In hard times, we continue the search for good, inexpensive wines…

While Abbey Page is located in Oregon, the grapes for this chardonnay are sourced from the Columbia Valley. Chardonnay has never been one of my favorite varietals. However, I am always willing to give it a try, especially when it is unoaked as in this case.

Castle Rock is a large producer located in southern California. With an annual production of over 400,000 cases, Castle Rock makes wine from California, Oregon, and Washington grapes.

The next three wines are all from wineries based in Zillah which is located about 20 miles south of Yakima in eastern Washington.

Bonair Winery is owned and operated by Gail and Shirley Puryear. You have to love the world map on their website showing latitude lines for Yakima that line up with Burgundy, France and latitude lines for California that line up with Baghdad, Iraq. Some sort of political statement here?

Covey Run is named after the coveys of quail at the winery’s vineyards. The winery has an annual production of over 300,000 cases. Interestingly with the 2004 Cabernet, I really enjoyed the wine when it was a bit warmer than I usually like (70 degrees versus 65). At the colder temperature, the nose was a bit less compelling.

Hyatt Vineyards was established in 1983 by Leland and Lynda Hyatt. Their first vintage was in 1987. Hyatt currently makes about 30,000 cases of wine per year.

All of these wines were enjoyable overall and good values. The Castle Rock Syrah I particularly enjoyed and recommend.

Have a favorite wine under $15? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment.







Abbey Page Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2006

Lemon and floral notes on the nose and lemon on the taste. This is a great, albeit simple, easy drinking wine. 13.5% alcohol. Purchased at Esquin for $9.



Castle Rock Columbia Valley Syrah 2006

Blueberry and a little gaminess on the nose. Tons of blueberry on the taste and a good, reasonably full body. This is a very enjoyable wine for the money. 14.7% alcohol. 2,500 cases produced. Purchased at Esquin for $10. Recommended.



Bonair Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley 2006

On first pour, the wine shows rich chocolate aromas laced with black pepper and fruit. As it opens up, it becomes more fruit driven with cherry and currants. The nose changes quite a bit over time. On the taste, the wine is a straightforward pleaser straight down the fairway with a light to medium body and a decent finish. There’s a touch of sweetness on the taste. 12.5% alcohol. Purchased at Pete’s for $9.



Covey Run Winemaker’s Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2004

A lively nose with a lot of complexity. Loaded with aged fruit, spice, and cardamom. A very good wine for the price. A bit of a metallic taste on the back end detracts from the wine a bit. 13.5% alcohol. 27,500 cases produced. Purchased for $9.29 at Pete’s Bellevue.



Hyatt Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley 2004

A pleasing nose with rich black fruit and lots of anise. A good texture on the taste although a little thinner than I would like. Ultimately this wine is all about anise on both the nose and taste. 13.5% alcohol. Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $8.39.