luck with something like Gigondas, which can be big and fruit forward but might seem to have added complexity.

I'd rather drink many of the wines that have been mentioned, including Tuscans and Rioja, and would surely consider them better wines, but they are less likely to play the disrupter in a blind tasting. My guess is that they would be noticeably old world when compared to California cabernets.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#63 Post by Hank Victor » March 4th, 2020, 11:29 am

Michae1 P0wers wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 11:18 am
I'm not sure I fully understand the goal. Do you really want people's impression of the best $20 bottle? Do you want the $20 bottle people find most likely to be confused for an $80 or $200 bottle? Are you also asking for advice on which $80 bottle could be confused for the $20 bottle? Also, who is your audience? What do they like? How knowledgeable are they about wine?

I'm fairly certain no wine I love for $20 is going to be confused for Caymus. In a blind tasting the bigger wine often wins; sweetness and oak make a wine "stand out." I'd guess this is particularly true for less experienced tasters. Caymus and Mollydooker are both sweet, alcoholic, wines that taste manufactured, so maybe it really isn't the worst idea if you're looking to sow confusion. There are a lot of Spanish and Southern French wines at that price point that garner big scores from Parker, Dunnuck and others, and they might be ideal in that situation. Unfortunately I can't remember any of these wines by name. There was a thread not that long ago titled something like "the best $15 wine" or something like that, about exactly this kind of wine - modern, plush, intense, and I'm wanting to say the subject wine was from the Languedoc. Other areas for consideration include Toro or Ribera del Duero. You might also have luck with something like Gigondas, which can be big and fruit forward but might seem to have added complexity.

I'd rather drink many of the wines that have been mentioned, including Tuscans and Rioja, and would surely consider them better wines, but they are less likely to play the disrupter in a blind tasting. My guess is that they would be noticeably old world when compared to California cabernets.
Juan Gil Silver Label is under $15 and would fit this bill

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#64 Post by Douglas Breen » March 4th, 2020, 4:43 pm

I’ve been a big fan of Textbook Merlot Napa. 2015-2017 have all been wonderful. Just bought a few 2017’s at Costco for $17.95.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#65 Post by Josh Grossman » March 4th, 2020, 5:03 pm

Dave J wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 10:01 pm
Josh Grossman wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 3:33 pm
I've never had a good $20 cab. With $35 and a sale, I can think of some good ones.
I’d lover to hear what $35 would get. Thanks!
I'm confident that this would beat Caymus in a blind tasting:
https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/kene ... 14/usa/usd

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#66 Post by Mattstolz » March 4th, 2020, 5:30 pm

best Ive had recently is Bedrock North Coast Syrah.

every once in a while I've run into older wind gap wines at less than $20.

another solid bet is a produttori Langhe Nebbiolo

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#67 Post by J. Singleton » March 4th, 2020, 6:27 pm

I really enjoy Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County pinot noir for $20. Its a great wine to open with non-geek friends without sacrificing the enjoyment.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#68 Post by Mike R » March 4th, 2020, 6:59 pm

HoosJustinG wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 10:41 am
As somebody who drinks Cali reds quite often (probably too much), I already kind of have an issue with the Ridge and Caymus as your first two picks. Both are quality producers, but made in a much different style (and from different regions). I think a much more fair comparison would be to grab Caymus Special Selection, Caymus Cabernet and Conundrum Red, for instance. Those roughly hit your price points...

Lots of Napa producers have first and second labels that will fall into your first two price points at ~200 and ~80 bucks ... once you've picked those, I'd come back here and ask for a $20-35 wine that's made in a similar style and with high QPR. I think that will likely be the most illuminating set up if you're trying to have a QPR discussion with your friends.

Sounds fun, either way, though ...
I think you are exactly right, and the tasting you mention is interesting, and would highlight the differences in quality at various price points. But frankly this is a bet. I am betting that the correlation between price and enjoyment is not as strong as they suggest it is. They think they can easily blind the three and rank them in price order. The Ridge is the pick simply because I have one open already (via Coravin) and I am doing the tasting this weekend.

