Rabl Gruner Veltliner 2018

Rabl Grüner Veltliner 2018, Kamptal, Austria, 12% (£9.50, Marks & Spencer) There was a time when the Grüner Veltliner grape variety was touted as the next big thing that was going to take over the wine world. It hasn’t really happened. Notwithstanding, it’s still a great grape to get...

Maury 1928 Solera

Maury Solera 1928 Cask 849, Les Vignerons de Maury, 17%, France (£19.95 for 50cl, Berry Bros & Rudd) The day after Kantar published research indicating a third of Brits wouldn’t countenance paying more than a fiver for a bottle of wine, I popped into Berry Bros &...

Ventoux 2017 Remy Ferbras

Ventoux 2017 Rémy Ferbras, France, 14% (£8.79, Waitrose) How’s about this, then? A mini Châteauneuf-du-Pape under a tenner. A fine way to warm the cockles and delight the taste buds during the winter season ahead. It’s a blend of mainly Grenache with 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, grown on...

Chateau Tayet 2015 magnum

Château Tayet Cuvée Prestige Bordeaux Supérieur 2015, France (£38.50, Private Cellar) Last week saw The Bunch’s annual tasting at which Private Cellar (new to the group) showed this magnum of Château Tayet. It's a blend of 55% Merlot with 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, described as...

Bin 003 Ribolla Gialla 2018

Bin #003 Ribolla Gialla 2018, Italy, 12.5% (£9.50, The Wine Society) This is the third edition of the Wine Society’s new experimental ‘Bin’ range dedicated to quirky varieties and wines and it’s the most successful to date. Ribolla Gialla is an ancient but little known white variety grown...

Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2016

Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2016, 13%, Australia (£13, Booths) Based in the north of England, Booths is known for its wine range and rightly so. Based on the supermarket’s recent tasting in September 2019, the wine range shows strength and depth, with some particular high points in the...

Salicornia Dao Reserva 2016

Salicornia Dão Reserva 2016, 13%, Portugal (£6.99, Aldi) This was my pick of the bunch from a recent Aldi tasting (Sept 2019). As the nights draw in and we all start to crave characterful, comforting reds to sink into, this one ticks all the boxes.  It’s Portuguese (made from...

Blackbook Clayhill Chardonnay 2017

Blackwood Clayhill Chardonnay 2017, 11.5%, England (£18.50, blackbookwinery.com) This is a wine that gets us excited - for many reasons. Firstly, it's made from Chardonnay.  We're aware that may be problematic for those many people traumatised by soupy, sickly, revolting Chardonnays of the past. But this isn't just any...

Louis Guntrum Pinot Noir 2017

Louis Guntrum Pinot Noir 2017, 13.5%, Rheinhessen, Germany (£13.99 down to £10.49 until 16.7.2019, Waitrose Cellar) Is Pinot Noir the wine lover's ultimate grape?  And, if so, where do you find great value bottles of the same? A short while ago, I posed these questions on social media.  In answer...

Roebuck Estates Classic Cuvée 2014

Roebuck Estates Classic Cuvée 2014, 12%, Sussex, UK (Enquiries via website) One of the wonderful things about working in wine is the potential for making new discoveries. Roebuck Estates is my most recent. Until mid-June, I hadn’t heard of Roebuck. It was only after chairing the WineGB Awards...

Chapel Down Bacchus 2018

Chapel Down Bacchus 2018, 12.5%, England (from £12, Sainsbury's, Ocado, Waitrose) Bacchus is a fascinating grape. It's originally from Germany but the UK seems to have co-opted it as its own and now it's England's answer to Sauvignon Blanc - aromatic, tangy and seemingly able to capture...

Nero Oro Appassimento 2017

Nero Oro Appassimento 2017, 14%, Sicily, Italy (£8.99, Majestic) For those who like their reds a bit smoother and richer, this is for you. It makes a really versatile drinking partner for many dishes – partly because the appassimento (drying the grapes) gives a bit of richness and...

Naoussa Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2016

Naoussa Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2016, Apostolos Thymiopolous 13.5%, Greece (£15.50, The Wine Society) The Greek grape variety Xinomavro literally translates as ‘sour black’. So this gives you some idea of the kind of punch it can pack. (Susie describes it as, ‘like Nebbiolo on speed’.) This rendition is pretty...

Mas Martinet Bru 2016

Mas Martinet Bru 2016, 14.5%, Priorato, Spain ($39, €18-22, £18.68 Justerini & Brooks) Catalonia is one of our favourite wine regions on the planet. It’s such a beautiful part of the world. Amazing food and wine. Wonderful people. A Mediterranean coastline that veers from the tourisy to the...