(2018) There's something just a bit too confected about this 12% alcohol pink from Hawke's Bay. Varieties are unidentified, but the blend of slightly sweet fruit and slightly green acidity isn't entirely successful, though well-chilled it is probably an acceptable quaffer.
(2018) Made from the Moscato grapes with fermentation stopped so that plenty of sweetness remains, this is a frothy, fun, not too serious low-alcohol wine that's the perfect antidote to too much Christmas indulgence: with only 7.5% alcohol it is light as a feather, and though a mass-produced version of a style made in various guises by top artisan producers of the Asti area in Piedmont, this version from the giant Martini label is really very good. It hits all the icing sugar and peachy fruit notes well, aromatic with elderflower and fresh grapes, the frothy mousse is lively, and it has just enough acidity to counter the full-on sweetness. To sip on its own, with delicate desserts, or even to finish off the mince pies it might just work well.
(2017) Pinot Noir remains something of a holy grail for both wine lovers, and winemakers, the grape requiring specific growing conditions and a delicate hand from the winemaker to give of its best. While the top red wines of Burgundy represent the pinnacle of Pinot perfection, it's always nice to find a good example at a modest price that is widely available. From Marlborough, this wears cooler climate credentials with a birary, truffle and twig character on the nose, small, dry red berries like redcurrant and cherry, and a wisp of smoke. In the mouth it is delicate and light, those truffly characters matched by more of that pert cherry fruit, a line of tannin and more of that smokiness to balance nicely.  Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) The giant, family-owned Torres company produces an excellent range of wines, from cheap and cheerful, to serious fine wines. The popular Viña Sol brand is always good value, and this rosé is a good summer choice. It's not in the fashionably pale, Provence style, but a rather deeper and more red-fruited wine, with ripe and welcoming notes of cherry and soft summer berries, and a delicate floral touch. In the mouth it has sweet and ripe red fruits, but finishes dry, a clean citrus acidity and touch of spice giving gastronomic as well as sipping-in-the-garden credentials. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) Leyda is a coastal vineyard area in Chile, part of a move away from the original central valleys, as producers seek a range of cooler growing areas, using elevation, latitude, and proximity to the ocean as the tools to do so. This has a really fragrant appeal, loads of high, tomato leaf and cherry character, herbs and flowers, and a gamy and peppery quality that speaks of cool climate Syrah. In the mouth it is beautifully  black-fruited, with the fleshy density of black plums, but also the tartness of the fresh acidity and tannin, just supported nicely by creamy oak. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) From the second-tier Zalze range, and down to £5.99 in Waitrose  until 27th July 2016, this green-apple Chenin has loads of punch and just a rounding note of custard, before a crisp but sweet-fruited palate that stays focused, lively and bright to the finish.
(2016) Also from the Zalze range, a little of the white wine grape Viognier does add some aromatic lift, but its the ripe, dense blueberry and damson fruitiness that drives this, just a sprinkle of white pepper and earthiness, then the palate juicy, creamy and savoury. Oak in the finish is a little charry and chippy, but good fruit and the well-judged level of tannin and acidity make it food-friendly and quaffable.
(2016) Charming nose for this second wine of Cartillon, a really plush and forward cherry and plum, even a touch jammy, but delightful. Small spice and toast notes. Soft and juicy on the palate, very pleasing stuff with juiciness and soft structure. An approachable Bordeaux at a modest price, and I scored the 2011 and 2012 exactly the same.
(2016) This has a much more dense and spicy character on the nose than the 2011, more density and showing the oak a little more, but also the meatiness of the structure, the density of that mid-palate fruit, but the acidity is good again – a cherry brightness, with tight, grippy tannins and another wine that undoubtedly needs some time and best to decant if opening now.
(2016) The cheap, cheerful and modern consumer face of Albariño, £5.48 at Asda might just be the cheapest Albariño in the UK? It's fresh with lemons and crisp, crunchy green apples, the palate showing good texture, fruit that flirts with peachiness and a balanced if very slightly short finish. Zero complaints at this price though - a good buy.