The top 10: fine wines that still go for less than $10

October 27, 1991|By MICHAEL DRESSER

These under-$10 wines were selected by The Sun as the 10 best out of about 60 suggested by area retailers.


1989 Ockenheimer Hochenmuhle Riesling Spatlese Trocken, Merz ($9.99, Germany). This Terry Theise selection was the finest wine out of all those tasted. The intensity of the mineral flavors in this dry wine is mind-boggling.

1990 Basignani Riesling ($8.99, Maryland). You don't always have to go far from home. This dry-styled wine, deliciously fruity, structured wine is made a few miles north of Hunt Valley and it's the best dry American riesling I've tasted, bar none. Very limited availability.

1989 Konocti Fume Blanc, Lake County ($6.99, California). Fresh, herbal, with lots of chewy melon and green apple flavor, with a touch of fig and a hint of residual sugar. This is an exuberant, impeccably made wine.

1989 Chateau St. Jean Vin Blanc ($5.99, California). Who needs a varietal? This dry blend, with its gewurztraminer spiciness, its sauvignon blanc herbal flavors and semillon texture, puts most $15 California chardonnays to shame.

1989 Trimbach Pinot Blanc, Alsace ($9.99, France). Trimbach's a great producer and 1989 is a great year for pinot blanc. Put the two together and you get a beautiful, exotic dry wine loaded with flavors of honey, peach, coconut and tropical fruit.


1989 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres ($9.99, France). This Kermit Lynch wine is a worthy successor to the brilliant 1988. The intense black raspberry, blackberry and spice flavors are similar to a fine Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

1988 J. Vidal Fleury Cotes du Rhone ($7.99, France). This big-shoulders wine has improved immensely since its release a year ago. The lush blackberry flavors have broadened out, giving it a rich, decadent feel.

1989 Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage "La Petite Ruche" ($9.19, France). Intense black raspberry and spice flavors distinguish this wine from the common run of Crozes-Hermitage. It's a finesse wine that will be at its best in two or three years.

1987 Lar de Barros ($8.99, Spain). This wine is unique. Nothing else I've tasted comes close to the herb and pine flavors of Lar de Barros, tempered with sweet American oak. This is a wine of great individuality. Some folks won't like it, but give it a try with some grilled lamb with rosemary.

1988 Foppiano Petite Sirah, Sonoma County ($8.19, California). A big, burly wine with gobs of blackberry, spice and earth flavor. Still a bit tannic, this wine will age very well for at least a decade.

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