Tom Cannavan picks four of the best, in four different price bands.
(2015) Getting a wine on the shelves from the pricy Ribera del Duero is tricky, but getting such a good one must be trickier still. Liquorice, charcoal and smokiness, the fruit in the blackberry spectrum, but it is those dark notes that dominate. In the mouth this has plenty of dusty, dry tannins, but the intrinsic fruit depth is there, and the balance is good, giving this decent fruity and spicy length.
(2015) And yes it's two in a row for Aldi with this 14.5% Garnacha (Grenache) based wine. Tight kirsch and blackcurrant, the fine spice suggesting Sandalwood and delighfully balanced aromatic character. On the palate it is composed and beautifully fruited with a cleansing, crisp finish showing copious fruit but such a precise structure of tannin and acidity. Could cellar for a few years too.
(2015) This blend of the native Arinto, Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and 10% Semillon is a fabulous wine for the money, and one I have followed for years. Retailers are stocking both 2013 and 2014 at present, and really either could have made this slot. It's a wine in a broadly Burgundian mould, barrel fermented with a lovely creamy almond and oatmeal character, the 2014 youthful and better in a year, the 2013 perfectly on song with wax and honey notes to the ripe apple and peach, the racy palate carrying through the lemon and gentle butter and wax, finishing clean and fresh.
(2015) I attended a 10-year vertical tasting of Columella with Eben Sadie in Cape Town in September 2015, which I will write up soon, showing the consistently marvellous quality of this wine that so accurately reflects each vintage's growing conditions. This is the currently available wine, with a gorgeous fragrance of cedar and gentle floral notes, the violet and lift of kirsch, some coffee and chocolate, but it's one of those wines where the fruit drives the palate, loaded with dry, smooth tannins and acidity, but such a plush picture of natural concentration and balance. A great wine with 10 years ageing potential.