I did settle into a 2010 Rioja that I picked up for about 20 bucks. I will update everyone on how the tasting goes!
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#69 Post by Mike R » March 4th, 2020, 7:02 pm

Michae1 P0wers wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 11:18 am
I'm not sure I fully understand the goal. Do you really want people's impression of the best $20 bottle? Do you want the $20 bottle people find most likely to be confused for an $80 or $200 bottle? Are you also asking for advice on which $80 bottle could be confused for the $20 bottle? Also, who is your audience? What do they like? How knowledgeable are they about wine?

I'm fairly certain no wine I love for $20 is going to be confused for Caymus. In a blind tasting the bigger wine often wins; sweetness and oak make a wine "stand out." I'd guess this is particularly true for less experienced tasters. Caymus and Mollydooker are both sweet, alcoholic, wines that taste manufactured, so maybe it really isn't the worst idea if you're looking to sow confusion. There are a lot of Spanish and Southern French wines at that price point that garner big scores from Parker, Dunnuck and others, and they might be ideal in that situation. Unfortunately I can't remember any of these wines by name. There was a thread not that long ago titled something like "the best $15 wine" or something like that, about exactly this kind of wine - modern, plush, intense, and I'm wanting to say the subject wine was from the Languedoc. Other areas for consideration include Toro or Ribera del Duero. You might also have luck with something like Gigondas, which can be big and fruit forward but might seem to have added complexity.

I'd rather drink many of the wines that have been mentioned, including Tuscans and Rioja, and would surely consider them better wines, but they are less likely to play the disrupter in a blind tasting. My guess is that they would be noticeably old world when compared to California cabernets.
Definitely a fair question. I suppose the bold above is the point I am most trying to prove. These guys are intermediate wine drinkers who tend to love big bold reds like Caymus. My guess is they are going to rank the Caymus one, the Ridge 3, and I'm hoping the $20 dollar bottle gets ranked #2.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#70 Post by Nathan Smyth » March 4th, 2020, 7:56 pm

Mike R wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 3:25 pm
2011 Ridge Monte Bello... Caymus... Mollydooker The Boxer
Mike R wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 7:02 pm
My guess is they are going to rank the Caymus one, the Ridge 3, and I'm hoping the $20 dollar bottle gets ranked #2.
The Boxer is a Shiraz, and it will just blow a Ridge & a Caymus right out of the water.

It looks like the Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon is available for about $24.99:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/maitre+mollydooker

But if you want to keep it in the United States, then go with the Treana Cabernet [by the Austin Hope family]:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/treana+cabernet

PS: I can't imagine spending $200 on a red wine from Ridge - you coulda gotten some really nice juice with that kinda loot.

And I wouldn't spend a wooden nickel on a Caymus.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#71 Post by Randy Bowman » March 4th, 2020, 8:15 pm

Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. If dessert wines are included, Penfold's Club Port at $15-20.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#72 Post by Mike R » March 4th, 2020, 8:49 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 7:56 pm
Mike R wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 3:25 pm
2011 Ridge Monte Bello... Caymus... Mollydooker The Boxer
Mike R wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 7:02 pm
My guess is they are going to rank the Caymus one, the Ridge 3, and I'm hoping the $20 dollar bottle gets ranked #2.
The Boxer is a Shiraz, and it will just blow a Ridge & a Caymus right out of the water.

It looks like the Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon is available for about $24.99:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/maitre+mollydooker

But if you want to keep it in the United States, then go with the Treana Cabernet [by the Austin Hope family]:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/treana+cabernet

PS: I can't imagine spending $200 on a red wine from Ridge - you coulda gotten some really nice juice with that kinda loot.

And I wouldn't spend a wooden nickel on a Caymus.
Agree that Caymus is terrible. I also think that it tastes more like a Shiraz than a Cab given the huge dose of Mega Purple the Wagners load it up with. I bought this bottle when I was first getting into wine, and had a taste for such types of wine. No longer a fan at all.

