The Top Five Countries For Value
October 15, 2016
by Keith Newton
We ran the numbers. We did the math. There were surprises, upsets and close calls. But the results are in and the outcome is clear: New Zealand, Portugal, Argentina, Chile and Australia – these are the current global leaders when it come so value, ranked in order from first to fifth.
This distribution is based on an analysis of all tastings conducted by our editors since the beginning of 2016. It was determined by calculating the number of value wines in relation to the total number of wines under review. For the purposes of this report, we selected only wines rated 88 points or higher, priced $20 or less and produced in large-enough quantities to make them widely available.
Although a unique combination of factors has led each of the five countries on our list to its current status as a values powerhouse, there are some common threads among them. Each has come of age in recent decades amid fierce competition in the global marketplace, as quality has risen significantly around the world. Each has focused on producing a distinctive set of wines – often anchored by a signature grape variety – by expertly matching grape to terroir and balancing quality winemaking with large scale production. And each has achieved a level of technical sophistication that allows for growth and experimentation without sacrificing consistency or affordability.
Rich, ripe Shiraz is still Australia’s calling card, yet Aussie vintners are increasingly making more elegant-style reds as well as crisp, refreshing white. This greater diversity has not diminished in any way the country’s penchant for value, with everything from creamy Viogniers to fruit-filled Cabernets being produced at wallet-friendly prices.
88 pts d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier-Marsanne 2014
Bursting with fresh peach and apricot flavors, this is set on a smooth, lush frame, with floral accents and a crisp finish.