When I went back through BTYH looking for great wine bargains for 2009, I was surprised at how many candidates there were. I mean, I taste a lot of bland, generic cheap wine year in and year out, but it was encouraging to realize how many wines priced between about $9 and $19 I really liked. So many that I quickly tallied a list of 63, which I then, of course, had to cut back to 25. Ouch, major surgery! I think the result is a very strong roster of wines that reflect authenticity, integrity and pure enjoyment with considerable personality and character thrown into the mix. And speaking of mix, this is an eclectic, geographically-challenging group of wines. Perhaps some of your favorites are here.
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25 Great Bargains of 2009

<>Ad Lib “Tree Hugger” No Oak Chardonnay 2008, Pemberton, Western Australia. Excellent. About $17. (Vintage New World)

<>Ad Lib Wallflower Riesling 2008, Mount Barker, Western Australia. Excellent. About $17. (Vintage New World)

<>Andeluna Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Tupungato, Mendoza. Excellent. About $10. (San Francisco Wine Exchange)

<>d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Verdelho 2008, McLaren Vale, South Australia. Very Good+. About $11. (Old Bridge Cellars)

<>Attems Pinot Grigio 2008, Collio, Friuli. Excellent. About $18-$20. (Folio Fine Wine Partners)

<>August Kesseler Riesling QbA 2007, Rheingau. Excellent. About $16. (August Kesseler Importing Co.)

<>Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil Cairanne “Cuvée Léa Felsh” 2006, Côtes-du-Rhône
Villages. Excellent. $15-$18. (Kermit Lynch)

<>Channing Daughters Cabernet Franc Rosato 2008, North Fork, Long Island. 369 cases. Excellent. About $17.

<>Clayhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Paso Robles. Excellent. About $14.

<>Elsa Bianchi Torrontés 2008, Mendoza. Very Good+. About $9. (Quintessential)

<>Excelsior Chardonnay 2008, Robertson, South Africa. Very Good+. About $12. (Cape Classics Imports)

<>Folie à Deux Merlot 2007, Napa Valley. Excellent. $14-$16.

<>I Stefanini Monte de Toni 2006, Soave Classico. Excellent. $15-$17. (Domenico Selections)

<>Jim Barry Wines “The Cover Drive” Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, South Australia. Excellent. About $19. (Negociants USA)

<>Josh Amber Knolls Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Red Hills, Lake County. Very Good+. About $15.

<>Justin Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Paso Robles. Excellent. About $15.

<>Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Sonoma County. Excellent. About $17.

<>Morgan Winery R.& D. Franscioni Vineyard Pinot Gris 2008, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County. Excellent. About $17.

<>Oak Ridge Winery OZV Zinfandel 2005, Lodi. Excellent. About $15.

<>Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette 2007, Vouvray, Loire Valley. Excellent. About $19. (Vineyards Brands)

<>Petraio Nero d’Avola 2007, Sicily. Very Good+. About $9.50. (Scoperta Importing Co.)

<>Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Sonoma County. Excellent. About $15.

<>Le Rosé de Mouton Cadet 2008, Bordeaux. 65% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, 15% cabernet sauvignon. Very Good+. About $10. (Constellation Wines USA)

<>Rued Chardonnay 2007, Russian River Valley. Excellent. About $18.

<>!ZaZin Old Vines Zinfandel 2007, Lodi. Excellent. About $17.