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

More hits than misses with this month’s Five Under Fifteen featuring four wines I gave a plus (+) rating and list as Recommended. I give this rating when a wine represents a particular value at its price point.

The most impressive of this month’s wines – and also the most expensive at $15 – is the 2006 Boomtown Cabernet. Boomtown is Dusted Valley Vintners entry level wine. Dusted Valley is located in Walla Walla and is one of a number of wineries to recently open a tasting room in Woodinville. This is one of the better value Cabernet’s I have come across recently.

Waterbrook is also located in Walla Walla. The winery unofficially opened their massive new production and tasting facility on the way into town on 2009 Spring Release Weekend. The official opening was a month later for Vintage Walla Walla. This facility now houses production for all of Precept Wine Brands wines.

Pacific Rim has long been a white wine specialist with a particular focus on Riesling. The winery even offers a free mini-book Riesling Rules! on the history and virtues of the grape. Pacific Rim recently added several red wines to the lineup. See a good background piece on Pacific Rim from Paul Gregutt’s Wine Adviser column here.

Kyra Wines is located in Moses Lake and focuses predominantly on grape growing. The winery does however bottle small lots of wine.

McKinley Springs is located in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Doug Rowell serves as winemaker. The winery has over 2,000 acres planted to more than 20 different varietals. Unfortunately this Chenin Blanc was a disappointment. I plan to resample it in the future as the bottle seemed off.

If you have a wine under $15 you’d like us to check out, send it along.







Boomtown Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2006

Loads of fresh berries, chocolate, and spice. A big, rich, crowd-pleasing taste with heaping amounts of fruit along with a touch of coffee. A solid finish. 14.2% alcohol. 5,000 cases produced. Recommended.

Purchased at Pete’s for $14



Waterbrook Cabernet-Merlot Columbia Valley 2007

Dusky spice pairs with dark fruit and sweet barrel aromas on the nose. Full and rich on the palate with well integrated oak. 56% Cabernet. 44% merlot. 13.5% alcohol. Recommended.

Purchased at Pete’s for $9



Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2007

An engaging nose marked by honey, white grapefruit, and mineral notes. A lot of citrus on a crisp, clean palate. Not a lot of complexity but very enjoyable. 50,000 cases produced. Recommended.

Purchased at Pete’s for $11



Kyra Chenin Blanc 2008

Almost completely clear in color. An expressive, fruity nose marked by freshly cut, ripe – almost overripe – apples along with coconut and tropical fruit. A fair amount of residual sugar (1.7%) on an enjoyable taste. 12.5% alcohol. Recommended.

Purchased at Pete’s for $12



McKinley Springs Chenin Blanc Horse Heaven Hills 2007

A yellowish tinge to the color. Light apple and leesy aromas along with something strange I can’t place. Fairly flat on the palate, seeming to lack sufficient acidity. The wine paints around the edges but the middle seems lacking. A slight metallic element on the back end. 13.8% alcohol.

Purchased at Pete’s for $12