Languedoc, France: Clos Bagatelle
This family domaine has been growing vines since 1623. Eight centuries later it is run by brother and sister Christine Deleuze and Luc Simon. Their aromatic Clos Bagatelle Blanc 2014 (£13.95, Vino Wines, Edinburgh, www.vinowines.co.uk) comes from a sandstone plot of old vines.
West Sussex, England: Wiston Estate
Winemaker Dermot Sugrue (who worked at Nyetimber) has done wonders with the fruit from Wiston. Growing chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier vines on cretaceous chalk, Sugrue is currently crafting the finest vintage rosé in the UK: Wiston Estate Rosé 2011 (£35.95, Corney & Barrow, Ayr and Pathhead).
Thrace, Bulgaria: Eduardo Miroglio
Italian Eduardo Miroglio has invested €22 million in this Thracian venture, planting 220 hectares of vineyards near Nova Zagora in 2002. His merlot, mavrud and pinot noir are the best reds I have tasted from Bulgaria to date: Bargain buy Soli Pinot Noir 2012 Eduardo Miroglio (£9.95, The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com) has rich morello cherry fruits.
Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Bodegas Aster
It is hard to find such good affordable Ribera del Duero today, other than from this remarkable new estate. Try the rich, liquoricey, mellow mature One Ribera Reserva 2009 (£11.75, Oddbins).
Piedmont, Italy: E Pira Chiara Boschis
Chiara Boschis has revitalised the venerable old firm of E Pira based in Barolo. Now working with her brother Giorgio, they tend two impressive vineyards, Cannubi and Via Nuova, making very feminine, elegant styles of barolo, including Barolo Via Nuova (£44.95, Berry Bros & Rudd).
Alentejo, Portugal: Cortes De Cima
Dane Hans Jorgenson and his Californian wife Carrie bought 130 hectares in Alentejo, Portugal and turned it into a wonderful winery which deserves to be better known. Cortes de Cima Syrah 2012 (£11.49, Waitrose) is my favourite.
Traisental, Austria: Markus Huber
Markus is a dynamic young Austrian winemaker who really impressed tasters on our Austrian tour. Based in Reichersdorf in Traisental, Huber, inset, makes beautiful elegant, precise wines at affordable prices. Sainsbury’s great value own label Taste the Difference Gruner Veltliner (£8, Sainsbury’s) is made by Huber. You can also find Markus Huber Gruner Veltliner in Waitrose (£10.75).
Maipo, Chile: De Martino
Surely Chile’s most progressive estate, where Sebastian and Marcus de Martino are pushing the boundaries. They own vineyards across various regions – Elqui, Maipo, Limari and Itata. Legado Reserva Carmenere 2012 (£10.95, Berry Bros & Rudd) is a great value, food-friendly, carmenere.
Central Otago, New Zealand: Terra Sancta
This estate was my favourite newcomer in a tasting of 37 Central Otago wineries. Their Shingle Beach Pinot Noir 2012 has distinctive spice and black plummy fruits, as does its benchmark pinot, Terra Sancta Pinot Noir 2012 (£27.90, www.thenewzealandcellar.co.uk).
Walker Bay, South Africa: Crystallum
Established by Peter-Allan and Andrew Finlayson in 2007, they began with sauvignon blanc but now concentrate on Burgundian grapes in their Cape winery. Try silky citric Crystallum Agnes Chardonnay (£20.49,
Clare Valley, Australia: Clos Clare
Brothers Tom and Sam Barry, grandsons of the famous Jim Barry, run this boutique winery in the corner of historic Florita Vineyard in Watervale. Their five-acre plot has 43-year-old dry-grown vines and produces challenging shiraz and riesling. Just 500 cases are made of the latter, a wine with incredible fruit purity, nerve tingling acidity, depth and concentration, Clos Clare Riesling 2012 (£22.95, www.leaandsandeman.co.uk; www.hallowedground.co.uk).
Mendoza, Argentina: Vinalba
If you love malbec, you must taste Herve J Fabre’s wines. Trained in Bordeaux, he arrived in Argentina in the early 1990s, built his first winery, Fabre Montmayou, and now is leading the field for consistency and value in both Mendoza and Patagonia. His Malbec Gran Reservado 2011 (£13.49/£17.99, Majestic Wine) is a benchmark muscular malbec – but for something a bit different and cooler try his excellent new Patagonia Malbec/Syrah 2012 (£8.98, Asda).
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