Top 10 wines in the UK press
2013 Morrisons Signature Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore, Italy
Kicking off this week’s top 10 wines in the UK press is Hamish Anderson, who recommended three “summer party reds for under £8”, including this bargain-priced Italian Sangiovese, writing in The Telegraph.
He said: “Sangiovese’s most famous expression is in Chianti. This comes from farther north, to the south-east of Bologna, and delivers a lot more, at this price, than you would get in Tuscany. Red cherries, leather and savoury spice provide lots of interest at such a lowly price – it is a cliché, but it works fantastically with pizza.”
2013 Tesco Beaujolais-Villages, France
Pushing up to £6.49, Anderson recommended Tesco’s 2013 Beaujolais which he described as “lightweight and moreish”.
He said: “There’s more to wine collecting than Bordeaux Barnebys. 2013 is generally a poor vintage throughout Europe, low on quality and volume. As ever there are exceptions and beaujolais seems to be one of them. This is a fantastically bright, lightweight, moreish wine with fresh loganberries and a typical twist of spice – serve cool rather than fridge cold.”
2013 Valpolicella Valpantena, Cantina Valpantena, Italy
Anderson’s last recommendation was for this Italian Valpolicella, which he said was a “treat” with cured meats.
He said: “Valpolicella comes in many guises; the higher-priced aspire to be taken seriously. This aims for nothing more than to offer instant quaffing pleasure. It delivers with black cherries, earth and plums. Mid-weight, it will benefit from an hour in the fridge on a warm day and will be a treat with cured meats.”
Price: £7.99, M&S
2013 Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc, Languedoc, France
Moving on the The Scotsman, drinks writer Brian Elliott chose to highlight the winemaking region of Jura – a tiny stretch of land in eastern France between Dijon and Switzerland – which he said had become “trendy” in recent years.
With native grapes such as Trousseau and Ploussard, Elliott said it was an area that offers an “interesting and unusual wine out of all proportion to the region’s small size.”
Moving onto Elliott’s wine picks of the week, he first recommended this 2013 Gris Blanc, of which he said: “Almost too pale to be called a rosé, here Grenache (Noir and Gris) deliver a beautifully light and fresh glassful so typical of southern France.
“After a perfumed opening, its strawberry and currant fruit kicks in to provide rosé for grown ups – gentle, dry and with a food-friendly, savoury edge.”
Price: £10.49 at Inverarity One to One, Glasgow
2013 Finest* Chateau Palatio Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France
Another of Elliott’s recommendations was this Tesco Finest* Muscadet from the Loire.
He said: “After eons in the wilderness, Muscadet is trendy again and this nicely balanced version illustrates exactly why. Skilfully judged acidity gives freshness to the wine’s soft, apple-based fruit, but the six months spent on the “lees” provides that characteristic depth and substance.”
Price: £7.69 at Tesco
Kumeu River Pinot Gris 2011, New Zealdn
Terry Kirby, writing in The Independent, said this “rich, complex and luscious” New Zealand Pinot Gris would be perfect to enjoy over Sunday lunch.
He said: “Utterly different from its mostly rather lightweight and insipid Italian version, Pinot Grigio, this rendering of the Kiwi clone is sumptuously aromatic, blessed with smoky, almost spicy flavours and plenty of tropical fruits. Rich, complex and luscious, it is a great white for a roast pork or a prime fish for a summer lunch in the garden.”
Price: £12.95, thewinesociety.com; £14.20, tanners-wines.co.uk
Villa Blanche Pinot Noir 2013, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Suited to enjoy over a midweek meal, Kirby recommended this moderately priced French Pinot Noir.
He said: “Amid all the chilled wines of high summer, sometimes one craves a slightly more full-bodied red, but one that does not seem overbearing when it’s a warm day. Step forward this balanced Pinot from the Languedoc – medium-bodied, flavours of cherries dipped in chocolate and a bit of tannic backbone. Barbecued lamb and anything with Middle Eastern spicing would be ideal.”
Price: £8.99, Waitrose
Tagus Creek Shiraz Touriga Nacional Rose 2011, Portugal
Kirby’s “bargain basement” wine pick of the week was this Touriga Ncional Rosé priced, on offer, at just £4.50.
He said: “Sometimes we seek a rosé that isn’t all Provençal bone-dry and ethereally bodied style but a wine that is a little fuller and rounded, perhaps for more substantial food. Still very dry, but lots of juicy strawberries and raspberries here and unmissable for parties at the offer price.”
Price: £4.50 ( normally £6.25), Asda
Grand Cru Pascal Bouchard Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2011
The ever exuberant Olly Smith explored the world of Chablis, writing in the Daily Mail this week, a style he said was a “famously sharp and invigorating white wine”.
He said: “Burgundy’s northernmost outpost, Chablis ought to be easy to grasp – one grape, one place – but there are four different levels, starting with Petit Chablis, then Chablis, up to premier cru and finally grand cru. Flavours get richer and more intense with each level of classification. In years gone by, some of the entry-level wines could be even sharper than a razorblade of lemon peel, but I’ve found some pleasingly peachy examples of late.”
Of this grand cru Chablis he said: “Rich powerful white with a toasty hint and electrifying zing, Drink now or lay down for 10 years or more.”
Price: £29.99, Waitrose
2013 Domaine de Sainte Rose, Coquille d’Oc Rosé, France
Finally Matthew Jukes, writing in The Daily Mail, recommended this “delicious” rosé currently on offer at the “crazy price” of £5.59.
He said: “This refreshing, cheery rosé is reduced, for a few weeks, down to a crazy price and I urge you to stock up because this really is a delicious wine. With a smooth, cranberry and red cherry nose and a bright, crisp finish this is a terrific summer party wine.”
Price: £7.49, reduced to £5.59 until 7 August, Waitrose.