April 2011- La Conseillante, Wakefield, Torres

The best wines from last month’s tastings in four price bands

under a fiver

Torres, Viña Sol White Wine 2010, Spain
The essence of summer in a glass and a long-term favourite, family-owned Spanish stalwarts Torres make this wine from Parellada, a local grape normally seen as one of the main constituents of Cava. But here Torres crafts a just teasingly off-dry wine of huge precision and style that brims with stone fruit aromas, hints of the exotic in the shape of lychee and mandarin orange, and plenty of zesty citrus. It is shimmering, almost Aussie Riesling-like stuff and with several promotions bringing the price under a fiver, a steal. £5.97 Asda, and available for less than £5 on promotion in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose at time of writing. See all stockist on wine-searcher

under a tenner

Taste the Difference, Priorat 2007, Spain
Not quite the bargain it was when tasted in April when it was reduced to £7.49, but I am still giving this the nod as one of the most enjoyable sub £10 wines tasted last month. Priorat is a hot area of northeast Spain close to Barcelona, where the Garnacha (Grenache) grape is king and where the vines are planted in slate soils on steep, often terraced hillsides similar to those in the Douro Valley. This example is unashamedly big, ripe and jammy, with a nose flooded with bramble and cassis fruit, plenty of cedar and chocolate oak and a touch of background earthiness. On the palate a great, thick smear of blackcurrant jam crosses the tongue, with abundant ripeness and sweetness, and plenty of oaky depth too. The tannins and acidity do enough to give this balance, but it remains a straightforward, big and very plushly modern example. Watch the video for more information and food matching advice. £9.99, Sainsbury’s. See my video review for more information and food match ideas.

under twenty

Wakefield, St Andrews Chardonnay 2008, Australia
This Clare Valley wine is yet another super-premium Chardonay from Australia that proves definitively that the country’s reputation for over-oaked, over-blown ‘Chardy’ really does deserve to be buried deep and forgotten about. With a modest 13% alcohol and a gorgeous nose shimmering with white flower, lemon and delicate Kendal mint cake aromas, there’s a touch of honey and vanilla from careful barrel fermentation and ageing. But the palate is all about creaminess of texture melding with pin-sharp flavours, with white fruits and lime, and the nutty elegance of the oak in the finish. Beautifully made. Around £20 – £22 from independent merchants including Fareham Wine Cellar, Nidderdale Wines, Raeburn Fine Wines.

sky’s the limit

Château La Conseillante 2005, France
From a vertical tasting of this excellent Pomerol châteaux that stretched all the way back to 1945, the 1990 was also glorious but it is around three times the price of this 2005 vintage wine. Huge, juicy, slightly gamy complexity here with masses of ripe black fruit. Absolutely delightful fruit on the palate, with great structure, fine juicy freshness and a seamless tannin framework. Complex and delicious, though will develop even greater mid-palate harmony and surity with a little more time. From £130 per bottle