25 Bright, Affordable Wines from 9 Countries, Perfect for Spring

From California to Israel to New Zealand, these bottles offer good value and seasonal freshness
Springtime Wines


Here are 25 bright, affordable wines for springtime.

As we turn toward spring, here is a variety of bright, fresh, affordable wines from nine countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres:

Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV ($66). Rich and lively with vanilla and crème brûlée notes; very harmonious, very satisfying.

Bollinger Rosé Brut NV ($88). Bright fruit with great mineral notes, savory earthiness, and a crisp finish — beautiful.

Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($14). Well balanced with herbal flavors, some lime, and lots of acidity.                                           

Domaine Vincent Carême Vouvray 2012 ($15). Very refreshing and enjoyable with a flavor of crisp apple — peel and all.

La Follette North Coast Chardonnay 2014 ($22). Enjoyable fresh fruit with a fair amount of toasty oak, though it could use a little more backbone.

Wither Hills Rarangi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($25). Big and firm with lots of green herbs, gooseberries, and lime peel.

Wither Hills Marlborough Rosé of Pinot Noir 2015 ($14). Flavors of lightly sweet cherries and a creamy finish.

Château d’Esclans “Rock Angel” Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015 ($31). Very well made, with light cherry flavors, good body, mineral touches, lactic notes, and a clean finish.

19 Crimes “The Banished” SE Australia Red Wine 2016 ($10). Quite sweet and jammy fruit with lots of perfumed vanilla oak.

Feuerheerd’s “Anchor Wine” Douro Vino Tinto 2013 ($11). Good tangy fruit, nice bitters around the edges, and light tannins.

François Lurton “Les Hauts de Janeil” Pays d’Oc Syrah-Grenache 2015 ($12). Smooth pastel fruit with a nice bite at the finish; fruity without being too sweet.

Ramos Vinho Regional Alentejano Reserva 2013 ($12). Nice raspberry flavors, a hint of smoke, and a lean finish — an enjoyable wine that is on the edge of being much more.

Tommasi Rompicollo Toscana Red Wine IGT 2014 ($14). Shows a combination of dark cherries, savory herbs, and old-barrel flavors, but is a little weak on the finish.

Trivento Amado Sur Mendoza Malbec 2014 ($15). Rich and satisfying malbec with bonarda and syrah blended in; dried cherry fruits, green savory flavors, and a little yogurt creaminess in the finish.

Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir 2014 ($16). A lot like an Oregon pinot — generous, with cherries and sassafras flavors and a nice balance.

Meiomi Pinot Noir 2015 ($21). A big but well-made wine with grapes from three California coastal counties; rounded, ripe cherries with a whiff of vanilla bean.

Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012 ($22). Quite nice, especially for the price — rooty, with slightly tangy fruit and good acidity.

Tommasi Viticoltori Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2014 ($24). A lighter ripasso (meaning that some dried grapes are used in fermentation) with bright cherry flavors, lighter body, and good acidity.

Cultivate California Pinot Noir 2014 ($26). Lots of cola and root flavors, good balance, a fair amount of toasty oak, and good tannins.

Grous “Moon Harvested” Vinho Regional Alentejano 2013 ($27). A bit edgy, with an enjoyable combination of red and dark fruits, good barrel notes, and chocolate-edged tannins.

Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2011 ($27). Light red berry flavors, a note of cabernet-franc-like pencil lead, and good finishing acidity.

Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2006 ($32). Enjoyable — a complex blend of ripe cherries, minerality, traces of pencil lead, savory notes, coffee, and tannins.

Psagot M-Series Jerusalem Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($41). On the red berry end of cabernet — think tart cranberries — with firm tannins.

Frescobaldi Castello Nippozzano Montesodi Toscana 2012 ($43). Very nice, with lively flavors of blackberries, leather, and oak, a lean finish, enjoyable tannins, and good acidity.


Star Lane Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($50). A bargain at the price, with warm, ripe berries elegantly blended with subtle oak — very smooth, with no rough edges. Delicious.