An Ode to the $50 or less wines

We spend a lot of time on WB discussing blue chip wines. Naturally, they are the ones we are most excited to come post about when we open, drink, and share them. But, for me, that creates a pattern that skews what it appears I drink towards significantly more expensive than what is actually true. The social media effect of wine, you could say.

So this is a thread dedicated to notes and discussion for the wines we open every day. I wouldn’t call these cellar defenders. for me, these are the cellar building blocks. Sure, there are some expensive wines sprinkled in among them, and some cellar defenders that I can open with people who dont know anything about wine, but these are what make up the bulk of my cellar.

feel free to add the notes for your everyday wines here too. this is the thread to show that we dont always drink grand cru burgundy.

To start it off:

Walter Scott “The Rock Salt” 2019
This wine is delicious. It has some creaminess to it, but it is clean and has a bright crisp mineral streak that balances it perfectly. Like a really well made Chablis, in a good year. Its savory, complex, and leaves you wanting to go back for more until the bottle is gone. 93-94

Bedrock Judge Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Another delicious white wine. This wine feels very much like a Bordeaux blanc in terms of texture. its bright and linear but has weight like the semillion brings that keeps it from being angular. this is a great food wine, we paired it with soup loaded with curry and fish sauce and it was a really nice pair.

side note: Bedrock has been releasing a few new sauv blancs recently and these are sleepers in their lineup. their prices are killer and this is the 3rd or so different sauv blanc bottling ive had from them that just kills it. especially since this is in the sub$30 range.


Perfect timing, was thinking the same thing. I would posit that these wines are more important than the unicorns and premium wines, as they are the foundation upon which most of us drink and enjoy this hobby.

There really aren’t many sub-$50 wines that are as consistently great as the Sans Soufre bottling of Lapierre Morgon. It’s like Bacchus found the most perfect, succulent wild strawberry and squeezed it straight into the glass, so rich, so ripe, so transparent. The acidity keeps this wine quite bright and crisp. Picks up weight and meatiness with some air. Just fabulous. (94 pts.)

I’m lucky to have accidentally double-ordered this 2019.


Unless you 1) don’t pay ridiculous retail prices, and 2) don’t post about what you drink.

I have wines that would cost a lot if I were to buy them at full retail, or from lists, but why would I ever do that? And most people, including me, are probably not interested in what I drink!

For example, I had a Perricone the other day - who covets that? And yesterday we had Bobal, tonight we’re having a blend of Furmint and some other grapes, and so on. I was criticized once for bringing wines to a dinner because the wines were not known and expensive, so I figured I’d stop bothering.

For Chardonnay, I own some Aubert, Kongsgaard, and Leflaive, but if you know those, you already know what you’re getting, so what’s the point in posting a TN? Wines like that I pick up here and there but mostly just to taste, not to get hot and bothered about. And I save them for friends who care about such things, although I’m lucky in my choice of friends who would rather pick up something interesting than something predictable.


D’Alfonso-Curran has a diverse line up of chards, pinots, Italian and Spanish varietals all grown locally where I live in Southern California. The majority of the wines are in the $20-40 range, readily available on the mailing list and you know are made by two winemakers with tremendous backgrounds and experience. Hard to find that type of value anywhere else. I have hopes for Bedrock which I’ve just started purchasing, and Scherrer has been a consistent pinot and zin supplier to my wife and I.

I love the sentiment here, but honestly, I think there are tons of tasting notes and a lot of discussion around well-liked sub $50 wines on the board.

Sandlands, Huet, Baudry, Lopez de Heredia, Felsina, Carlisle, Bedrock, Ridge zins, Tercero, Ladd, Liquid Farm, Joguet, Lanessan, Sociando Mallet, Scherrer, Laherte Freres, Fevre, Louis Michel, Proddutori del Barbaresco, Vincent, many Oregon producers who have some significant number of sub $50 offerings, Alesia, Sandler. And that’s just off the top of my head in five minutes.

Now if you said $25 and less, then I could see it more.


