2014 Foggy Veil Hillside Red Blend ($13)
This blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache from Santa Barbara County is another unexpected winner. In the Rhone tradition, this blend has the big fruit, medium tannin characteristics of the Syrah with the Grenache adding its big fruit flavors and moderate tannins to yield a smooth medium-bodied blend. Flavors include strawberry, black currant, black pepper and vanilla. This blend has excellent balance and a velvety finish. The winery suggest $25 for this bottle and it stands up as a $20+ wine, yet it's yours for just $13. A terrific wine at an equally terrific price!