92

2013 De Martino Viejas Tinajas Muscat, Itata Valley

( £10-15, 12.5%, Les Caves de Pyrene )

De Martino’s Viejas Tinajas project is producing some of Chile’s most interesting wines at the moment. This savoury, aromatic white has a touch of grapeskin bitterness to it that adds structure as well as a layer of complexity. It’s not a typical Muscat by any means: you can taste the grapey notes of the variety but they are subtle and restrained rather than overt. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Chile, White, Muscat à Petits Grains
90

2011 Vin de Corse Porto Vecchio, Domaine de Torraccia

( £13.95, 12.5%, Yapp Brothers )

A four-way Corsican blend of Grenache and Syrah with local Nielluccio and Sciacarello, this is savoury-sweet and complex with a hint of the unshaven rusticity that’s often a feature of the local wines. An unusual French wine that speaks with an Italian accent.

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Red, Grenache, Nielluccio, Sciacarello, Syrah/Shiraz
90

2012 Fowles Wine, Are You Game? Shiraz, Victoria

( N/A, 13.7%, Enotria & Coe )

Ignore the nudge nudge, wink wink name of this wine (it’s only a bit of fun anyway) and concentrate, instead, on what’s in the glass. Violets, bramble and some gentle spices, with a touch of cracked pepper make this a refreshing, easy drinking red. A dash of Tempranillo adds extra interest here.

Drinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Australia, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
90

2012 Innocent Bystander Syrah, Yarra Valley, Victoria

( N/A, 13%, Liberty Wines )

Phil Sexton’s Yarra Valley winery is one of the most innovative in the region. It’s got a lot of tourist appeal, but it’s wines are deadly serious, too. This is a typically elegant, refined red, with fine-grained tannins, subtle pepper spice and plush raspberry and blueberry flavours and a minerally, refreshing finish.

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
90

2013 Mission Estate Winery, Riesling, Hawkes Bay

( £11.50, 11.5%, Cockburn & Campbell )

Made in an off-dry style that is typical of New Zealand, this has impressive concentration and depth of flavour. It’s perfumed and floral, with the fruit sweetness balanced by acidity and freshness. Lime and toast are the dominant flavours here with a hint of tannin on the finish. 

Drinking window: 2014-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, New Zealand, White, Riesling
88

2011 Falua, Terius, Touriga Nacional, Tejo

( £8, 13.5%, Marks & Spencer )

The Tejo is not the first place you’d go in search of Touriga Nacional (a grape that’s more often associated with the Douro and Dão), but this is excellent value and packs a real punch at the price. Full bodied, firm and concentrated, it’s floral and perfumed with appealing balckberry fruit and good underlying structure, relying on fruit rather than oak for its appeal. 

Drinking window: 2014-17Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Portugal, Red, Touriga Nacional
95

2012 Laurent Miquel Vérité Viognier, Pays d'Oc

( £14.99, 13.5%, Majestic )

Laurent Miquel has long been the leading Viognier producer in the south of France, making wines that are as good as most Condrieu but at less than half the price. This vintage is his best yet in my view, a rich, spicy, sumptuous, yet well balanced white, with sweet vanilla oak, just the right amount of acidity to temper the concentration of the wine and hedonistic flavours of apricot, fresh cream and fresh ginger. Available on line initially by the half case, so hurry.  

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Viognier
88

2012 Zalze Chenin Blanc Reserve, Coastal Region

( £9.99, 13.5%, Sainsbury's )

Kleine Zalze deserves to be more famous than it is in South Africa. It consistently turns out a very good range of commercial wines, as well as smaller quantities of top end stuff. This belongs in the latter category and it’s a great example of ripe, tropically fruity Cape Chenin. Pineapple and melon notes are balanced by the refreshing acidity that’s the variety’s calling card and rounded out by subtle oak fermentation. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, South Africa, White, Chenin Blanc
90

2012 João Portugal Ramos, F'Oz, Alentejano

( £8.49, 14%, Waitrose )

João Portugal (yes, that’s his name) Ramos makes some of the best value reds in Iberia. This southerrn Portuguese blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira and Castelão is well up to his usual high standards, combining flavours of blackberry, bramble and orange zest in a wine that’s fruity, refreshing, yet substantial enough to serve with red meat. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Portugal, Red, Castelão, Tempranillo, Trincadeira