Titus Vineyards

4 Awesome Wines under $20

The down-turn in the economy has provided me with some amazing opportunities to try high-end wines.  The metro-Phoenix area has been hit very hard by the recession.  A lot of grocery stores and warehouse stores have reduced their high-end wine inventories, slashed prices, and replaced the floor space with things that people might buy more of in a recession.  Things like bread and vegetables, instead of second-growth Bordeaux.

As a result I have been able to pick up some of these $50-$100 wines for about half price, and I have been reviewing and enjoying them.  It occurred to me last week that not everyone can get their hands on these mark-downs. I decided to balance out my reviewing with some great under $20 bargains.

So, just in time for the Christmas season, here are some awesome wines under $20


Cameron Hughes, Lot 140, 2007, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County.  $13.99 at select Costco’s.

On the nose: Raspberry,  Bing cherry and Anise.

On the Palate: Cocoa and a hint of mint

See my review of it full review of it here .




Next up is d’Arenberg’s “Laughing Magpie”

one the nose: floral notes with cranberry and cherries

on the palate:  Ripe and juicy, velvety mouth-feel

full review here

$18.99 at Costco


And thirdly, just to switch things up a little bit (I have been reviewing mostly reds)  it’s a Sauvignon Blanc from Titus Vineyards:

Deliciously smooth with ripe fruit and well balanced acidity, more on this wine here.

It’s $20 on their website and most wineries websites are a little higher than the average retail, so you could probably find it cheaper than $20 at a retail outlet.  But you’ll have to be quick about it, there were only 380 cases made!


And last but not least:  Chalone Vineyard Monterey Cabernet, 2007

$16.99 retail, although with coupons and discounts I ended up paying about $7.56 a bottle

13.5% alcohol, vanilla oak, well balanced oak and fruit, see full review here

Titus Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, 2007

From their literature:  “…shimmering, intense ruby color.  The nose is alluring and complex with aromas of blueberry, violets, mocha, currant and oak spice.  Mouthfilling, well integrated, fine grain tannins give way to lush, juicy flavors of boysenberry and sweet cherry are wrapped in sweet tobacco leaf, dark cocoa and black tea.  The finish is everlasting with sweet oak spice, red fruits, toffee, and anise…”

This was my favorite by far of all the Titus wines I tasted that night.  The nose was undeniable, but not overpowering.   As far as their description goes, it is actually bang on!  Wow how about that?  Especially that long finish.  I was sad that my sample gone.  I desperately wanted more.  It was about 7pm, I still wanted to talk with Eric E. Titus a little bit, but what I really wanted to do was get my hands on a whole case of this wine and start drinking it immediately And not share it with anyone, hoard it to my self and take the rest of the week off work and drink it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  456 cases produced, $36 retail.  That is a little out of my price range for a thrice daily drinker        (I know call me cheap)  but I do “splurge” from time to time and buy Chimney Rock or Dead Arm, and now I will add Titus Cabernet Franc to the list.  Not the “Huge Big To Do List”,  but the “Wines to Aquire” list.  Actually, speaking of Chimney Rock,  I thought that this wine had quite a similar flavor profile to the 2005 Chimney Rock Stag’s Leap Cabernet, which I just had last weekend.