These might be wines that have been reviewed during the month on wine-pages, or have appeared in my newspaper column, or they may be wines from a recent tasting that hasn’t yet been written-up in a full-length report. There is a growing archive of these four of the best choices each month.
under a fiver
Salentein (Argentina) MCM Winemaker’s Selection 2004
There’s still time to grab a bottle or two of this wine in Tesco’s Wine Festival, which runs until May 15th 2007. Salentein is causing quite a stir with its wines, from vineyards in the Valley de Uco of Mendoza. This Bordeaux blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. It has a dense but bright ruby colour, and an appealing nose of cedarwood. There’s a lovely soft blackcurrant and plummy fruit, and a gentle background of toasty, high quality oak. On this palate this is medium-bodied, with a good balance between quite crisp, lively, fresh black fruit, and a stripe of charry, liquoricy backbone from the oak and tight, firm tannins. Acidity is good too, in a very well balanced and intelligently made wine with savoury appeal. £7.99, Tesco. On offer at £5.49.
under a tenner
Artadi (Spain) Artazuri Garnacha 2006
This lovely wine from the Navarra outpost of Bodegas Artadi of Rioja spends six months in older French oak barrels. It has a very bold red colour, with a distinct pink rim. Bold, crunchy, very haunting Garnacha fragrance, with plenty of bright, schisty raspberry fruit and tiny notes of liquorice, cherries and mint. Lovely finesse on the palate, and the fruit profile follows through, with terrific structure, and plenty of bold, crunchy fruit and excellent acidity. Real tang, vibrancy and length here. A most impressive wine at a modest price. Berry Bros & Rudd is one stockist.