August 2014 – Zind Humbrecht, Seifried, Esterhazy, M&S

My favourite wines tasted last month, in four price brackets.

cheap ‘n cheerful

Marks & Spencer, Manzanilla NV, Spain
Sherry is so often such a relative bargain, for finely crafted wines, often aged for long, long periods, and made using centuries of tradition and knlowledge. This dry Sherry is nutty, with shellac, and a whiff of the seaside, absolutely lovely Manzanilla with such a dry, chiselled palate showing bright apple juiciness and lovely balance overall. Lemony and very fine, the salty lick and nuttiness continues onto a long finish. 89/100. £7.49, Marks & Spencer.

under a tenner

Esterházy, Estoras Zweigelt 2011, Austria
The red wines of Austria are still not common on UK wine shelves, but a few are starting to appear, generally of high quality. This modern wine in screwcapped bottle has a typically vibrant colour and aromas, damson and spicy black fruits, a graphite and coal dust suggestion of dryness, but also little layers of vanilla and flowers. In the mouth it is substantial, with deep, rich black fruit, a roughening grip of plum skin tannin and plenty of acidity to cut through the sweetness of the fruit. A fine example at a keen price. Watch the Wine of the Week video for more information and for specific food matching suggestions. 89/100. £9.95, FromVineyardsDirect.com

under twenty

Seifried Estate, Gewúrztraminer 2012, New Zealand
From the family-run Seifried estate, this is gorgeous: the nose is not in that hyper-perfumed style of flowers, Turkish delight and Nivea cream; there’s a touch of all that, but mostly it is about really ripe, beguiling, downy peach skins and nectarine fleshiness. In the mouth it is off-dry – maybe even medium-sweet – but that sweetness is beautifully done, both tropical fruit sweetness and sugar, and a lovely glycerine richness, though an orange and grapefruit acidity pushes through and gives delightful balance in the finish. Watch the Wine of the Week video for more information and specific food-matching options.89/10. £10.50, Halifax Wine Company, but see all stockists on wine-searcher.

sky’s the limit

Zind Humbrecht, Alsace Riesling Clos Saint Urbain Grand Cru Rangen 2012, France
Chosen by Paolo Basso who explained that Rangen, the southernmost Grand Cru of Alsace, has volcanic soils. This 2012 has a hugely deep and smoky aroma, with masses of minerality and a touch of passionfruit and bold yellow plum. The palate has intense minerality – a touch of smokiness and slate, plenty of salt, and a rich stone fruit mid-palate. The intensity and concentration is huge, but the dry, elegant acidity cuts through the power and structure, in a wine that is seductive now, but will surely have considerable ageing potential. 95/100. See all stockists on wine-searcher.