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Top 10 wines in the UK press

Kumeu Village Chardonnay, Auckland, New Zealand 2010

David Williams, writing in The Observer this week, went in search of a trio of “unBurgundian Chardonnays” in a bid to offer alternatives to Chardonnay Burgundy that “capture the essence but not the price”.

Of this New Zealand Chardonnay he said: “Although dwarfed in quantity by Sauvignon Blanc, the Kiwis make genuinely fine wines from Chardonnay.

“So good, in fact, I have a feeling that once the sauvignon bubble has burst, it will be chardonnay we associate most closely with New Zealand. “The Brajkovich family at Kumeu River are one of a handful of chardonnay specialists and their top wines rank alongside the best of Burgundy.

“As the name suggests, this wine compares to the Burgundian “village” rather than “grand” or “premier cru” labels, but it’s a nervy, nutty bargain that is very far from vin ordinaire.”

Price: £9.50,

Overnoy Houillon Arbois Pupillin Vieilles Vignes, Jura, France 2011

Another recommendation by Williams was this white Chardonnay from Jura in France which he proclaimed to be one of the best whites he had ever tried.

He said: “The Chardonnay that has impressed me most so far this year – one of the best whites I’ve tried of any kind in fact – is this impeccably pure and graceful bottle from a tiny producer in the Jura region east of Burgundy.

“Impeccable is the operative word here, since this is a “natural wine” produced with a minimal intervention philosophy that is often criticised for producing “dirty”, “stinky” or, more politely, “funky” brews. Made without the sulphur that conventional wines use as a preservative, this couldn’t be further from the stereotype: it feels unforced, effortless, full of life.”

Price: £23,

2013 Willing Participant, Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

For Matthew Jukes, writing in the Daily Mail, it was all about finding “second label wines made by world class wineries.”

He said: “Famous companies making ‘second label’ or ‘diffusion brand’ wines – they all offer great value and incredible expertise in every glass.  This is a very smart way of drinking elite wine for a reasonable spend!

Of this 2012 Pinot Noir he said: “This delightful Pinot Noir is made for Waitrose by the highly skilled team at Innocent Bystander in the idyllic Yarra Valley outside Melbourne.

“With all of the classic hallmarks that make this grape so delicious, like wild strawberries and cherries and a heavenly, silky texture, this is one of the finest value versions on the shelves today.”

Price: £11.99, Waitrose

2011 Heirloom, Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Another recommendation by Jukes was this “tender” Shiraz from Australia’s Barossa Valley.

He said: “The 2011 vintage was not a hot one so this wine is less pumped up and muscular than the 2010.  This means that renowned winemaker Elena Brooks has engendered a harmonious, genial character into the wine with a more aromatic nose and a silkier, gentler, blackberry-themed palate.  I really like the tender side of Heirloom and I venture that you will fall for its charms, too.”

Price: £11.99, Tesco

ASDA Extra Special Crozes Hermitage 2008, Northern Rhône, France

Writing in The Scotsman, Rose Murray Brown chose a selection of “hearty, winter warming reds” which she said would pair well with with roasts, stews, spicy salami or mild curries.

She said: “It is rare to find a northern Rhône Syrah, combining character and approachability at this price. So many Crozes Hermitage, even more expensive ones, can be bitter on the finish, or just too young. This is packed with the spiciness and pepperiness that we expect from Syrah with a mature mellow black fruit, gamey undertone and a soft tannic finish.”

Price: £8.75, Asda

Diemersdal Pinotage 2012, Durbanville, South Africa

Another recommendation by Brown was this “intriguingly spicy” Pinotage from South Africa.

She said: “This long established estate (founded in 1698) has been run by the same family, the Louws, since the 19th century and is now run by its 5th and 6th generations.

“Currently better known for its delicious Sauvignon Blanc made in the Atlantic Ocean-influenced vineyards of Durbanville northeast of Cape Town, its Pinotage is intriguingly spicy, big, ripe and very well made with none of the acetone notes often associated with this grape.”

Price: £11.95, or £10.79

Viña Cobos, Felino Malbec 2012, Argentina

Tom Cannavan, writing in The Huffington Post UK, picked this “smooth” Argentine Malbec.

He said: “Partner and consultant winemaker for Viña Cobos in Mendoza in Argentina is Paul Hobbs of California, ex-winemaker for the glamorous Opus One, and who now brings a wonderful sheen of class and near perfection to all of the wines he makes.

“On the nose this is a gloriously pure expression of Malbec with violet, plum and cherry, and a layer of classy, creamy oak. On the palate this is so smooth, so svelte (the Barry White of red wines!) flooded with ripe and seductive berry fruit, but underpinned by silky tannic structure and well-balanced acidity that carries the 14.5% alcohol well.”

Price: £12.99 and £13.99

Finest Godello 2012 Galicia

Suzy Atkins, writing in The Telegraph, took the opportunity to highlight a few “exciting and complex” white wines of Spain including the “aromatic” Godello grape from Galicia, and Albarín (not the same as albariño, from Asturias.

Of this 2012 Godello she said: “This is an interesting blend of 93% Godello with seven per cent Treixadura; an aromatic, very dry un-oaked white with apple, lemon peel and a clean, fresh finish”

Price: Tesco, £7.49

El Rescatado Albarin 2013, Viño de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon

Another recommendation from Atkins was this white made from the rare Albarin grape, native to the valleys of the Picos de Europe in northern Spain, and grown within just 100 hectares of vineyards.

She said: “A more serious wine, elegantly poised with an appealing flavour of yellow pears and a trace of both peach and cinnamon. Delicious with delicate white fish.”

Price: Majestic, £12.99 or £9.99 each for two or more until 28 April

2010 Quinta dos Roques, Dão

Writing in The Telegraph, Hamish Anderson recommended this red from Portugal’s famed Dão region.

He said: “Dão is one of Portugal’s best red regions, known for its power and ability to age, and Roques is one of its finest producers. Thus, although this is their ‘entry-level’ bottling, it delivers plenty: rich brambly fruit, leather and black pepper. Its grip of tannin is best served alongside hearty food – steak or a rich stew.”

Price: £12.25, Oddbins

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