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20 Under $20: Wines That Feed the Soul

Niepoort Douro Tinto Twisted 2018 $19

Dirk Niepoort is one of Portugal’s most interesting and influential producers. Based in Douro, port country, he pioneered the movement toward making lighter, fresher wines that aimed for finesse rather than power. Twisted is a perfect example. It’s a field blend of port varieties, a wine that maybe 15 years ago would have been heavy and jammy. It’s far more of a precise wine these days, lightly tannic and fresh, reminiscent of port but delightful now. It will improve for a few years, too. (Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Chiara Condello Romagna Sangiovese Predappio 2016 $19.99

In Italy, sangiovese is not grown only in Tuscany. It’s the country’s most abundant red grape and has been cultivated in Emilia-Romagna for centuries. Chiara Condello, a young producer from a family of winemakers, makes this wine under her own label. It is 100 percent sangiovese, and it’s more overtly fruity than, say, a Chianti Classico. But it carries similarly dusty tannins and is nuanced and energetic. (Bowler Wine, New York)

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Meinklang Österreich Prosa Sparkling Rosé 2019 $17.96

Meinklang, the biodynamic estate in the Burgenland region of Austria, almost never fails to delight. Whether blaufränkisch, grüner veltliner or anything else, the wines are always pure, fresh and delicious. This lightly sparkling rosé is made of pinot noir, tastes gently of red fruit and flowers, and will go with burgers, grilled salmon or even just by itself. (Zev Rovine Selections, Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Mother Rock Swartland Force Celeste Sémillon 2018 $17.99

Sémillon makes wonderful wines, but you don’t see them often. It’s a crucial component of Sauternes and the dry whites of Graves, even as many producers there reduce the proportion in favor of sauvignon blanc. Excellent, age-worthy versions come from the Hunter Valley of Australia, while California and Oregon make a few. This, from Mother Rock, is the first South African sémillon that I’ve tried. It’s bone dry and full of the grape’s characteristic aromas and flavors of beeswax, lemon and honey. Bravo. (Vine Street Imports, Mount Laurel, N.J.)

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