Ridge MB is a good wine, and I enjoy it quite a bit.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#73 Post by Mike J ewesson » March 5th, 2020, 12:35 pm

Agree that Daou cab would be a good choice for this tasting. It's a crowd pleaser.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#74 Post by Eric S n y d e r » March 5th, 2020, 12:52 pm

Anything from Hobo Wines / Folk Machine

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#75 Post by Eric Ifune » March 5th, 2020, 3:50 pm

Quinta do Sobral. Reserva tinto and Encruzado.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#76 Post by John L Hall » March 6th, 2020, 6:14 am

I used to exclusively drink Cali wines, mostly cab. The Vina Ardanza stuff was a gateway into European wines - which I now typically prefer to CA stuff especially at the sub-$30 price point.

I’d also try some Chianti wines in the 2016 vintage.

Loire valley reds if you like cab franc.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#77 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 6th, 2020, 8:16 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 4:04 pm
2014 Chateau Lanessan, Haut-Medoc

Almost any good vintage of Domaine Baudry Les Granges. Check out 2014, 15, 16 and 18.
Damn, beat me to it. Wasn't going vintage-specific but Lanessan is tough to beat.

Would add Capbern and Cantermerle to the list, as well as many bottles of Beaujolais, and just about any red from Spain that isn't Muga or Vega Sicilia
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#78 Post by Mattstolz » March 6th, 2020, 8:31 am

Mike R wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 7:02 pm
Michae1 P0wers wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 11:18 am
I'm not sure I fully understand the goal. Do you really want people's impression of the best $20 bottle? Do you want the $20 bottle people find most likely to be confused for an $80 or $200 bottle? Are you also asking for advice on which $80 bottle could be confused for the $20 bottle? Also, who is your audience? What do they like? How knowledgeable are they about wine?

I'm fairly certain no wine I love for $20 is going to be confused for Caymus. In a blind tasting the bigger wine often wins; sweetness and oak make a wine "stand out." I'd guess this is particularly true for less experienced tasters. Caymus and Mollydooker are both sweet, alcoholic, wines that taste manufactured, so maybe it really isn't the worst idea if you're looking to sow confusion. There are a lot of Spanish and Southern French wines at that price point that garner big scores from Parker, Dunnuck and others, and they might be ideal in that situation. Unfortunately I can't remember any of these wines by name. There was a thread not that long ago titled something like "the best $15 wine" or something like that, about exactly this kind of wine - modern, plush, intense, and I'm wanting to say the subject wine was from the Languedoc. Other areas for consideration include Toro or Ribera del Duero. You might also have luck with something like Gigondas, which can be big and fruit forward but might seem to have added complexity.

I'd rather drink many of the wines that have been mentioned, including Tuscans and Rioja, and would surely consider them better wines, but they are less likely to play the disrupter in a blind tasting. My guess is that they would be noticeably old world when compared to California cabernets.
Definitely a fair question. I suppose the bold above is the point I am most trying to prove. These guys are intermediate wine drinkers who tend to love big bold reds like Caymus. My guess is they are going to rank the Caymus one, the Ridge 3, and I'm hoping the $20 dollar bottle gets ranked #2.
if that's your expectation, i suggest you just send the MB to me instead. it'll be much more appreciated that way.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#79 Post by Wes Barton » March 6th, 2020, 8:53 am

Mike R wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 7:02 pm
Michae1 P0wers wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 11:18 am
I'm not sure I fully understand the goal. Do you really want people's impression of the best $20 bottle? Do you want the $20 bottle people find most likely to be confused for an $80 or $200 bottle? Are you also asking for advice on which $80 bottle could be confused for the $20 bottle? Also, who is your audience? What do they like? How knowledgeable are they about wine?

I'm fairly certain no wine I love for $20 is going to be confused for Caymus. In a blind tasting the bigger wine often wins; sweetness and oak make a wine "stand out." I'd guess this is particularly true for less experienced tasters. Caymus and Mollydooker are both sweet, alcoholic, wines that taste manufactured, so maybe it really isn't the worst idea if you're looking to sow confusion. There are a lot of Spanish and Southern French wines at that price point that garner big scores from Parker, Dunnuck and others, and they might be ideal in that situation. Unfortunately I can't remember any of these wines by name. There was a thread not that long ago titled something like "the best $15 wine" or something like that, about exactly this kind of wine - modern, plush, intense, and I'm wanting to say the subject wine was from the Languedoc. Other areas for consideration include Toro or Ribera del Duero. You might also have luck with something like Gigondas, which can be big and fruit forward but might seem to have added complexity.

