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2018 Top Values

100 Top Values

Great wines for $20 or less By Keith Newton

Wine is rooted in tradition, yet many factors can force wine regions to evolve. Changing climate conditions, shifting tastes and rising land prices all challenge producers to refine their grape sources and winemaking practices. Those who best identify the right grapes for their terroir are ideally positioned to deliver exciting yet affordable wines year after year. Some thrive in established areas where grapegrowing has existed for centuries. Others are more recent upstarts on the global wine scene. Yet all have committed themselves to production methods that yield the highest quality in the most cost-effective way. This is how great values are born.

The diverse group of wines in this year’s annual roundup of 100 top values shows just how widespread this commitment is. All of them are rated 88 points or higher, priced at $20 or less and made in large enough quantities to be widely available. Another 24 wines in this year’s Top 100 of 2018 also represent exceptional value, offering further proof that producers across the globe have made it their goal to deliver high-quality wine at budget-friendly prices.

The selection that follows spans every corner of the wine world. Recent great vintages in France and Italy mean a number of choices from the Rhône Valley and Tuscany, while California regions such as Santa Barbara, Monterey, Lodi and Clarksburg field excellent wines at a fraction of the cost of those from Napa. There are values everywhere you look—it’s time to get out there and explore.

Map of Wine Regions