Originally Posted by ChefJune
Finca, if you're willing to get out of California, you can find all manner of excellent wines (robust reds are what I'm talking now) from Spain, Portugal, the South of France, Chile, and Argentina that cost under $20 and are fine
drinking. It is easy, imho to find a good wine for $20 and up. I enjoy the sport of finding excellent wines for under that price. How else can one afford to have wine with dinner every day?
Actually, I almost never drink California wines anymore except when I'm travelling back in the States because price and availability are very limited in Costa Rica.
On the other hand, we get a lot of good South American wines here at very reasonable prices. I didn't recommend one because I don't know which ones are available in the US. The Chilean Escudo Rojo you recommended is excellent.
Another Rothschild wine, from Argentina, that I really like is Amancaya Malbec/Cabernet. I don't know availability or pricing in the US, but here it's only a couple of dollars more than the Escudo Rojo.
Many of the Chilean wines from ViŮa Carmen are also outstanding. They are the oldest vineyard in Chile and have been named winemaker of the year multiple times by Wine & Spirits magazine. Their Reserve CarmenŤre-Cabernet Sauvignons are especially notable in my opinion.
Having said all of that, I still stick by my original recommendation for a good California Zin!