A Crozes-Hermitage under screwcap? You’d better believe it. David Reynaud’s wines are perfumed as it is, and the new clsoure should make sure that’s always the case. There’s no reduction here – sometimes a problem under screwcap for Syrah – just lots of bramble and blackberry fruit. Spicy, bright and mineral with delightful freshness.
Price Range: £20-£30
2010 McGuigan, Hand Made Shiraz, Langhorne Creek, South Australia( £25, 14.5%, Tesco Wine Online )
A dense, inky, youthful Aussie Shiraz from the increasingly impressive Langhorne Creek region. Plush, lush, ripe and aromatic, it’s rich and supple, with mocha oak, smooth blackberry and vanilla cream flavours and a firm backbone of tannin.
2013 Neudorf, Twenty Five Rows Chardonnay, Nelson( N/A, 14% )
Produced in small quantities from Tim and Judy Finn’s vineyards in Nelson, this lees-aged Chardonnay sees very little oak and is made in a “Chablis” style. It’s a subtle, herbal white with notes of baking spices and citrus and appealing texture and concentration.
2010 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune du Château, Beaune 1er Cru, Burgundy( £25.99, 13.5%, BJR Hanby, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Le Vieux Comptoir, Waitrose )
Beaune whites are not as well known as its reds, although both tend to be under-rated. Leesy, soft and gently oaked, this is a comparatively forward style with subtle oak framing and notes of lemon butter and honey. The acidity of the 2010 vintage lifts the wine on the finish.
2013 Richard Kershaw Wines Chardonnay, Elgin( N/A, 13.5%, Contact the winery for details )
Englishman Richard Kershaw has followed up his 2012 release with a wine that’s every bit as good. This is a smoky, minerally, citrus-tinged, stylishly constructed Chardonnay that whispers of its cool climate origins in Elgin. Discreet and subtle, it’s a wine with texture, harmony and palate length. One of the Cape’s best examples of the grape.
2010 Lenné, Pinot Noir, Oregon( £26.99-£29.99, 14%, Cheers, Hay Wines )
This is a serious Pinot Noir verging on a dry red, but still showing enough varietal character to keep Pinotphiles happy. Rich and savoury, but with underlying brightness and finesse, it’s spicy and complex, showing flavours of fennel, red and black fruits and sweet vanilla oak. Promising.
NV Wiston, Cuvée Brut, South Downs( £25, 12%, Corney & Barrow )
A cuvée of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay made on the South Downs by Irish winemaker, Dermot Sugrue, this is a complex, toasty, savoury fizz with fine bubbles, lots of yeasty, bready autolysis and a bone dry, tapering finish. A winery that deserves to be every bit as famous as Nyetimber, Camel Valley and Ridgeview.
2011 Gandolini, Cabernet Sauvignon, Las 3 Marias, Maipo Andes, Maipo Andes, Maipo Valley( £25, 14%, The Wine Society )
This impressive Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the foothills of the Andes rather than the flatter expanses of the Maipo Valley and it shows in the quality and definition of the wine. It’s a dense, compact, ageworthy red with rich flavours of plum, cassis and blackberry, sweet, toasty oak, structured tannins and excellent concentration. Built to last, it should develop further complexity over the next five to eight years.
2011 Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough( £29.50, 13.5% )
Te Koko is made in much smaller quantities than Cloudy Bay’s regular Sauvignon Blanc, and it’s a much more interesting wine, benefiting from wild yeast fermentation in French oak. Some people find the funky flavours a little challenging, but I love them. This is smoky and complex, with yeasty, doughy aromas, pithy grapefruit-like acidity, a touch of wax and gunflint and long, lingering finish. A wine that wouldn’t look out of place in Pessac-Léognan.
2013 Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris, Nelson( £23, 14%, Must Wines )
Neudorf is best known for its Pinots and especially its stellar Chardonnay, but winemaker Tim Finn can turn his hand to aromatic white grapes, too. This rich, musky, off-dry Pinot Gris is a case in point. Floral and intense, it combines notes of rose petal, sweet pears and quince, supported by acidity. Complex stuff with less residual sugar than many Kiwi examples of the grape.
2012 Celler de Capçanes, Peraj Ha'abib, Montsant( £25.95, 14.5% )
This is a complex blend of old vine Garnacha with Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan (Samsó) from one of the best cooperatives in Spain. Think of it as a mini-Priorat, but at a slightly lower price. Plum, spice and chocolate-like flavours are appealingly intertwined here, with the Cabernet adding some leafy freshness to the herbal, earthy Mediterranean flavours. The minerality and the acidity keep the wine fresh, despite its comparatively high alcohol.
NV Harvey Nichols Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, Veneto( £15, 11%, Harvey Nichols )
It’s worth paying a little extra to taste a superior Prosecco like this one. Off-dry, fruity, youthful and pure, showing notes of stone fruit, citrus and white pepper, it has good concentration and a refreshing, well balanced finish.