cheap ‘n cheerful
Morrisons, ‘Signature’ Grüner Veltliner 2014, Austria
Grüner Veltliner has been a huge success for the Austrian wine industry, its success over the past couple of decades, particularly in restaurants, taking many people by surprise. There are very serious, age-worthy and complex examples around, but at one-third or one quarter of the price, this dazzlingly fresh, new vintage example from Morrisons shimmers with crunchy, bright fruit and is a good introduction. A ‘Wine of the Week’ watch my full video review that also contains food-matching suggestions. 87/100. £6.99, Morrisons.
under a tenner
Sainsbury’s, Taste the Difference Priorat 2011, Spain
The Grenache-based wines of Priorat, grown at altitude on slate soils close to Barcelona, can be some of the most profound in Spain. Old vine Grenache is joined by Syrah and Mazuelo in this wine, which has a dense, intense purple/black saturation, and very vivid and velvety berry and spice aromas: hints of clove and cedar as well as plenty of dark bramble fruit. Despite the 14.5% alcohol there is a bit of cut and freshness on the palate. Tannins are pretty soft and fine, acidity is fresh and cherryish, all off-setting the ripe fruit concentration and spice. 89/100. £10.00, Sainsbury’s.
Emiliana Orgánico, Coyam 2011, Colchagua, Chile
This is southern hemisphere red wine at its big and bountiful best, the abundantly fruity expression of a Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot and Mourvèdre blend is all bitter dark chocolate and violet, rippled with creamy oak and filling the mouth with fleshy black fruits and clove spice. Overflowing with flavour, it’s sensationally smooth but has the tannin and acid structure under that weight of plush fruit to cellar for several years. 93/100. Â£17.50, Vintage Roots. See all UK stockists on wine-searcher.
sky’s the limit
Querciabella, Batàr 2012, Tuscany, Italy
Labelled as a Toscana IGT (so a white ‘Super-Tuscan’ in effect), Querciabella’s homage to Bâtard-Montrachet has always been one of Italy’s best white wines. It’s expensive, but each time I have tasted it, it has never failed to impress. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, it is fermented and aged in French barriques, 30% of which are new. It has a haunting, beautiful fragrance, all the floral charm and subtle oatmeal richness, refined and agile mineral balance and such a flood of peachy fruit on the palate. Immensely fresh, but with almond, subtle honey, and terrific balancing acidity. Delicious, complex and understated, this is indeed a great white wine. £60.00, Armit Wines. See all stockists on wine-searcher