This week’s column is for those who love searching for good quaffing bargains, rather than serious wine – with dry whites, rosé and reds all under £6 – and some even under a fiver – to suit all styles:
Rias Baixas, NW Spain: The Exquisite Collection Albarino 2015 - STAR BUY
Looking for a dry, zesty white with crisp acid and rich textural depth under £6? You can’t go wrong with the popular albarino grape from Galicia and this bargain example certainly fits the bill. With peach and apple flavours plus floral, herby undertones, there’s a good glycerol feel on the palate making it a match for scallops or monkfish.
£5.99, Aldi, online offer, £5.29
Western Cape, South Africa: Waitrose South African Chenin Blanc 2015
Popular in our tasting with those who like dry, racy whites. This unoaked chenin blanc is nothing serious, but an ideal quaffer for an aperitif or to go with a summer salad. It hails from a Fairtrade vineyard too.
Republic of Moldova: Chateau Vartely Feteasca Regala 2015 - STAR BUY
The surprise of the tasting. With blossomy hay aromas, a soft ripe fruit palate, this was smooth, silky and very fresh: a unanimous winner with our tasters. This shows the potential of feteasca regala, a grape created in the 1930s and usually found in Romania. Over the border in Moldova in its Codru region, Nicolai Ciornii proves that he can create a just off-dry white with some style at a brilliant price.
£5.75, The Wine Society
Central Valley, Chile: Vina Maipo Sauvignon Blanc 2015
This clean linear Chilean sauvignon blanc from the Vina Maipo range was dubbed “acceptable as a quaffing aperitif”. Zippy and fresh, said tasters; serve it well-chilled to enjoy its zestiness.
£4.75, Sainsbury’s; Tesco
Mosel, Germany: Dr Loosen Riesling 2014
This entry-level Mosel riesling was pitched against Pfalz-based Devil’s Rock riesling in our tasting. Dr Loosen’s Mosel shone out with its light floral notes, just off-dry style, racy and fresh notes, hint of minerality and very modest alcohol.
£5.98, reduced from £7, Asda until 14 July
Western Cape, South Africa: La Meridionale Chenin Blanc/Grenache Blanc/Roussanne 2015
Very acceptable at this price level for this exotic fruit flavoured chenin blanc with just a hint of oak; some sweetness lingering here, but that might suit some palates. Tasters enjoyed its ‘juiciness’ and ‘melony fruits.’
Côtes de Gascogne, SW France: Vin De Pays Du Gers 2014
Ugni blanc and colombard are not the wine world’s most exciting grapes, but they are perfectly suited to creating light bodied, appley dry, unoaked whites. Very easy, approachable and light in alcohol; tasters found this ‘tangy’ and eminently quaffable for the price.
£5.50, Marks & Spencer
Navarra, Spain: Senorio De Sarria Rosado 2015
The best of a bad bunch. Many of the rosés in this tasting were far too sweet, but this deep dark Navarra garnacha-based rosé is vibrantly fruity without being too sickly, with a good dry finish; very quaffable and pretty good for the price.
£5.95, The Wine Society
Mendoza, Argentina: Extra Special Mendoza Malbec 2014
For a cheap quaffing malbec this holds the cards at this price. Deep dark colour, plenty of ripe blackcurrant and damson fruits, velvet lushness on the palate and the finish is moderately long.
Zaragoza, Spain: 3C Carinena 2014 - STAR BUY
A very high scorer in our tasting. This Spanish red is brilliant value: youthful, juicy, warm baked fruits on entry, and bags of flavour for your money. An all-round celebration of carinena: the name of the grape, the village and the appellation.
£5.25, The Wine Society
Central Valley, Chile: Estevez Pinot Noir Reserva
Robust, hefty cherry fruits, sweet jammy palate, not an elegant pinot but lots of rumbustious rich, ripe fruits.
£4.99, Aldi; online offer, £4.79
Campo de Borja, Spain: Gran Vista Garnacha 2015
This garnacha smells really youthful “just out of the vat” said one taster: peardrop and cherry notes with a sweet, juicy, fruit palate, quite grapey and a touch peppery. From the Campo de Borja region.
Dealurile Munteniei, Romania: Waitrose Romanian Pinot Noir 2015 - STAR BUY
Smells of peardrops and raspberries, very smooth silky palate, light bodied and undemanding as you would expect from a Romanian pinot at this price.
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