best wines under 20

The 20 Best Wines Under $20

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

Buy one of these bottles to drink better for less.

Hands up whoever’s walked into a bottle shop, been overwhelmed by the shelves of endless bottles, and ended up choosing whichever one happened to have the nicest label and was under $20?

Yeah. Thought that might be a lot of you.

We’ve all been there, because – let’s face it – we can’t all be wine connoisseurs. You can tell me there’s top notes of blackberries and oak all you want, but at the end of the day all I’m going to think is “yum”.

Also: “I like this red. Can I can have another?”

That’s why – in the name of drinking cheaply and smartly – we talked to those in the know about which drops were the best buys. Dan Murphy’s has given us a list of the best 20 wines under $20, based on awards, points, and customer favourites.

You don’t have to waste time judging which of these wines is good. They’re all good. You just have to pick between red and white.

And those labels, of course. You should never give up on judging a wine by its label.

How to judge the wines

A handy hint when reading this guide: many of the wines have been given points out of a hundred. This number is determined by a panel of expert judges, including wine makers, wine distributors, sommeliers, and wine writers. It’s a system of judging wines that is used by wine critics worldwide.

The Dan Murphy’s 100-Point Rating System scores the wines as follows:

Ratings

Equivalent Medal

Quality

94-100GoldOutstanding
90-93SilverImpressive
86-89BronzeGood
80-85No medalSound

The Best 20 Wines Under $20

Teusner Pinot Noir Chardonnay from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Pinot Noir Chardonnay Price: $18.99 in any six This sparkling wine from Adelaide Hills is bursting with citrus zest and crisp green apple, with an underlying biscuity complexity. Why is it in the Top 20? 92 Points

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Sieur d'Arques Grande Cuvée 1531 de Aimery from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Chardonnay Mauzac Chenin Blanc | Price: $13.90 in any six This drop is sourced from the oldest sparkling wine region in the world, which is why it's fantastically delicious and yet affordable. Why is it in the Top 20? 5 gold medals in the last few years

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Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Mauzac Chardonnay Chenin Blanc | Price: $13.90 in any six This has all the qualities of a vintage Champagne without the price tag. Sip and take in the aromatic flavours of peach, pear and green apple. Why is it in the Top 20? Customer Favourite

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Minchinbury Superior Chardonnay Pinot Noir from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier | Price: $12.35 in any six An Australian sparkling in classic Champagne style, this expert blend has a well balanced palate with mineral acidity and plenty of flavour. Why is it in the Top 20? 93 points, voted by the public as one of the Top 100 products of 2013

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TarraWarra Estate Chardonnay from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Chardonnay | Price: $18.05 in any six Are you having fish or chicken for dinner? This elegant white is the perfect accompaniment. Why is it in the Top 20? 95 points

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Oakridge Over The Shoulder Chardonnay from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Chardonnay | Price: $17.09 in any six With delicious nectarine and minerals, it's no wonder wine critic Tyson Stelzer called this "a gloriously complex and beautifully textural Yarra Valley style". 'Nuff said. Why is it in the Top 20? 92 points

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Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc | Price: $17.09 in any six It's no secret that New Zealand and Sauvignon Blanc are a winning combination, and this one comes with peach aromas and mineral notes. Why is it in the Top 20? Voted one of the Top 100 Products on 2013

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Yering Station Little Yering Chardonnay from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Chardonnay | Price: $17.09 in any six You've got toasted almonds, lemon and lime notes, and an acidity in this Chardonnay. From the Yarra Valley, no less. Why is it in the Top 20? 90 points

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Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Riesling | Price: $16.99 per bottle Larry Cherubino (the winery behind this stunner) was named Winery of the Year, so you know you're on to a good thing. Mouth watering flavours balanced by fruity flavours – would go well with fish. Why is it in the Top 20? 95 points

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Domaine Astruc Chardonnay from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Chardonnay | Price: $15.19 in any six They say this is from one of the most underrated Chardonnay appellations in France, which is enough to pique our interest. This one has rich aromas of hazelnut and cashew. Why is it in the Top 20? Customer favourite

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Kilikanoon Morts Block Riesling from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Riesling Price: $18.99 in any six This one has hints of grapefruit, peach, and nectarine and balanced by a natural acidity and aromas of lemon and lime. Why is it in the Top 20? 95 points, and Halliday Wine of the Year 2013

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Hardys William Hardy Chardonnay from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Chardonnay | Price: $18.99 in any six This one's sourced from the cool Adelaide Hills region – an area known for its superior Chardonnays and is a medium-bodied white with flavours of intense stone fruits and notes of oak. Why is it in the Top 20? 90 points

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Teusner The Gentleman Cabernet Sauvignon from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon | Price $19.95 in any six Dark, deep, plummy and silky, this is one of those wines that you'll wonder why it isn't being sold for twice the price. Why is it in the Top 20? 94 points, and voted one of the Top 100 Products of 2013

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Lovers Not Toreadors Tempranillo from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Tempranillo | Price: $15.90 in any six This is a drop you could judge by the bottle, and be all the more rewarded for it. It's full-bodied and intense, with flavours of chocolate, raspberry and a hint of vanillin oak. Would go excellently with steak. Why is it in the Top 20? 94 points

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Richard Hamilton Hut Block Cabernet Sauvignon from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon | Price: $15.19 in any six A medium bodied wine from the mature Hamilton vineyards, this has a fragrant bouquet of blackcurrant, redcurrant, and just a hint of choc mint. Why is it in the Top 20? 94 Points, and in the Halliday Top 100 2013

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Parker Coonawarra Estate Coonawarra Series Cabernet Sauvignon from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon | Price: $17.90 in any six With this drop you'll discover dark chocolates, violets, and notes of liquorice. Either drink straightaway or cellar for a short to medium term. Why is it in the Top 20? 93 points

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Shanahans The Old Dog Shiraz from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Shiraz Price: $16.15 in any six The Dan Murphy's Wine Panel judged this as "world-class Barossa Shiraz", which should be enough to tempt you to try the flavours of rich plum, dark fruits, chocolate and liquorice. Why is it in the Top 20? 97 points

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Reschke Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon from Dan Murphy's

Varietal:Cabernet Sauvignon Price:$12.90 in any six The Dan Murphy's wine panel has scoured this over 90 points two years running, so they might be on to something. Appealingly dry, flavoursome, with a rich chocolate flavour? Done. Why is it in the Top 20? 92 Points and customer favourite

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Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Grenache Price: $19.90 in any six The praises for this Spanish wine keep coming, including being named in th 2012 Sommeliers Choice by Sommelier Journal. Sweet and ripe, it has notes of vanilla bean, blackberries and plums, with aromas of cherry and raspberry. Why is it in the Top 20? 94 points

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Mount Langi Ghiran Billi Billi Shiraz from Dan Murphy's

Varietal: Shiraz Price: $15.19 in any six This one's a regular in the customer favourites. Give this full bodied wine with a red and black cherry palate a go and see if it becomes one of your favourites, too. Why is it in the Top 20? 93 points

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Alex Bruce-Smith

Alex Bruce-Smith is a publisher at finder.com.au, taking care of shopping & travel. She funds her addiction to online shopping by hunting coupon codes like a pro, and can usually be found waiting anxiously for a package to arrive. #notevensorry

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