I'd rather drink many of the wines that have been mentioned, including Tuscans and Rioja, and would surely consider them better wines, but they are less likely to play the disrupter in a blind tasting. My guess is that they would be noticeably old world when compared to California cabernets.
Definitely a fair question. I suppose the bold above is the point I am most trying to prove. These guys are intermediate wine drinkers who tend to love big bold reds like Caymus. My guess is they are going to rank the Caymus one, the Ridge 3, and I'm hoping the $20 dollar bottle gets ranked #2.
If that's their preference, I'd go with my suggestion above and compare it against a couple solid low-end wines of the same style and type. Is the Caymus better? If so, is it better enough that it's worth the price?

If the tasting is fun, you can always do another. Others may have suggestions. Things you observe during tastings may inspire further themes to explore. There are a lot of non-Cab suggestions above for quality lower priced wines that could guide future themes.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#80 Post by K. Tr@n » March 6th, 2020, 12:41 pm

Maybe give those guys some credit. Even if they like Caymus, they should recognize MB is several league above. A while back, I had my first MB and nearly fell off the chair. At the time, I did enjoy Caymus from time to time.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#81 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 6th, 2020, 1:04 pm

K. Tr@n wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 12:41 pm
Maybe give those guys some credit. Even if they like Caymus, they should recognize MB is several league above. A while back, I had my first MB and nearly fell off the chair. At the time, I did enjoy Caymus from time to time.
It’s an interesting thing. Not every will agree. I have a very close friend that thinks Caymus is the second coming. No matter what I have served, he prefers that. Caymus - which I happen to find repulsive - is actually the best selling wine at Berns. Go figure.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#82 Post by Edward H. Earles » March 6th, 2020, 1:28 pm

Go to your nearest Total Wine and get a bottle of 2015 Tenuta del Portale Aglianico del Vulture. This is that winery's regular, entry-level bottling, SKU # 96044750-1. I don't know of another wine under $20 out there that can touch it. And it's WAAAAAAAAYYYY better than anything coming from the Wagner Family, including Caymus.

If you've never had it, you'll be surprised at how good it is.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#83 Post by brianmcbrearty » March 6th, 2020, 4:13 pm

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If trickery is the game, sub in some grape Gatorade mixed with vodka and see if they can distinguish it from The Prisoner.
If?
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#84 Post by brianmcbrearty » March 6th, 2020, 4:17 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 1:04 pm
K. Tr@n wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 12:41 pm
Maybe give those guys some credit. Even if they like Caymus, they should recognize MB is several league above. A while back, I had my first MB and nearly fell off the chair. At the time, I did enjoy Caymus from time to time.
It’s an interesting thing. Not every will agree. I have a very close friend that thinks Caymus is the second coming. No matter what I have served, he prefers that. Caymus - which I happen to find repulsive - is actually the best selling wine at Berns. Go figure.
Thinking man's Silver Oak?

(I'll stop trolling after this. Have been on twitter a lot today. It's like getting off the highway and lead-footing the backroads.)
That avatar of mine is getting a little long in the tooth. Does anybody even know what that is/was? If you can read this, probably not.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#85 Post by AlexS » March 6th, 2020, 5:30 pm

I can't think of any $20 wine that's better in every single aspect than Thivin.
s t e w @ r t

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Robert.A.Jr.
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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#86 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 6th, 2020, 5:36 pm

AlexS wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 5:30 pm
I can't think of any $20 wine that's better in every single aspect than Thivin.
I agree, except where is it $20 these days!?!

