Tom Cannavan picks four of the best, in four different price bands.
(2015) Tesco's recent press tasting majored on wines that had been rounded down in price to nice even .00 and .50 prices. They also showed a lot of wines in the sub-six pound category, of which this was one of my favourites: snappy and fresh with an apple core dryness though relatively neutral, softly herbaceous and vegetal notes begin to add some complexity and then the sweetness of the fruit emerges on the palate, with a tangy finish that is very appealing as a general purpose house white.
(2015) A real bargain here for a Lidl own-label wine that is made for them by the excellent Yealands Estate in Marlborough. It captures all the elderflower and gooseberry pungency and energy of the variety, but tempers it with a clean, shimmering citrus freshness and savoury, dry acidity, giving it clarity and poise into a surprisingly long finish. Excellent at this price.
(2015) Cabernet Franc is the great red wine grape of Bordeaux's 'right bank' as well as the Loire Valley in France, and yet it is a variety that does not always travel well, finding nothing like the global popularity of its cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon. And yet when it is ripe and made well it offers a wonderful combination of full-fruited richness and an energised, lively personality. This is a terrific example of that, ripe and sweetly packed with blackcurranty fruit, yet so agile with its cherry and raspberry lick of red fruit acidity, svelte tannins and sappy and refreshing edge. Like an excellent Loire red (or even a fine Cru Beaujolais in some ways), but with the dial turned up to 11. Watch the video for my full review and for specific food matching suggestions.
Sky’s the Limit
(2015) From arguably the finest estate of Madiran and Pacherenc, this dry white wine is made from 100% Petit Courbu and has had five years to come together. It has an absolutely gorgeous nose, waxy with star fruit and pear and loads of aroma. With nuttiness, honey and floral hints too it is endlessly complex. The palate is filled with a cool, limpid fruit, yellow plum fleshiness and then that crunching racy acidity and salty finish. Just fabulous stuff at a very reasonable price for the quality.