I've had it with fruit bombs
I'm pretty sure it's been discussed before, but these big reds are so ubiquitous now...not just from CA but many from South America, and even Spain and Portugal (though often with less residual sugar and more tannin).
I'd welcome sub-$20 suggestions for more refined wines that don't insist on being big and "jammy."
Our local stores are rather downmarket....so Sherry-Lehmanesque suggestions may not help. :(
These are my 2010 purchases within your requested specs:
2006 Pessac-léognan Ch. Picque-Caillou, $ 16.50
2008 Muscadet-sèvre-et-maine Sur lie Cuvée Harmonie, Michel Delhommeau, $ 12.99
2006 Côtes-du-roussillon-villages Mas del Rey (Jacques Montagné), $ 19.99
2008 Beaujolais Fleurie Poncié Dom. du Vissoux ( Pierre Chermette ) , $ 16.25
2007 Lirac, La Dame Rousse Dom. de la Mordorée (Delorme), $ 16.00
2008 Dolcetto di Dogliani Sorì dij But (Anna MariaAbbona), $ 12.98
2009 Jasnières Pascal Janvier, $ 16.99
in relation to Steve's excellent suggestion, if you happen to have a Costco membership i highly recommend checking your store for the Quinta do Vallado 2007 Douro. great wine, terrific price - $14.99 for the bottle, while other stores are charging $20+ for it.
Thanks for all these suggestions. I'll be keeping an eye out for these.
Actually, I always knew a large percentage of red wines are not fruit bombs, but it seems that's what I've come across lately. I suppose I was venting more than anything...but I really am grateful for your suggestions.