It is my top 3-5 annual QPR. Cannot recall a vintage was wasn’t at least enjoyable.
“Dammit Brian, until you tuited this diatribe, I was haiku aging my sh*t.“
(Country Squire, circa 2020)

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#87 Post by AlexS » March 6th, 2020, 5:53 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 5:36 pm
AlexS wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 5:30 pm
I can't think of any $20 wine that's better in every single aspect than Thivin.
I agree, except where is it $20 these days!?!

It is my top 3-5 annual QPR. Cannot recall a vintage was wasn’t at least enjoyable.
It shows up for $20ish on wine searcher pro...but yeah, the price is closer to $25 per nowadays.

Much as I love Lanessan/Bedrock OV Zin/Produttori Nebbiolo/LRA Aldanza(or Alberti)/etc., imo Thivin is the best red wine value in the world.
s t e w @ r t

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#88 Post by Mike R » March 7th, 2020, 7:23 am

Did the tasting last night, and I safely won the bet. As expected, the Caymus was rated the #1 wine of the night. Much more shockingly, the Rioja I picked (Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva, Seleccion Especial) ranked #2, and the Ridge Monte Bello rated third.

For what its worth, the Ridge was undoubtedly the wine of the night, I think its drinking delicious right now (great dark fruit on the nose, with leather, wood, and tobacco as well. Predominantly dark fruit and wood on the palate, with beautifully integrated tannins, with a super long finish. Definitely needs an hour or two to decant, and serve at room temp). The Rioja was pretty good as well, strong red fruit and oak, and nice acidity. The Caymus, of course, tasted like a Mega Purple lab experiment and is dreadful (one more bottle left to get rid of).
... 0 p 3 r

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#89 Post by Philip G » March 7th, 2020, 7:31 am

Mike R wrote:
March 7th, 2020, 7:23 am
Did the tasting last night, and I safely won the bet. As expected, the Caymus was rated the #1 wine of the night. Much more shockingly, the Rioja I picked (Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva, Seleccion Especial) ranked #2, and the Ridge Monte Bello rated third.

For what its worth, the Ridge was undoubtedly the wine of the night, I think its drinking delicious right now (great dark fruit on the nose, with leather, wood, and tobacco as well. Predominantly dark fruit and wood on the palate, with beautifully integrated tannins, with a super long finish. Definitely needs an hour or two to decant, and serve at room temp). The Rioja was pretty good as well, strong red fruit and oak, and nice acidity. The Caymus, of course, tasted like a Mega Purple lab experiment and is dreadful (one more bottle left to get rid of).
Good job! What did you win?
Chip G@@d

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#90 Post by Mike R » March 7th, 2020, 7:49 am

The bet was the cost of the wine for me, and 1/2 the cost of the wine each for them. So I netted roughly $300, or said another way, got to drink the wine for free.
... 0 p 3 r

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#91 Post by Brandon R » March 9th, 2020, 10:59 am

This discussion is always going to be a moving target as vintages (and prices) change, but I just popped a 2016 Power AVA Collection Horse Heaven Hills Red this weekend that was fabulous. It's under screwcap, and the blend is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Merlot, & 4.5% Malbec, mostly from Champoux Vineyard. At the $17.99 I paid from Full Pull, I'm buying more. Tremendous.
B. Redman

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#92 Post by JDavisRoby » March 9th, 2020, 8:02 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 5:36 pm
AlexS wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 5:30 pm
I can't think of any $20 wine that's better in every single aspect than Thivin.
I agree, except where is it $20 these days!?!

It is my top 3-5 annual QPR. Cannot recall a vintage was wasn’t at least enjoyable.
Is your love of Thivin where you get the label of being a country squire as Kermit Lynch referred to Thivin? Are you handsome, virile, earthy and an aristocrat?
Joshu@

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#93 Post by Michael Martin » March 9th, 2020, 8:22 pm

Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet $20 ish. Drinks at 2x the price.

Bodegas Ateca Calatayud Atteca Old Vines $16 ish Old Vine Grenache. Cheap complexity.

