Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 37

TOP 100

VALUES
OF THE YEAR

Our blind panels tasted more than 11,500 wines during the past 12 months. Our critics-Patrick J.
Comiskey, Rachel DelRocco Terrazas, Joshua Greene, Stephanie Johnson and Tara Q.
Thomas-selected these 100 as the best performers priced $20 or less. Within each category-
sparkling, white, rosé and red- we present the wines by score, descending; by price, ascending;
then by winery. Find a complete list of wines tasted and all reviews at wineandspiritsmagazine.com.

S PA RK L I N G
271551

U Mes U Fan Tres

$20

Cava Cygnus Brut Nature (92 points,
Spain) ^ This wine's richness develops across
an elegant texture, filling out citrusy acidity with yellow-apple freshness and broader,
lush notes of cream. Though only marginally more expensive than the bodega's Cygnus Brut, this Brut Nature plays at a significantly higher level. -J.G. (W&S 8/19) ¤ Grapes
of Spain, Lorton, VA
124075

Apaltagua

$16

San Antonio Valley Costero Extra Brut (90
points, Chile) ^ This grows in Chile's coastal
hills, seven miles from the Pacific, a blend
of chardonnay harvested ripe and sauvignon
blanc harvested early. After nine months in
the bottle on the lees, it's the sauvignon
blanc that shows itself most clearly, its green
notes edging the riper peach and apple flavors. Dry, smoky and austere, this wine has
a salty finish that will work well with oysters.
-J.G. (W&S 8/19) ¤ Global Vineyard Importers, Berkeley, CA

WHITE
125196

Paul Cluver

$17

2017 Elgin Estate Riesling (94 points,
South Africa) ^ Riesling has been slow to
gain traction in South Africa mainly due to
confusion with Cape riesling, which is actually crouchen blanc. But while it accounts for
only 545 acres of vineyard plantings-0.2
percent of the country's total-a few producers are championing the variety, including Paul Cluver. The purity of his 2017 makes
a strong case for it: Off dry, with a light touch
of honey, its peach and apricot flavors come
across as perfectly ripe, and it cleans up with
a zippy acidity. -R.D.T. (W&S 2/20) ¤ Pascal
Schildt Imports, Newport, RI
273272

Domaine Laguille

$10

2017 Côtes de Gascogne Petit Manseng
(93 points, France) ^ While Colette and Guy
Vignoli are most known for their line of
Armagnacs, this late-harvested petit manseng shows the quality of the grapes they
grow on their estate in Eauze. It's a velvety
white, the mouthfilling texture saturated

with smoky, golden fruit flavor. A pleasantly
bitter spice contrasts the honeyed notes, so
that the wine comes across as neither savory
nor sweet; it's just voluptuous, a shapely,
elegant white to pour before dinner or after,
with pâté or cheese. -T.Q.T. (W&S 10/19) ¤
Montaigne Imports, San Francisco, CA
275164

Paulo Laureano

$16

2016 Alentejo Ema's Vineyard Verdelho
(93 points, Portugal) ^ Verdelho can capture
the warmth of the Alentejo plain with more
energy than most white varieties. Paulo Laureano farms it in the schist soils of Vidigueira,
vinifies it in stainless-steel tanks and then
ages it on the lees for three months. At four
years old, the 2016 has developed remarkable complexities, holding fresh notes of bee
pollen, nettles, yellow plums and quince. The
aroma is intense, then the flavors are quiet
and persistent. Vitalii Dascaliuc of Maxwell
in DC pointed to the elegant way "its acidity
behaves like tannins." That structure gives it
the firmness to stand up to roast suckling pig.
¤ -J.G. (W&S 2/20) Grape2Glass, Newark, NJ
125197

Paul Cluver

$18

2018 Elgin Sauvignon Blanc (93 points,
South Africa) ^ This has an elegant green
character in notes of English pea and fresh
green bean over pithy lemon-scented fruit.
The finish is long and stony with a burst of
underripe apricot flavor. The wine has the
rich texture and salinity to match a plateau
de fruits de mer. -R.D.T. (W&S 2/20) ¤ Pascal
Schildt Imports, Newport, RI
125011

Beaumont

$20

2018 Bot River Hope Marguerite Chenin
Blanc (93 points, South Africa) ^ Some of
the chenin vines that contribute to this wine
date to the founding of this estate in 1974;
Sebastian Beaumont now manages the family's 84 acres of vineyards on the western side
of the Bot River valley, five miles from the
Atlantic Ocean. The wine has a pure chenin
character, with notes of bruised apple, juicy
blood orange and apricot. Grown in shale
soils, it offers a flinty, reductive note, holding
tart, crisp and clean. -R.D.T. (W&S 2/20) ¤
Broadbent Selections, Richmond, VA

125359

Cave Spring

$20

Anselmo Mendes

$20

Robertson Winery

$10

2018 Beamsville Bench Estate Grown
Riesling (93 points, Canada) ^ Ontario's
July heat and August thunderstorms made
2018 a tricky vintage, further challenged by
heavy rain in October. Yet Angelo Pavan took
advantage of the intervening sunny days to
coax a firm, full-bodied riesling out of Cave
Spring's vineyard, a parcel that climbs the
slope beneath the Niagara Escarpment. The
vines-some planted 40 years ago-grow in
a stony mix of clay, limestone and sandstone,
with some shale, granite and gneiss in the
mix; the wine tastes as if their roots literally
sucked up the stone, it's so resolutely earthy
and firm. Notes of lime zest and sour lemon
add a bracing brightness to the austere mineral flavors while the wine's extract gives it a
rich texture and grip. This is a riesling for the
main course-lake trout wrapped in bacon
would be ideal. -T.Q.T. (W&S 4/20) ¤-T.Q HB
Wine Merchants, Hartly, DE
271941
2018 Monçao & Melgaço Contacto Alvarinho
(93 points, Portugal) ^ A selection from vines
in pebbly soils close to the Minho River, this
fruit is destemmed before the juice macerates briefly with the skins. This is a brisk, cool
2018 with smoky, pale strawberry depth of
flavor. The rich fruit has rainwater clarity and
clean tension that lengthens its fragrance.
This will evolve toward complexity as it ages.
-J.G. (W&S 8/19) ¤ Grape2Glass, Newark, NJ
124983
2019 Robertson Chenin Blanc (92 points,
South Africa) ^ From east of the Cape, in the
Breede River Valley, this chenin ripened to
juicy honeydew melon and spiced pear flavors. There's a line of lemony acidity to highlight the fruit sweetness, a match for turkey
and stuffing with raisins. -R.D.T. (W&S
2/20) ¤ Indigo Wine Group, Venice, FL
273248
WINE & SPIRITS

JUNE 2020

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Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 3
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover4
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