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Top 10 wines in the UK press

Crémant de Loire Brut, Loire, France

Rose Murray Brown of The Scotsman has been scouring supermarket wine shelves for the best summer bargains this week including “unusual grapes and lesser-known regions”, all priced under £10.

Of this Crémant sparkler she said: “I used to recommend Aldi’s Cremant de Jura as the best bargain fizz around, but this new listing for Aldi is just as good value. Made from the Chenin Blanc grape, as Cremant de Loire is, it does have a pronounced acidity and zippy freshness, but it has enough creaminess on the palate to please. Serve as an aperitif or add a touch of cassis if you find it too tart for your taste.”

Price: £6.79, Aldi

Tesco Finest Grechetto 2013, Umbria, Italy

Murray Brown also recommended this “surprise find” from Tesco – an Italian white made from the native Grechetto variety.

“Grechetto is Umbria’s best white grape, which usually disappears into blends alongside Trebbiano or Chardonnay – or it can be found in the famous Vin Santo blends”, she said.

“On its own, it has a creamy honeyed palate and appley flavour, not dissimilar to Chenin Blanc – with crisp, fresh acidity. This dry wine also has that characteristic nuttiness that you find in Umbrian white wines.”

Price: £6.99 in store, or £5.99 online when you buy 6 at Tesco

Il Palazzone Rosso del Palazzone, Tuscany, Italy NV

Following the London Wine Fair a couple of weeks ago, David Williams, writing in The Observer, reveals his pick of the best wines on show, which included this “superb” Tuscan red.

“Whether it’s book-selling, hairdressing or arms selling, all trades have their big annual trade fair, events that tend to be more about aimless networking than buying or sampling the wares on show”, said Williams. “The UK wine trade’s version – the London Wine Fair – took place at Olympia at the end of May.

“And after years during which it had taken a depressingly corporate turn with very few interesting wines to taste, I have surprised myself in the past couple of years by coming away with a notebook bulging with new discoveries. This superb Tuscan red is one: a blend of two vintages from a noted producer of Brunello di Montalcino, it has all the deep cherry, herbs and savoury power of the best Sangiovese from the area at an unusually good price.”

Price: £13.99, Cambridge Wine

Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault, Chinon Blanc, Loire, France 2014

Williams also talked up this Chinon Blanc distributed in the UK by the Yapp bros, a family-run Wiltshire-based merchant that has been going since the 1970s.

“An early champion of what used to be called, somewhat patronisingly, “regional France”, Yapp is still arguably the best places in the UK to buy wines from the Loire, the Rhône and across the south”, said Williams.

“It had several fine examples on show: from classics such as Le Vieux Donjon’s top-flight Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Domaine Filiatreau’s delectable Loire Cabernet Franc; to curiosities such as this delightful spring fresh but super-tangy Loire Chenin, a rare but delicious example of a white wine from the red wine territory of Chinon.”

Price: £13.50, Yapp Bros

2014 Finest Fiano, Sicily, Italy

“Fiano is a thrilling Southern Italian white grape which makes gorgeously pungent, mildly-tropical wines with slim bodies and crunchy acidity”, wrote Matthew Jukes in the Daily Mail.

Elaborating on his liking for this bottle, Jukes said: “It manages to retain its acid in spite of the sunshine and this makes it the perfect accompaniment to seafood and fresh fish. This is the finest budget version on the shelves.”

Price: £5.49, Tesco

2014 Château du Galoupet, Cru Classé Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France

Another of Jukes’ picks was this rose from the Côtes de Provence, which to his mind makes “the finest rosés in the world”.

Of this example he said: “For a highly competitive price you can drink one of the most elegant wines of the year so far! Delicate, pure and very long – this is sophistication in a glass.”

Price: £12.60, reduced to £10.60 for a 3 bottle purchase until 15 June, Tanners

Tio Pepe Fino En Rama 2015 Jerez, Spain

Susy Atkins, writing in The Telegraph, dove into the world of Sherry this week, which she said is perfect for drinking on hot days.

“Fino and manzanilla, the palest, bone-dry, salty-fresh sherries, are among the world’s most palate-wakening aperitifs – thank goodness Britain has woken up to the need to serve them, as the Spanish do, straight from the fridge”, she said.

Of this limited en rama release from Tio Pepe Atkins said: “A limited release, properly refreshing and perky but with softer notes of hay, almond and yeast than is usual in fino. Delicious.”

Price: £15.95 for 75cl, The Whisky Exchange; Lea & Sandeman

Cayetano del Pino Palo Cortado Solera Reserva Lustau, Jerez, Spain

“Glorious, complex Sherry, light amber, with nutty nuances, a lick of sweet raisin and a long, fresh, dry finish that is enhanced by a light chill”, said Atkins of this Palo Cortado.

Price: £14.95 for 75cl, The Wine Society, 

The Society’s Exhibition Douro 2011

Terry Kirby recommended The Society’s Exhibition Douro from Portugal writing for The Independent. 

“From a long-established Douro estate, this red is made with traditional Port grapes, its quality underlined by 2011 being declared a vintage port year”, he said. “Full-bodied, deceptively elegant and complex with red fruits and a whisper of oak. A pork, chorizo and olive casserole or hard cheeses would be a good match.”

Price: £13.50,

Domaine de Mandeville Viognier Pays D’Oc 2013

Finally, Kirby put forward this 2013 white proclaiming that you “can almost taste the hot Mediterranean sun in this ripe, zesty Viognier from the South of France.”

He added: “Traditional flavours of apricots and honey are shot through with a hint of spice and smoke. Ideal with grilled mackerel or tuna, but also works well with lightly spiced Asian dishes.”

Price: £8, Marks & Spencer

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