Do you have W2s, 1099s and receipts on the brain? Tax season is relentless and requires a respite from calculators altogether. Time to uncork a tax crunch red and call it a day. Here are five wines that are $20 and under, smart buys for the taxed.
Trentadue, 2014 Alexander Valley Estate Zinfandel, 14.8%, $18. A tasty, full-bodied zin with a nice dollop of petite sirah. Aromas and flavors of cherry, plum, vanilla and a hint of brown sugar. Crisp acidity. Smoky finish. It has an interesting breakdown — 76% zin; 14% petite sirah; 5% syrah; 5% carignane.
Pedroncelli, 2014 Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Zinfandel, 14.9%, $18. Enticing aromas, with a great concentration of fruit on the palate. Aromas and flavors of black plum, blackberry, chocolate and cracked black pepper. Spicy finish.
Cline, 2015 Ancient Vines Zinfandel, 15% $20. A softer take on zin. Aromas and flavors of strawberry and mocha. Ripe fruit. Seamless texture. It’s not a powerhouse by any stretch, but it’s a very tasty version of zin.
Alamos, 2015 Mendoza, Argentina Malbec, 13.5%, $10. A Malbec with nice backbone, yet manages to be fleshy. Aromas of anise and cherry follow through on the palate. Nice length. What makes it a standout is its generous fruit, its great acid and price for the quality.
Arrowood, 2014 Sonoma Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5%, $15. A soft cab with a seamless texture. Has some nice fruit — black cherry and plum — coupled with herbs and spice. Nice length.