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

Walla Walla based Rulo Winery continues to offer exceptionally high quality wine at compelling price points with the 2008 Syrca Red Wine. Self-distributing their wine is just one of many ways Kurt and Vicki Schlicker look to keep their prices down. But quality is never compromised. In fact, their 2007 Syrah (reviewed here) and 2008 Syrca – a Syrah/Cabernet blend – are about as good quality-to-price ratio wines as you will find in Washington.

Seattle wholesaler Acme Wine Company was founded in 1999. The company represents some top Washington wineries, including Amavi Cellars, Den Hoed, Gramercy Cellars, Lullaby, and Pepper Bridge. Acme created the Brand Cabernet to fill a niche: a quality Cabernet Sauvignon offered at a reasonable price. As with the 2008 vintage, they more than accomplish their goal with this high quality 2009 offering.

I wrote about Dusted Valley Vintners Boomtown label last month. Quality Syrah at a tariff of $15 and under is a reasonably rare bird in Washington, especially when compared to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which can be found in abundance. Running against this trend, the Dusted Valley boys impress again with their 2008 Boomtown Syrah.

Corvidae Wine Company was founded by David O’Reilly of Owen Roe as a label focusing on glass-pour priced wines. The winey is named after the Latin name for a family of birds, including crows, ravens, jays, and magpies. The winery’s website reads, “These ‘dark’ birds are everywhere in the vineyards of Eastern Washington. Their reputation as crafty, adaptable, and somewhat dubious characters is a fitting icon for our suspiciously terrific value wines from this region.”

Read previous Five Wines Under $15 here.

Rulo Syrca Columbia Valley 2008 $15
Rating: * (Excellent) Aromatics of dusty cherry, blueberry, a jumble of dark fruit, dry chocolate, and light herbal notes. The palate is loaded with rich, penetrating fruit flavors along with firm, slightly dry tannins. Fruit flavors persist a long finish. 72% Syrah, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14.5% alcohol.

Brand Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2009 $15
Rating: +/* (Good/Excellent) Lightly aromatic with dusty cherry, milk chocolate, and light herbal notes. The palate is tart and fruit filled with a compact ball of tannins. Drops off toward the finish on this otherwise enjoyable wine, but brings a lot of bang for the buck at this price point. 80% Cabernet, 20% Merlot.

Dusted Valley Boomtown Syrah Washington State 2008 $15
Rating: + (Good) Aromas of toasty spice, eucalyptus, and chocolate give way to a palate full of tart, red and blue fruit flavors with a silky feel. 96% Syrah, 2.4% Mourvedre, 1.6% Barbera. Aged in French and American oak. Recommended

Corvidae Wine Company Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2010 $12
Rating: + (Good) Shows aromas of yellow and red apple aromas along with a touch of tropical fruit. Palate is crisp and tart with a textured feel. Alcohol shows through at times.

Corvidae Wine Company Lenore Syrah Columbia Valley 2008 $15
Rating: ./+ (Decent/Good) Aromas of boysenberry, smoke, and blueberry syrup. The palate is distinctly grapey with a somewhat sweet finish.