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Top 10 wines in the UK press

 Mullineux Schist 2011 Swartland, South Africa

Writing in The Telegraph Victoria Moore picked out three of the best deals on South African wines this week ranging from a pricey £64 to a manageable £6.99.

At the top end was this South African Syrah from the Mullineux family vineyard.

She said: “Demanding to be considered as a peer to a good northern Rhône, this Syrah comes from impressive wife and husband team Andrea and Chris Mullineux.

“Made from grapes grown on schist, it’s a mightier, more chiselled wine than its “granite” sibling.

“Expressive, violet-scented – quite a wine.”

Price: £64.50 at Berry Bros & Rudd, £58.95 at Handford




Finest* Reserve Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 S Africa

Moore’s middle of the range recommendation was this Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa’s Stellenbosch.

She said: “I am a huge fan of Vergelegen who make this beautiful Cabernet-with-a-dash-of-Merlot for Tesco.

“It’s as well-cut as a good suit, slightly smoky, with a tang reminiscent of green peppers.

“I often buy it to posh up a chilli con carne (my brother’s recipe: braising steak; two squares of plain chocolate).

“Very classy stuff.”

Price: £14.99, Tesco

Porcupine Ridge Syrah-Viognier 2012 Western Cape, South Africa

For bargain hunters this “floral” Syrah-Viognier got Moore’s vote.

She said: “This robust red wine is made by Marc Kent’s Boekenhoutskloof.

“It’s been a banker for a few years and the current vintage is particularly good. Slightly smoky, dense, punchy with flavour and with an aromatic lift that comes from the use of a little floral viognier.

“A cold night sausage and mash wine.”

Price: £6.99 down from £8.99 when you buy two at Majestic.

Domaine François Raquillet Bourgogne Rouge, France 2010

David Williams writing in The Observer, this week focused on wines made form the notoriously temperamental yet revered Pinot Noir grape.  

Of this “entry-level” 2010 red Burgundy, he said: “Pinot Noir, specifically the red wines made from the variety in Burgundy, does funny things to otherwise sane people.

“There’s something about the flavours –sometimes floral, sometimes earthy, sometimes just barely perceptibly animal – and the texture – like the sheerest silk –that triggers compulsion, or amour fou, in those who have had their heads turned by the best bottles.

“It can be a financially ruinous affair. Because it requires exceptional skill on the part of the winemaker, and because it is particularly finicky about where it grows, Pinot Noir tends to be expensive: it’s no surprise that the recently convicted American wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan focused on top burgundy for his lucrative fakery.

“As the Burgundians descend on London to show off their latest, small but apparently high-quality vintage (2012) to their British customers ahead of its release, François Raquillet’s entry-level 2010 Pinot is what passes for a bargain red in the region, offering that inimitable fleet-footed, gliding sensation and fragrant red fruit.”

Price: £15.75, Lea & Sandeman

Frunza Pinot Noir, Romania, 2012

For a budget Pinot Noir Williams recommended this Romanian Frunza.

He said: “For a quick pinot fix under £10, steer clear of the thin and mean cheap burgundy and sweet jammy supermarket Kiwis in favour of the succulent German Palataia Pinot Noir, Pfalz 2012 (£8.99, Marks & Spencer), or the simple but cheerfully cherry-fruited Romanian Frunza.”

Price: £6.50, Oddbins

 2012 Riesling QbA Dry, Reichsrat Von Buhl, Pfalz, Germany

If sweet wines are your thing then this week’s recommendations by Matthew Jukes, writing in The Daily Mail, will be right up your street..

Among his four sweet finds was this 2012 Riesling from Pfalz in Germany.

He said: “Von Buhl makes scintillating wines and this dry Riesling shows the magical properties of this awe-inspiring grape off to a tee.

“With pinpoint accurate citrus fruit you need to rustle up the sesame crusted salmon, prawn and orange stir fry and marvel at the synergy of this food and wine combination.”

Price: £11.95, Great Western Wine tel. 01225 322810,

2011 Dourthe Réserve, Montagne Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France

Pictured: 2008 vintage

Sneaking into an otherwise sweet wine line up from Jukes was this “remarkable” Bordeaux from Saint-Emilion.

He said: “On Wednesday, this stunning Merlot-Cabernet blend goes on sale and you must snap it up.

“With a succulent, blackberry nose and palate and a cool, earthy finish this is a remarkable red Bordeaux.

“Coming from Montagne Saint-Emilion, one of the so-called satellite regions of Saint-Emilion proper, the wines from this sub-region often have superb flavours but without the hefty price tag of its more famous neighbour region.”

Price: £10.99, reduced to £8.26 until 11 February at Waitrose

Old Bush Vine Grenache Yalumba 2012

Writing in The Independent Terry Kirby looked to the end of “dry January” urging his readers to treat themselves to his pick of Australian wines come 1 February. 

Among wines recommended was this red from the Barossa Valley.

He said: “First, from aged Barossa Valley vines, there is a lovely balance here between a meaty, intense structure and juicy, spicy red-fruit flavours coupled with a nice long finish.”

Price: £10.99 (each for two bottles as part of purchase of six mixed bottles; normally £13.74),

Red and Black Agiorgitiko Nemea 2012

Perfect with a midweek meal, Kirby recommended this Greek red made from the Agiorgitiko grape.

He said: “A brilliant modern Greek red, showcasing the huge potential of the country for making great wine.

“Vibrant and fruit-driven, but with serious layers of flavour and intriguing soft smokiness.

“Make a proper moussaka – Greek comfort food – to go with it.”

Price: £8.99, Marks &Spencer

Saint-Roch Côtes Du Roussillon 2012

Finally, if you are looking for an everyday wine, Kirby recommends this French Grenache-Syrah blend.

He said: “More Grenache here, in its home in the sunny south of France and paired with Syrah to create a very approachable, very traditional blend from the region: medium-bodied, dark fruits, some touches of spice and herbs.

“A more or less perfect everyday wine.”

Price: £6.99, Morrisons


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