This article on the Best Red Wine for 2016 is part of our wine review & recommendation series. A series of publications aimed at exposing not only great tasting red wines, but red wines that are easy to find while not breaking the bank. Note that we do not list the following 10 best red wines in any particular order, as that would be an exercise in futility. They’re all great in their own right.

The Best Red Wines for 2016

So far this year, we’ve been taking a look at both obscure New World Wine Regions, as well as many classic Old World Wine Regions. Throughout our quest, we’ve come across a variety of complex, drinkable and affordable red wines that are well worth exploring.

We’ve narrowed our picks to span the spectrum in body. That means there’s a little something for everyone below, whether you like light, medium or full-bodied reds. We do realize that not every wine region is covered below (that would be almost impossible). However, we stand behind our choices and consider the following 10 red wines to be of exceptional quality. You can also take a look at our Bottle Briefings for a look at other red wines we’ve been drinking recently.

SOMM’s TIP: Make Your Red Wine Drinking Experience Better. Get these gorgeous self-aerating VinO2 Wine Glasses 10% off with coupon code WINEDERLUST. Open up your favorite red wines naturally as you sip and swirl.

Best Red Wine for 2016 | Valserrano Rioja Crianza | Best Red WinesValserrano Rioja Crianza 2011

Origin: Rioja Alavesa, Spain

Dominant Tasting Notes: Cassis, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Vanilla, Chalky Minerals & Cracked Black Pepper

Ideal Food Pairing: Classic Spanish Roasted Pork (Lechon Asado)

Average Price: $14.99

There’s a reason we put this wine first on our list. It’s got everything. This red blend has great spice, beautiful depth and a medium body. Earthy and refined mineral tones sit behind luscious red & black fruit. 90% refined Tempranillo backed by 10% Mazuelo grapes. Did we mention you can find it for under $ 15? This wine tastes more like a $ 40 bottle. Find the Valserrano at most major grocery and liquor stores, including Total Wine.

Related: Checkout our review of the Valserrano Rioja Crianza

Best Red Wine 2016 | Red Wine Recommendations

Sunset falls over Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles, California.

Best Red Wines 2016 | Carson Ridge Paso Robles Cabernet SauvignonCarson Ridge Paso Robles 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Paso Robles, California

Dominant Tasting Notes: Blackberry, Dragonfruit, Vanilla, Black Cherry Cola, Rhubarb

Ideal Food Pairing: Barbecue Chicken Pizza or Brisket

Average Price: $8.99

This wine takes the #2 spot simply because it’s one of the best value red wines we’ve come across so far this year. It’s fruit-forward, well balanced and smooth across the palate. Tannins persist throughout the palate as bits of vanilla custard and bold, black Paso Robles fruit linger on the finish. Buy it for as little as $ 7.99 at Total Wine.



Invetro Super Tuscan | Best Red Wines to Try in 2016Invetro Toscana 2011 Super Tuscan

Origin: Tuscany, Italy

Dominant Tasting Notes: Rich Red & Blue Fruit, Moderate Acid, Velvety Tannins, Black Currant & Licorice

Ideal Food Pairings: Teriyaki Chicken, Candied Bacon Cheeseburger

Average Price: $16.99

Stumbled (literally) across this wine at a recent tasting we did. I’m usually skeptical about the quality of low-cost Super Tuscan’s, however this one was a really pleasant surprise. Great body across the palate, not your typical IGT. Tastes like Sangiovese but it’s not overwhelmingly acidic, pleasantly plummy backed by undertones of black cherry. The Invetro red wine will pair nicely with a range of savory dishes or work equally as well as an everyday solo-drinker.

Buy the Invetro Toscana Super Tuscan online at Wine.com (check the top of the site for coupon codes).

Best Red Wine 2016 | Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon

Vigilance’s Sustainable Vineyards bask in the early morning fog.

Invetro Toscana | Best Red Wines for 2016Vigilance 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Kelseyville, California

Dominant Tasting Notes: Black Cherry, Red Currant, Cacao, Wet Forest Floor, Coffee

Ideal Food Pairings: Teriyaki Chicken, Candied Bacon Cheeseburger

Average Price: $12.99

Delivered by my good friends at my favorite wine club Wine Awesomeness, the Vigilance Cabernet is a sustainably produced red wine from the Red Hills in Lake County California. This Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested in October of 2013 and aged within both French and American oak for 18 months before being transferred to the bottle. This red wine maintains a rich and fruit forward body with just the right amount of earth and additional complexities. One unique fact about this Cabernet – it’s grown alongside herds of sheep within the vineyards that not only maintain the grounds but also nourish the vines themselves.

You can order it online through Wine Awesomeness for delivery to your door. Or order it through Wine.com (currently on sale for $12.99, check the top of the site for coupon codes).

Best Red Wines to Try | Irony Pinot Noir 2012Irony Pinot Noir Small Lot Reserve 2012

Origin: Russian River Valley, California

Dominant Tasting Notes: Strawberry, Raspberry, Caramel, Cherry & Cracked Black Pepper

Ideal Food Pairings: Teriyaki Salmon, Indian-flavor Chicken “Tikka” Masala, Grilled Swordfish, Chicken Pad-Thai

Average Price: $22.99

A modest price for a well-rounded Pinot from the Russian River Valley. This was a real treat and is ideal for those who fancy a light-medium bodied red wine. Balance is maintained across the palate with a smooth, light and lingering finish of cream soda, refreshing acid, dry underbrush and subtle minerals.

