Western Wine Awards 2010: Best Affordable Bottles

At $15 and under, these wines are the right price for pairing with a casual weeknight meal

best cheap chardonnay

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Best bargain wines: Chardonnay

Rodney Strong 2008 Chardonnay Citrus dances with apple, pear, pineapple, spice, and a touch of toast. (Sonoma County; $13.50)

bargain Cabernet Sauvignon

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Best bargain wines: Cabernet Sauvignon

Aquinas 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Classic cassis and dark berries mix with black pepper and earth in a great-value Cab. (Napa Valley; $15)

best bargain Pinot Gris

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Best bargain wines: Pinot Gris

A to Z 2008 Pinot Gris A pretty Gris, with green apple, pear, and quince spiked with lime zest and garnished with blossoms. (Oregon; $13)

best bargain syrah

Photo by Jefferey Cross

Best bargain wines: Syrah

Cycles Gladiator 2008 Syrah Blueberries anchor the fruit character, while herbs, black olives, tobacco, and espresso add interest underneath. (Central Coast; $10)

best bargain Sauvignon Blanc

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Best bargain wines: Sauvignon Blanc

SeaGlass 2009 Sauvignon Blanc A brininess worthy of the name underpins crisp citrus, peach, pear, quince, limestone, and gentle florals. (Santa Barbara County; $10)

best bargain merlot

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Best bargain wines: Merlot blend

Waterbrook 2007 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon Dark cherries with an earthy hit of leather, then aromatic mint and mocha. (Columbia Valley; $11)

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