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Top 10 wines in the UK press

Undurraga TH Maule Carignan, Chile 2011

“The finer wines from Chile are getting seriously good”, said David Williams writing in The Guardian, before recommending this Carignan from the Loncomillo and Cauquenes sub-regions of Maule.

“One of the key members of Chile’s new wave, the De Martinos were also among the first to explore the potential of the neglected stock of old Carignan vines in the traditional winemaking area of the Maule Valley”, he said. “Dense, multilayered, spicy, rich and chewy, the results, in a wine such as De Martino Vigno 2012 (£23.95,Berry Bros & Rudd), have a Mediterranean feel to them, with earthy and herbal tones. These typical old-vine qualities are also apparent in Undurraga’s version from the Loncomillo and Cauquenes sub-regions of Maule, which has a winning berry succulence, liquorice, spice and hearty tannins.”

Price: £13.15, H2Vin

Montes Outer Limits Old Roots Cinsault, Chile 2014

Another of Williams’ Chile wine picks was this “graceful” Old Roots Cinsault from Montes.

“Producers in Itata are experimenting with techniques such as ageing in clay amphorae (De Martino again, with their brilliant Viejas Tinajas wines, a Cinsault and a Moscatel, from Berry Bros & Rudd and Joseph Barnes Wines), or working with very few chemicals (such as the low-sulphur Rogue Vine Grand Itata Blanco 2013, £17.50, St Andrews Wine Company). Nowhere else in the world is making a speciality of Muscat for whites and the unheralded Cinsault for reds, with the latter crafted into a delightful, graceful, perfumed cherry-berry lighter style by Montes.”

Price: £16.50, Adnams

Mionetto Extra Dry

Fiona Beckett gave a crash course on affordable sparkling wine, also writing in the The Guardian, pointing out that Cava is “cheaper (and often better) than Prosecco but doesn’t sound as posh”.

“Franciacorta – its natural successor – is quite a bit pricier”, she said. “There is a place for Prosecco. Because it’s sweeter than other sparkling wines it’s perfect for tea parties, so if you’re planning a christening or any other celebration that involves eating cake, look out (perhaps surprisingly) for extra dry bottlings which are actually sweeter than brut. A good example is the smartly packaged Mionetto Extra Dry, a good-looking example but I’d wait for a deal on it.”

Price: £13.49, Tesco

Daniel Chotard Sancerre Rosé 2014, France

Victoria Moore, writing for The Telegraph, set out her case for why 2014 is “a stellar year for Loire wines”, which she said was the region’s best in years.

“The 2014 vintage in the Loire was very good indeed”, she said. “Lovers of grass-and-gunflint sauvignon blanc and summer-pudding-scented Cabernet Franc: you’re in for a treat.”

Recommending this bottle of Sancerre, Moore said: “Rosé Sancerre is never cheap, but when it’s this good, it hits an “I don’t care how much this is, it’s magical” button. Haunting and elegant, made entirely from pinot noir, just tasting of cherry blossom, this pale pink wine makes a mesmerising early evening drink.”

Price: Berry Bros & Rudd, £17.50

Sainsbury’s taste the difference verdicchio classico 2014, Italy

Moving from France to Italy, Moore recommended this “herbaceous, un-oaked” Verdicchio Classico.

“A bit of lemon, thyme and basil in here, and a clipped, staccato style”, she said. “I hope we’re going to have some more sun before summer’s out: if so, here’s the wine for that mozzarella, basil and tomato salad.”

Price:Sainsbury’s, £8 or two for £12

Palladino, Biferno Rosso Riserva 2009, Molise, Italy

Tom Cannavan, writing in the Huffington Post, recommended this “wonderful, fruity red” from Biferno, a tiny appellation in the centre-south of Italy next door to Abruzzo, made from a blend of Montepulciano, Aglianico and the white grape Trebbiano.

“Intriguingly, though it’s a 2009 vintage given long ageing in both barrel and bottle, it has also been ‘refreshed’ with a little young wine”, he said. “The result is a wonderfully aromatic and seductive wine with cherry and floral lift, but a deep, plum and liquorice richness of fruit and sily texture, the tannins mellowed into a flowing molten mass into the finish.”
Price: £7.50, The Wine Society

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2012, Australia

Terry Kirby recommended a selection of “light, approachable and chillable reds for summer drinking” writing in The Independent, including this Australian Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley.

“Smells like Burgundy, tastes a lot like Burgundy… and reveals how the Aussies have cracked the world’s most difficult grape”, said Kirby. “Rustic aromas, succulent berry fruits, depth of flavour, a long, lip-smacking finish. Goes with roast duck, charcuterie or, indeed, the first grouse of the season.”

Price: £17.99,

Domaine Grand Poulsard 2013, France

“A terrific gem from the Jura in eastern France”, wrote Kirby of this wine from Domaine Grand Poulsard.

“A supremely light red, bursting with succulent cherry and raspberry-fruit flavours that needs a good hour chilling in the fridge to bring out its character. A great red for more complex fish dishes or lighter meats such as veal escalopes.”

Price: £14, Marks & Spencer

2013 Running With Bulls, Tempranillo, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Matthew Jukes, writing in the Daily Mail, recommended this “rare example” of a Tempranillo produced outside of Spain which he said “will set your pulse racing”.

“The Tempranillo grape rarely impresses outside Spain, but this amazing wine would actually put a number of Riojas to shame, such is its impressive, plummy flavour and silky texture. It is a cracker with Stanley’s Shepherd’s pie recipe, too.”

Price: From £11.00, Camber Wines, House of Townend, Christopher Piper

2013 Tyrrell’s, Lost Block Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Finally, Jukes recommended this Semillion from Australia’s Hunter Valley, a region that to his mind produces the “most interesting and best value dry versions” of the variety.

“The Semillon grape makes both dry and sweet wines of the very highest calibre”, he said. “The most famous come from Bordeaux, but for my money, the most interesting and best value dry versions are found in the Hunter Valley in Australia. Unoaked, packed with thrilling, dry, lime juice-kissed fruit this is an epic example from the iconic producer Tyrrell’s.”

Price: From £11.70,, Rodney Fletcher Vintners,,

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