Under the Radar: Pursuing Value in Emerging Regions
by Keith Newton
Today’s wine world offers an incredible array of options. Yet wine drinkers searching for something new often find barriers to entry in their way. Hard-to-pronounce grape names, unfamiliar appellations, small productions—who hasn’t encountered these obstacles when exploring the wines of an up-and-coming region? One clear path to discovery is to focus on producers, as we’ve done for this values roundup. Each of the 40 wineries here, encompassing 111 wines in total, makes multiple bottlings that fit the bill for value, all of them rating 85 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale and costing $20 or less.
By featuring producers from emerging regions—instead of the more commonly available value brands, which often come from large producers in huge appellations—this selection steers you to distinctive wines with focused flavors, many from unique terroirs or indigenous grapes. The use of local varieties and increasingly modern winemaking techniques in regions such Sicily and Greece is yielding rapidly improving quality without sacrificing traditional character, while an emphasis on cool-climate sites in regions from Northern California to Chile to Australia is expanding the range of styles in the New World. Think of each of these 40 producers as a gateway to an exciting region where great wines—and great bargains—abound.
89 | $17 | D’ARENBERG | Viognier-Marsanne McLaren Vale The Hermit Crab 2012 | White
Tight, spicy and appealing, with pear and lychee flavors, well-modulated to fly smoothly on the medium-weight frame. Shows impressive persistence on the finish.
88 | $17 | D’ARENBERG | Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills The Broken Fishplate 2013 | White
Fresh and vibrant, this white is light-footed, with pear, fresh thyme and aniseed notes weaving together on the lively, refreshing finish.
88 | $20 | D’ARENBERG | Shiraz McLaren Vale The Footbolt 2011 | Red
Dark and spicy, showing blackberry notes at the core, with savory spice and meat accents. Drink now through 2017.