April 2014 – Duo des Mers, Royal Tokaji, Remelluri, Cobos

My favourite wines tasted in April, in four price brackets.

cheap ‘n cheerful

Duo des Mers, Sauvignon-Viognier 2013, France
The ‘Vin de France’ classification was created only in 2010 and gives winemakers the freedom to make wines by blending grapes and wine regions from across France together, that would otherwise be forbidden under the classic appellation contrôlée or IGP rules. There are some really interesting Vins de France emerging, including this lovely little blend of the Rhône’s Viognier with the Loire’s Sauvignon Blanc, to create a crisp but full-flavoured and exuberant wine. The aromas are explosive, melding Sauvignon punchiness with Viognier’s apricot richness, whilst the palate also marries the latter’s textural weight and former’s cleansing line of acidity really succesfully. A Wine of the Week in April, watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. £6.25, The Wine Society.

under a tenner

Royal Tokaji, Dry Furmint 2011, Hungary
Furmint is the great grape of Tokaji, picked heavy with the Botrytis mould, to make the wonderfully sweet dessert wines of the region. But more and more is appearing as dry table wine, and this example from the illustrious Royal Tokaji is a fine example – and currently available at a very good price. The nose has a crisp, but creamy nougat and baked apple note. But mostly it is about fresh, spiced fruit with hints of star anise to summer fruits and citrus. On the palate it has good texture and weight, the richness due in part to a hefty 14% alcohol, yet the quince and pear flavours are really crisp with lovely acidity to sweep through that textural weight. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. £7.99 on offer from Majestic (Normally £9.99) and see all stockists on wine-searcher.com.

under twenty

Bodegas Remelluri, Rioja Lindes de Remelluri San Vincente 2010, Spain From the village series of Rioja wines by elmo Rodriguez, his interpretation of Burgundian Premier Crus transported to Rioja, this has a stunning nose. So much rich berry fruit, but a real sense of terroir authenticity with earth and smoky game notes. A huge, blue/black streak of concentration on the palate with such beautifully refined tannins and tightening cherry acidity. £16.99 at Davis Bell McCraith. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

sky’s the limit

Viña Cobos, Bramare Malbec 2011, Argentina
From Lujan de Cuyo in Mendoza, this is a big, 15% alcohol wine that is minty and super-ripe, with a luscious nose of sweet fruit amongst eucalyptus and cocoa. The palate shows gorgeous, plush fruit. Super-smooth and impressive, the plum skin grip of the tannins and acidity is beautifully set against the overflowing depth of fruit. Undoubtedly has cellaring potential as well as drinkability. Decant for an hour before serving. £22.15, TheDrinkShop.com. See all UK stockists on wine-searcher.