Hard to believe that it’s taken 4 posts before someone mentioned German Riesling. Too numerous to narrow down. Just had a delicious Donnhoff 2015 Oberhauser Leistenberg Kabinett, but it’s probably too inexpensive for this thread. champagne.gif


Just got a 4 pack of the 2020 and 9 bottles of the 19 left. Looking forward to aging at least a few of them for a decade or more

Im happy to drink your predictable wines especially if you can find another 87 Dalla Valle

The only Perricone I’ve ever had is the Caruso e Minini. More people would covet that if they knew what was good for them.

BerserkerDay is an explosion of good wine (and discussion around it) which is mostly under $50.


I love the sentiment.

Here’s my oldest note for Ch Lamartine Cahors. Whilst there are plenty of more recent notes I’ve taken, on more recent vintages, this one seemed to match so well to Matt’s love letter to less prestigious wines. It certainly was a key moment for me personally realising that there was joy in humbler wines that I was missing out on by thinking I ought to always seek to trade up in a region / winery range.

  • 2000 Château Lamartine Cahors - France, Southwest France, Cahors (30/11/2009)
    From a half-bottle

Still a very youthful deep purple colour.

On the nose there are savoury black fruits / black olive - even venturing to freshly cut grass.

The palate replicates the savoury aspect from the nose, with firm but subtle fruit and supporting tannins that give good grip without taking over. Acidity is subtle and in balance with the rest of the wine. The black olive / herb accented finish has decent length and is escorted off the premises by the tannins, leaving the mouth watering for more. It also reignited an early interest in Cahors from the late 1980s.

Plenty of sediment as well!

A definite winner for me - a modest wine, well-balanced and with plenty of character. Bravo.

Current prices at local(ish) shop Imperial Wine in Bungay are
Half £6.70
Bottle £12
Magnum £24.30
Double Magnum £62.30
500cl £104.65

No 1200cl or 1800cl of the basic bottling, but they have them for the more prestige (and somewhat oaky) bottlings! I’m not sure I could lift such bottles!

Which by some rough mathematics mean I could get both a Magnum and a single bottle to hit the $50 limit [wink.gif]

I posted a note elsewhere on here about this wine, so won’t repost it here. But, Dusty Nabor is currently selling a 2020 NSO Sta Rita Hills Grenache for $18 (which was $11 on Berserker Day). It’s a fantastic little wine and one I’d be happy to drink any day.

Laurent Gibet has a similar thread going:
“Modest” everyday wines

Sadly, I can relate.

But…but…I thought that’s why this board was created, so the ballers can humble brag to each other about how they ‘scored’ the latest find, and at an incredible price that you could never find!

Well, it’s both. Humble brag the unicorns, and then humble brag the brilliance and intellect to find hidden gems like a pig to black truffles. Gen Pop does not know what it does not know, hence it is incumbent on us to educate the unwashed masses.


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IIRC it was created so that people could speak openly and honestly about wines without having to toe the line of whatever Robert Parker was saying. That some ballers or humblebraggers came across as well is merely coincidental.

agreed! threads like this one are here to provide balance. Tonight, im gonna be at a tasting featuring Ettore Germano baroli and Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico. Both are perfect for this thread. they are very good examples of the regions, grapes, and classic style of their area, but both have bottlings that are near their top offers that fit this bill

Some of my faves, and well worth seeking out:

Claude Lafond’s Reuilly Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc) and Rosé (Pinot Gris)-both of these are delicious, fun, and inexpensive. Made by super people, and the Blanc will age nicely, so if you lose a bottle it’s no problem.

Evesham Wood’s Temperance Hill Pinot Noir-I also like the Le Puits Sec. Both are tremendous examples of Eola Hills Pinot Noirs at mid -$30 pricing.

Hexamer’s “Quartzit” Riesling-so many great German options…

Huguet des Can Feixes Blanc-dynamite little white wine from spain. Crisp, fresh, and perfect for summer weather.

Along with Lapierre Morgon…

Anne-Sophie Dubois’ Fleurie L’Alchemiste (>$30) is what really opened my eyes to Cru Beaujolais. A good gateway wine.