If you’re a wine lover on a budget, then exploring South American wines could make you very happy.  Vintage after vintage, there are quality bottles at good prices.  They do tend to be earthier and less fruit forward than domestic offerings, but if you like a drier style, then there’s much to love. Here are three wines, all available for $20 or less, that  our panel rated 90 points:

Santa Carolina 2015 Carmenere

Grape(s): Carmenere

Region: Chile

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

The nose is reminiscent of blackberry and plum, rounded out by notes of herbs and orange peal. Flavors of blackberries, blueberries, and plums emerge on the palate alongside accents of fresh herbs, graphite, and toasty brown spice. Offering good complexity and polished tannins, open a bottle when you enjoy lamb tacos.

Rating: 90

Clos de Los Siete 2015 Red Wine

Grape(s): 58% Malbec, 23% Merlot, 23% Cabernet, 10% Syrah, & 1% Petit Verdot

Region: Argentina

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of blackberries, blueberries, and dark cherries mingle among whispers of earth, cocoa, and spice on the nose. Blackberry, blueberry, and plum flavors interweave with allusions of dark chocolate, floral earth, and brown spice on the palate. Satiny tannins frame the wine nicely, making it an good match for an array of Indian dishes.

Rating: 90

Fabre Montmayou 2016 Cabernet Franc

Grape(s): Cabernet Franc

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

A combination of blackberries, plums, floral earth, and brown spice rise up on the nose. Rich flavors of blackberry, dark cherry, and plum mingle among traces of clove, earth, and mint on the palate. Classically structured and balanced, it will pair nicely with a Greek chicken dish.

Rating: 90