Let’s Go Shopping — Pacific Northwest Reds Under $20

images-1Got your grill fired up yet? Write up your wine shopping list for the weekend? If you need some fresh ideas, here are some great value reds from the pages of several major wine publications. Happy hunting!

$11 2009 Thorny Rose Red Blend (Columbia Valley; abv 14%) This bright red leads with scents of bitter chocolate and black plum flavors. Sweet and simple. For barbecue. (W&S)

$11 2009 Thorny Rose Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley; abv 14%) This shares the same coffee cake flavors as its companion, the Thorny Rose Red Blend (review above), but here the flavors of stems and earth are a bit more evident. It also comes with a nice lick of black cherry flavor. (WE)

$12 2010 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley; abv 13.6%) Scents of evergreen and black pepper provide a lean frame to this brisk, plummy cabernet. For a burger. (W&S)

$14 2009 Bergevin Lane Calico Red (Columbia Valley; abv 14.2%) Fresh and inviting, with fine tannins wound around a core of black currant and herb flavors, lingering softly. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Malbec. (WS)

$15 2010 Waterbrook Mélange Noir (Columbia Valley; abv 13.5%) UnknownFresh and deftly balanced, with refined currant and plum fruit riding over a background of roasted meat and roasted peppers, with refined tannins wrapping around the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah and others. (WS)

$16 2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley; abv 13.5%) Chewy, nicely focused and appealing, with ripe black cherry and licorice flavors that dance deftly on the finish. (WS)

$17 2010 Barnard Griffin Syrah (Columbia Valley; abv 13.8%) Rich with cassis and mocha scents, this has a jammy sleekness to its flavors, with a sea-salty chocolately depth that makes it easy to drink. It closes with a dark, savory finish; for meats off the grill. (W&S)

$17 2010 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir (Oregon; abv 13.3%) A touch of cinnamon and smoke lead in this compellingly vinous red, with red cherry flavors and an earthy savor in the tannins. It feels dry, structured and elegant, a steal at the price. For garlic roast chicken. (W&S)

$17 2010 Rainstorm Pinot Noir (Oregon; abv 12.5%) Light and tangy, with a supple texture to the tannins and a gentle thrust to the red berry and mineral flavors, lingering easily and expressively. (WS)

$18 2010 Saviah The Jack One of a Kind Syrah (Columbia Valley; abv 14.1%) Combining 80 percent Syrah with Grenache and Mourvedre from five sites, this generous red has bright raspberry scents grounded by a dark herb note. The flavors are forward and juicy, with a creamy texture and the sort of easy appeal for drinking on its own, or with a juicy burger. (W&S)

WineSpectatorCover-Sheldrake$20 2010 Carlton Cellars Seven Devils Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley; abv 13.2%) Light and sleek, with intriguing orange peel and tea leaf notes around a core of raspberry and white chocolate, lingering easily on the deft finish. (WS)

$20 2010 Illahe Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley; abv 13.5%) This is deftly balanced, framing mineral-accented blackberry and dark chocolate flavors with refined tannins and just enough acidity to keep the flavors singing on the wide-open finish. (WS)

$20 2010 Woodinville Wine Cellars Little Bear Creek Red Wine (Columbia Valley; abv 14.5%) Another fine vintage for this value-priced, Bordeaux-style blend. It’s loaded with raspberry and black cherry flavors, then brings in lighter notes of dried herb, ground coffee and dark chocolate. For its price, it delivers rather complex and well-integrated flavors. (WE)

Key: WS — Wine Spectator; W&S — Wine & Spirits; F&W — Food & Wine; WE — Wine Enthusiast; D — Decanter

*photo courtesy of essentialnorthwestwines.com via Google search

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