Antinori Toscana. Available in just about every wine store in America. Consistently good. $15 ish

Wild card, a bunch of stuff on Winebid if you are willing to take a chance.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#94 Post by jakewi » March 10th, 2020, 10:59 am

I always find myself going for Pepiere Muscadet or if I see it under $20, La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi is a great value.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#95 Post by markjchambers » March 10th, 2020, 12:13 pm

+1 for all of the Spanish wines, especially the old vine garnachas in Calatayud. I think your list needs to include Black Slate Priorat. There are several versions. My favorite is the one from Porrera. And there are many choices from Montsant (poor man's Priorat), like Can Blau.

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#96 Post by Kris Patten » March 16th, 2020, 10:27 pm

No chance I read thru all these so I am sure I'll be redundant.

Substance Cab
Pepiere Muscadet
Tres Picos Garnacha
La Fleur Morange Mathilde
Every Producer of Morgon Cote du Puy
Lanessan
Bolaire
Last edited by Kris Patten on March 17th, 2020, 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ITB

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#97 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 17th, 2020, 5:06 am

JDavisRoby wrote:
March 9th, 2020, 8:02 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 5:36 pm
AlexS wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 5:30 pm
I can't think of any $20 wine that's better in every single aspect than Thivin.
I agree, except where is it $20 these days!?!

It is my top 3-5 annual QPR. Cannot recall a vintage was wasn’t at least enjoyable.
Is your love of Thivin where you get the label of being a country squire as Kermit Lynch referred to Thivin? Are you handsome, virile, earthy and an aristocrat?
How did I initially miss such wonderful adulation?!?

How many Thivins had you had at that moment? [wow.gif]
“Dammit Brian, until you tuited this diatribe, I was haiku aging my sh*t.“
(Country Squire, circa 2020)

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#98 Post by Howard Cooper » March 17th, 2020, 5:18 am

Philip G wrote:
March 7th, 2020, 7:31 am
Mike R wrote:
March 7th, 2020, 7:23 am
Did the tasting last night, and I safely won the bet. As expected, the Caymus was rated the #1 wine of the night. Much more shockingly, the Rioja I picked (Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva, Seleccion Especial) ranked #2, and the Ridge Monte Bello rated third.

For what its worth, the Ridge was undoubtedly the wine of the night, I think its drinking delicious right now (great dark fruit on the nose, with leather, wood, and tobacco as well. Predominantly dark fruit and wood on the palate, with beautifully integrated tannins, with a super long finish. Definitely needs an hour or two to decant, and serve at room temp). The Rioja was pretty good as well, strong red fruit and oak, and nice acidity. The Caymus, of course, tasted like a Mega Purple lab experiment and is dreadful (one more bottle left to get rid of).
Good job! What did you win?
As he said, one fewer bottle of Caymus in his cellar.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

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Re: What's the best $20 dollar bottle you know of?

#99 Post by Adam Piper » July 11th, 2020, 10:35 am

Mike R wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 3:25 pm
I'm having some friends over for a blind tasting, with a bet on their blind tasting skills. I plan to open a 20 dollar bottle, an 80 dollar bottle, and a 200 dollar bottle. I will be giving them all three, and their goal is to try to guess which is the 20 dollar bottle, which is the 80 dollar bottle, and which is the 200 dollar bottle. We have a bet on this, so the less they get right the better. The $200 dollar bottle (I realize it can be had for less than $200, but I'm including the shipping and auction premium I paid) is going to be a 2011 Ridge Monte Bello, which I have already tried via Coravin'ed earlier this week. For the $80, I'm thinking Caymus, and for the $20 I was thinking something like Mollydooker The Boxer, which I think tastes very similar to the Caymus. Any other recommendations to try to trick these guys?
Before kids and one move ago, my wife and I were part of a progressive dinner and wine group. Every month, four couples would do something similar with the following price points depending on the month and white/red.
15/45/90 (white)
20/50/100 (red)

The rules would be the juice had to be same varietal and same general region/AVA.

Daou, MollyDooker, Cloudline (Pinot), Evesham Wood, Ferrari Carrano Sienna, were all under $20 favorites.

Sometimes the rules would include having to be sourced from Costco with a 20/40/80 price point...

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