Wines that are both delicious and affordable are some of the greatest joys in life. Thankfully, many wines that fit that criteria can be found right in our backyard. Case and point: Over a third of the wines on our Top 100 Best Buys of 2020 list are American made. And nearly half the list is made up of white wines.
If you’re in the market for your new favorite bottle, many of these selections can be bought through the winery’s websites, so there’s no need to even leave the couch.
Whether you prefer light and citrusy or lush and tropical wines, find your next favorite bottle that’s $15 or less below.
American white wines to look for
Foris 2018 Pinot Gris (Rogue Valley); $14, 92 points. There isn’t another estate-based winery in Oregon that delivers such excellent wines at attractive prices. This textural, mineral-drenched wine hints at honeysuckle, lemongrass and fresh spring herbs. The fruit centers on white peach and peppery daikon radish. The balance, harmony, texture and length are impressive. Best Buy. —Paul Gregutt
Four Vines 2018 Naked Chardonnay (Central Coast); $11, 91 points. There’s a vibrant sense of crisp Asian pear, citrus blossom and mint on the nose of this attractively priced bottling. The palate is tightly wound in flavors of melon rind, lime pith, pear and a slight hint of guava. Best Buy. —Matt Kettmann
Disruption 2018 Riesling (Ancient Lakes); $13, 91 points. Green apple skin, honeysuckle, ripe pear and jasmine aromas mesmerize. The just off-dry palate brings vibrant acidity to its lime and lemon flavors. It’s absolutely delicious and will shine at the dinner table. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan
L’Ecole No. 41 2018 Semillon (Columbia Valley); $15, 91 points. Generous aromas of fig, kiwi and freshly spun cotton lead to a full, flavorful palate that brings a sense of texture and richness. It stretches out on the long, warm finish. Best Buy. —S.S.
Husch 2018 Dry Gewurztraminer (Anderson Valley); $15, 91 points. This dry and extremely flavorful wine offers rose petal and prosciutto aromas on the nose, with vivid grapefruit and luscious pear flavors on the palate. A rather full body and a lingering finish add to the experience. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon
A to Z 2018 Chardonnay (Oregon); $15, 90 points. This unoaked, no-malolactic wine doesn’t lack for flavor. It’s bright, spicy and nicely textural, with suggestions of citrus zest, green apple, lemongrass and bracing minerality. The grapes are sourced from all over the state—Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge. Best Buy. —P.G.
Dark Horse 2019 Pinot Grigio (California); $8, 90 points. Nicely concentrated, crisp fruit flavors give this medium-bodied wine a lot to like. Tangy white-peach and Pippin apple flavors are lightly accented by lemon, adding to the vibrant mouthfeel. Best Buy. —J.G.
Dry Creek Vineyard 2018 Dry Chenin Blanc (Clarksburg); $15, 90 points. This dry and complex wine offers gentle aromas of white flowers, crisp celery and green apple followed by a tangy white peach flavor. Lifted acidity lends great balance in this rather light-bodied, bright and delicious offering. Best Buy. —J.G.
Girasole 2019 Pinot Blanc (Mendocino County); $14, 90 points. Lively acidity keeps the ripe, luscious honeydew melon flavors in balance while a smooth, buttery texture is energized by citrus accents. This full-bodied, vegan wine has distinct, enjoyable parts that come together as a whole. Best Buy. —J.G.
Kendall-Jackson 2019 Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (California); $15, 90 points. Lots of bright, ripe fruit flavors and great acidity give this full-bodied wine plenty of charm. Tangy citrus and apricot aromas meet zesty but rich flavors in this superconsistent wine. Best Buy. —J.G.
Lamoreaux Landing 2018 Semi-Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes); $15, 90 points. The nose of this wine is stony and earthy in crushed limestone, with accents of citrus peels and bright spring blossoms rounding it out. The palate shows more ripeness in the way of juicy peach and apple tones, making this a pleasantly plump, semidry Riesling. It is poised in feel and propped up by well-integrated acidity. A kiss of citrus lingers on the close. Best Buy. —Alexander Peartree
Sokol Blosser NV Evolution Lucky No. 9 White (America); $15, 90 points. Production keeps rising while the price stays the same and the quality is as good as ever. A blend of eight different white wine grapes, this wine is fragrant in citrus tones. Spunky is the word that best characterizes the crisp, fresh mix of peaches and lemons. It’s a lovely mix, polished and ready for a wide variety of vegetarian and light seafood dishes. Best Buy. —P.G.
Stony Lonesome 2018 Gewürztraminer (Finger Lakes); $14, 90 points. A flashy nose of orange zest, yellow apple, lemongrass and cherry blossom starts off this well-priced offering. It’s cohesive and silky on the palate yet properly lifted by fresh acidity. Flavors of melon and orchard fruit fill it out, with sparks of white pepper, ginger and potpourri spices lending contrast. Best Buy. —A.P.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2018 Riesling (Willamette Valley); $14, 90 points. Loaded with fresh fruit flavors of peaches, apricots and pears, this is quite juicy, and the ripeness is nicely balanced by ample acidity. It’s just sweet enough to serve with a light, fruit-based dessert, or simply chill and enjoy as an aperitif. Best Buy. —P.G.
Cline 2019 Viognier (North Coast); $11, 89 points. This rich, soft and ripe-tasting wine folds peach, butter and almond flavors into a smooth texture and full body. It gives a nice sense of breadth and fullness for such a well-priced offering. Best Buy. —J.G.
Wine by Joe 2019 Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley); $14, 89 points. No frills here—the wine was put through all stainless-steel fermentation and no malolactic. The result is a clean and refreshing expression of crisp apple fruit, with a touch of white radish. The underlying wet-stone minerality keeps it lively through the finish. Best Buy. —P.G.
Published: October 9, 2020