My favourite wines tasted during the month, in four price brackets.
under a fiver
Marks & Spencer, Gers 2011, France
Well, the British June weather might be messing with us, swinging from sunshine to showers almost constantly, but what better way to invoke some sunshine than to recommend a thoroughly summery and delightful little white wine? The nose is all about summer meadows and fresh-cut grass, with a tropical fruit quality suggesting mango and nectarine. On the palate the lightness and freshness of this 11.5% alcohol wine shimmers through, but it is packed with that tropical fruit juiciness and a great cut of apple and lemon clarity in the finish. 86/100. £4.99, Marks & Spencer. See full video review for more details and food-matching suggestions.
under ten pounds
Domaine Vedilhan, Serica Syrah 2008, France
Please note that the price for this Languedoc wine is a one-off special parcel, so do not delay if you fancy grabbing a stand-our bargain. The nose offers a lovely touch of fragrant, floral-edged violetty Syrah character, enhanced by a splash of aromatic Viognier in the blend. Onto the palate it is beautifully poised, showing refined black and red berry fruit, silky texture and perfectly ripe but balanced flavours. An absolute cracker at the price. 88/100. £5.75, WoodWinters.
under twenty pounds
Terras Gauda, Rías Baixas O Rosal 2011, Spain
The flagship of the Terras Gauda range is 70% Albariño, with 20% Loureira and 10% Caiño Blanco, late-harvested from selected vineyard plots and vinified in stainless steel using natural yeasts. It is always such a striking wine, with its abundant fruit on the nose suggesting ripe nectarine flesh and melon skins, and saline hints of minerals. On the palate this is crammed with flavour: some almond and honey softens the lemony acidity, but the mid-palate weight of crunchy, ripe fruit is the driving force. A beautifully fruity and balanced wine, and such a good match to seafood and white fish. 90/100. Around £14.50-£15.50
sky’s the limit
Bodegas Roda, Rioja Reserva 2006, Spain
It’s not often that we see a wine from Tesco up in the rarified atmosphere of ‘Sky’s the Limit’, but this fine Rioja pushed my buttons very effectively. It’s a blend of 97% Tempranillo with a touch of Graciano, and is in 114 Tesco stores and online. A fresh, but deep, chocolate, tobacco and briar-scented wine with primary charcter, plenty of spice and dark, ripe fruit, this has abundant depth and polish. On the palate this has copious layers of fruit that are creamy and dense with a meaty structure beneath and delicious, profund flavour and drinkability. A modern Rioja estate on absolutely top form. This drinks so well now, but will doubtless cellar for a decade more. 93/100. £25.29, Tesco