Buy the Irony Pinot Noir Small Lot Reserve online at Wine.com.

Chateau le Grange Bordeaux | Best Red Wines in 2016Chateau La Grange Clinet Grande Reserve Cotes de Bordeaux 2012

Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France

Dominant Tasting Notes: Plum, Red Berry Fruit, Dry Earth with Moderate Tannins and Gravel Minerals

Ideal Food Pairings: Bison Burger, Grilled Sirloin, Dry-rub Pulled Pork Sandwich

Average Price: $15.99

This is everything a classic Right Bank Bordeaux should embody. First off, the dominant variety here is Merlot. Like most Bordeaux’s over 3 years of age, this one should be chilled to about 62 degrees Fahrenheit and decanted for at least 20 minutes prior to serving to bring out the best balance and flavor profile. The fun part about this wine is its earthy character. Great minerality, ground mushrooms and fruit that isn’t too overpowering. Very typical Old World Bordeaux – and that’s a good thing. Get it.

Best Red Wine for 2016 | 19 Crimes Red Blend

19 Crimes Red Blend Review | Best Red Wine 201619 Crimes SGM (Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro) 2011

Origin: Victoria, Australia

Dominant Tasting Notes: Cassis, Blackberry, Blueberry, White Asian Spice, Tumbleweed, Vanilla

Ideal Food Pairings: Teriyaki Chicken, Candied Bacon Cheeseburger

Average Price: $10.99

With an average price of about 11 bucks but priced at $8.99 at Costco, this is a steal. The 19 Crimes Red Blend is unique in the sense that it’s basically a GSM, but there’s more Shiraz (Syrah) as opposed to more Grenache. That being said, it’s bigger on the opening with rich vanilla and blackberry cobbler undertones. It tastes fruity, almost sweet, but actually dry. The fruit-forwardness of this red will deceive your palate in the best way possible.

Order the 19 Crimes online for delivery here.

Best Red Wine 2016 | Super Tuscan Red Wine | Villa AntinoriVilla Antinori Rosso Toscana Super Tuscan 2011

Origin: Tuscany, Italy

Dominant Tasting Notes: Cranberry, Boysenberry, Cherry, Brambly Red Fruit, Plum, Oregano, Sautéed Green Bell Pepper & Mint

Ideal Food Pairings: Basil & Tomato Lamb Meatballs, Chicken Frances, Indian Spiced Veal or Veal Marsala

Average Price: $19.99

One of our current favorite house Super Tuscan’s, this is a great wine to get the party started with. Utilizing 55% Sangiovese, yet backed by smaller concentrations of Cabernet, Merlot & Syrah, it’s pleasantly more complex and completely accessible for around 20 bucks. Despite the incorporation of traditionally non-Italian varietals, you’ll still get your classically acid and tomato-cranberry custard Sangiovese. Thanks Antinori. The plus side here is the Cab, Merlot & Syrah mellow it out a bit and bring that familiar Napa big fruit flavor across the pond.

Get it online and delivered to your door through Wine.com..

Top Red Wine for 2016 | Red Wine Recommendations | Bordeaux

Chateau de Camarsac grows a delectable red blend on the Right Bank of the Gironde in Bordeaux.

Best Red Wines 2016 | Chateau de Camarsac Red Bordeaux Blend 2012Chateau de Camarsac Selection Vieilles Vignes Bordeaux 2012

Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France

Dominant Tasting Notes: Rose Cherry, Ripe Plum, Ground Black Pepper, Fresh Violet & Soft Vanilla Blackberry Cola

Ideal Food Pairings: Marinated Char-Grilled Flank Steak, Asian Sweet-Chili Pork Chops, Spiced Teriyaki Beef

Average Price: $12.89

This is one of the best Bordeaux buys on the market right now. While it’s not quite the 2010, the 2012 Vieilles Vines Bordeaux from Chateau de Camarsac absolutely nails a traditionally styled Right Bank Bordeaux but adds a twist. The pepper present in this wine is noticeable, but not overpowering and surprisingly complimentary to the rose petal and rich plum. Wash it all down on the aftertaste with hints of vanilla, dried flowers and crushed gravel. This is a Merlot dominant red wine, and I typically tend to prefer Left Bank’s. This is a best red wine for 2016 simply because it’s making me change my mind.

Best Red Wines 2016 | Amarone Grapes | Red Wine Recommendations

Dried Amarone grapes. Image courtesy Rose Murray Brown – learn a little bit about this special Italian grape variety.

Bregonzo Amarone della Valpolicella 2011

Origin: Veneto, Italy

Dominant Tasting Notes: Red Cherries, Dried Tangerine, Black Dates, Sunset Desert Sand, Overripe Cassis

Ideal Food Pairings: Grilled Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Red Wine Sauce, Blackend Swordfish A1 Braised Tacos with Avocado & Cilantro

Average Price: $16.87

This is a rich wine. And we don’t just mean from a flavor perspective, it actually takes double the typical amount of grapes to fill a bottle of Amarone. That’s because the grapes used to create a red wine like this are dried until they’re practically raisins! The result is a smaller amount of liquid packed with deep flavors and high sugar levels. However, this wine aint sweet. It can be aged for decades. By the time the sugar content turns to alcohol, we’re looking at a very alcoholic yet refined bottle of fruit juice. Plum, rock-rose, cherry and inviting orange flavors sit above grippy tannins, barnyard door and decaying oak leaves. This wine tastes strong, but is well balanced and maintains one of the most delightful finishes you’ll encounter this year (unless you’re dating Jenna Jameson).

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