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Top 10 wines in the UK press

Jean-Luc Baldes Malbec du Clos Cahors

The Sunday Times’ Rachel Walker praises the majesty of Malbec in this week’s ST Magazine. She describes this example from Jean-Luc Baldes as “rustic and chewy” with a “farmyard nose and plenty of muscle”.

The “complex and great-value wine) displays “dark bramble and damson notes”.

£9 & Waitrose 

Château de Cedre Malbec 2011

This “medium-body red” is up next in Walker’s list, described as “rich with with sour cherry and dark green herbs and laced with a hint of spice”.

£17, Lea & Sandeman

Cahors Clos la Coutale 2012

And in her final pick of the week, Walker praises the addition of Merlot and Tannat that give “real depth of flavour to this red”.

“It’s bursting with tart blackcurrant flavours, offset by a gentle earthiness.”

£8, The Wine Society

Pignoletto Brut Taste the Difference

Next up is Terry Kirby of The Independent, who picks his three top festive sparkling wines, beginning with this “party Prosecco”.

“Technically vino spumante, but Prosecco by any other name”, he begins, but “partygoers are hardly likely to quibble once they taste the delightfully fresh bubbles and vibrant apple and stone-fruit flavours.”

“It also makes a great Bellini”, he continues, “just add peach juice.”

£9, Sainsbury’s

Henners Brut 2010

Next is an English sparkling, which is becoming an increasingly common recommendation from our wine writers.

“This sparkler from East Sussex-based Henners is as light and ethereal as a spring day, with effervescent citrus flavours.

“Drink while opening presents on Christmas morning, with oysters or smoked salmon.”

£18 (normally £28), Wine Trust 100; £29.99, Virgin Wines

Taittinger Prestige Rosé Brut NV

And in his final sparkling choice, Kirby opts fpr a pink Champagne that makes a “wonderful aperitif at any time”.

It makes a special festive meal “even more so with its uplifting strawberry and raspberry flavours, toasty overlay and tight, bright bubbles. Savour on its own or with canapés.”

£37.50, The Champagne Company; £48.99, Waitrose

Nemea Aivalis Red, Nemea, Greece 2012 

It’s the “indie kings” being hailed by The Observer wine writer David Williams this week, with the “little guy revenge stories” catching his eye as small independent importers fight back against what he calls “the rise of ruthless big business” in the wine trade.

“Set up by Maria Moutsou as a sideline to her profession as a doctor, Southern Wine Roads is typical of the breed,” offering a personal collection of producers from Moutsou’s native Greece, of which this “velvety red plum and bergamot-scented red” is described as a “highlight”.

£15.60, Southern Wine Roads

Michelini Brothers Via Revolucionaria Torrontés Brutal, Argentina 2013 

Next is this wine offered up by Las Bodegas, “the first British company to specialise in the smaller producers” in Argentina.

“The three winemaking Michelini brothers, who work together and on their own projects high up in the Andes in the Uco Valley region of Mendoza, are very much in this experimental camp” he continues.

“Their Demente Blend 2012 is a deep and fragrant red; Matias Michelini’s solo Torrontés is a herbal, floral, slightly chewy, original white treat.”

£14.99, Selfridges

Movia Gredič Brda Primorska, Slovenia 2012

Based on the Isle of Wight, Swede Jan Lindfeldt is “interested in winemaking philosophy: organic, biodynamic and low-additive natural wines”.

The “standout” of the range is Slovenian Aleš Kristančič, “whose Movia estate in Brda straddles the border with Italy, and produces such delights as the honeyed orchard fruit of Gredic white, or the mellow Movia Merlot 2008,” he writes.

£11, Meadowdale Wines

2014 Château de Flaugergues Blanc, Languedoc, France 

And finally, choosing the perfect pairing for party food, Matthew Jukes of the Daily Mail describes this as one of the most “magical and alluring white wines on the High Street.

“The floral aroma and palate are both subtle and transcendent. Allow them to grow on your palate and you will sense serious class and style.”

£9.00, Marks & Spencer

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