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Rose Murray Brown's 10 best wines for under £10

This week we tasted our way through scores of under £10 wines from across the supermarket ranges.

Published: June 13, 2015
Categories: ,

WHITE

South Australia: THE EXQUISITE COLLECTION CLARE VALLEY RIESLING 2014
(£6.99, Aldi)
When I first tasted this dry riesling in Aldi’s new collection, I could see they had struck gold. Sure enough, it won a gold medal at this year’s International Wine Challenge. This limey, crisp, zingy, dry riesling was selected by Aldi’s buyer, Dr Mike James, who has recently been hailed as the most influential person in the UK wine trade (Off Licence News). How times have changed. 12.5 per cent alcohol.
STAR BUY WHITE

Western Cape, South Africa: FAIRTRADE SIX HATS CHENIN BLANC 2014
(£8, Marks & Spencer)
This very appealing unoaked chenin blanc is made from Fairtrade certified vineyards in the far north of the Western Cape in remote Citrusdal. The ‘Six Hats’ on the label represent ‘partnership, change, potential, equity, dignity and sustainability’ which are the guiding principles of this partnership between renowned winemaker Charles Back of Fairview winery, Citrusdale Winery (where the wine is made) and the Fairtrade grape farmers. This was the most popular of several Cape chenin blancs in our tasting for its easy going, light, appley notes and creamy palate. 12.5 per cent alcohol.

Mendoza, Argentina: CALEIDOSCOPIC PINOT GRIGIO/FIANO/ALBARINO 2014
(£8, Marks & Spencer)
This is made by the Zuccardi winery, a family estate of Italian origin, based at Santa Rosa just outside Mendoza city in Argentina. Here they combine 60 per cent French pinot gris with 20 per cent Italian fiano and 20 per cent Spanish albarino to make a very enticing, refreshing, zippy white which our tasters thought made an ideal summer white aperitif. Fun label too. 13 per cent alcohol.

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ROSÉ

Stellenbosch, South Africa: RUSTENBERG PETIT VERDOT ROSÉ 2014
(£8.99, reduced from £10.99 until 30 June, Waitrose)
This is from a venerable old Cape estate known for its traditional style reds and focus on Bordeaux grapes. Petit verdot is a little known French grape often used in tiny proportions in Bordeaux blends to add a touch of pepper and spice. It is rarely used on its own, particularly as a rosé, but it works rather well; it’s medium dry, with a creamy texture and a firm finish. Its screwcap makes it a convenient picnic wine. 13.5 per cent alcohol. STAR BUY ROSÉ

Western Cape, South Africa: L’AVENIR PINOTAGE ROSÉ 2014
(£6.50, Sainsbury’s)
L’Avenir estate in Stellenbosch make pinotage its speciality, so no wonder when it came to making a rosé it chose this grape. This is surprisingly vibrant and crisp for such a thick-skinned grape, but with pinotage’s characteristic cherry and damson fruits. It actually works really well. The estate has always had a French slant to its winemaking, so this is made in the French Provençal style. L’Avenir also make a very pretty rosé fizz using pinotage in the blend.
13.5 per cent alcohol.

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RED

Limari Valley, Chile: TABALI ENCANTADO RESERVA SHIRAZ 2012
(£7.99, reduced from £9.99, until 30 June, Waitrose)
At 20 per cent off its normal price, this elegant, peppery shiraz is a great buy with the scent of wild cherry and floral tones. It’s spicy on the palate with very smooth velvety tannins. Tabali are among my favourite producers in Chile for ripe, lush, well-priced, easy quaffing styles. Try their Reserva chardonnay too, also currently on offer in Waitrose.
14 per cent alcohol.
STAR BUY RED

Mendoza, Argentina: FINCA EL ORIGEN MALBEC 2013
(£9.99, Marks & Spencer)
This was very popular in our tasting for its very rich, ripe, succulent fruits, almost dried fruit flavour and creamy vanilla notes from its short six months ageing in French and American oak. It’s made by Argentine winemaker Gonzales Bertelsen, who worked in Bordeaux, Napa and McLaren Vale before returning to his homeland. Grapes are grown in high altitude vineyards in the Uco Valley in the foothills of the Andes. Serve with mature cheddar cheese or venison with cranberries.
14 per cent alcohol.

Victoria, Australia: EXTRA SPECIAL YARRA VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2012
(£7.98, Asda)
We had quite a few pinot noirs in this tasting – including some of the UK’s bestsellers. This Asda own-label from the famous Yarra Valley made by de Bortoli really stole the show for its elegance and finesse. It has juicy sweetness like so many cheap Chilean pinots, but this Aussie blend has better structure, elegance and a longer finish. It’s hard to beat its bright cherry fruits and smooth silky softness.
13 per cent alcohol.

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Barossa Valley, Australia: EXTRA SPECIAL BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2013
(£5.98, Asda)
Again, we had several Australian shiraz in our tasting under various supermarket own labels. Asda achieved top marks once again for this rich, baked brambly shiraz with touches of vanilla on the finish from its American oak ageing.
13.5 per cent alcohol.

SWEET WHITE

New South Wales, Australia: TESCO FINEST DESSERT SEMILLON 2009
(£6.79, half bottle Tesco)
This sweet gem has won the great value trophy for best sweet wine under £10 at the International Wine Challenge again this year. Its apricot, honey and peach notes and rich sweetness with enough underlying acidity to keep the freshness is made by de Bortoli, the great sweet wine makers of Australia based in Riverina in New South Wales. 11 per cent alcohol.

• Join Rose’s wine tastings in Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews, www.rosemurraybrown.com

 

Rose Murray Brown is one of only 323 Masters of Wine worldwide and is the only one to host wine courses and regular wine tastings in Scotland.

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