10 OF OUR FAVORITE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WINES FOR LESS THAN $30
BY JIM GORDON
When shopping for the great wines of the world, you can learn a lot about a wine’s potential for high quality from the appellation on the bottle. The same is true when looking for great values. Certain Northern California regions, often designated as American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) on the bottle, provide important clues for value-minded shoppers.
In general, the smaller the region the more likely the wine will be higher quality. The corollary is that the widest appellations often produce the simplest wines, which is the case for hundreds of Golden State wines labeled as California AVA. It means they could have been made from grapes grown anywhere in the state, often selected largely for their low cost, which is a good proxy for quality.
Dashe Cellars 2019 Les Enfant Terrible Concrete Cuvée Chenin Blanc (Clarksburg); $24, 90 points.
This attractive, technically light-bodied wine fermented in a concrete egg is rich in ripe fruit flavors and has a mouthcoating texture, but stays nicely balanced thanks to underlying acidity.