89

2015 Domaine des Garennes Le Brossay, Saumur, Loire Valley

( €4.80, 12.5, Contact the winery for details )

A youthful, easy-drinking, well-priced Cabernet Franc grown on clay and limestone soils on the Champ de Liveau plateau, this is grassy and refreshing with supple tannins, plenty of the perfume that’s typical of the variety and a twist of graphite. Very attractive at the price.

BuyDrinking window: 2017-20Similar Wines: Under £5, 86-90, France, Red, Cabernet Franc
87

2012 Simply Garnacha Rosé, Campo de Borja

( £4.59 down to £3.44, 13.5%, Tesco )

You don’t get much for less than £3.50 these days, but this Garnacha pink from Bodegas Borsao is very drinkable stuff: dry and pleasantly fruity with flavours of rosehip, cherry and strawberry and vibrant acidity, especially noteworthy from such a warm Spanish region. A chance of celebrate the end of a memorable summer in the UK. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: Under £5, 86-90, Spain, Rose, Grenache
87

2011 Simply Garnacha, Campo de Borja

( £4.59, 13.5%, Tesco )

It’s not easy to find really good glugging reds under £5 any more, but the Campo de Borja region in northern Spain would be my first port of call. This unoaked example from Bodegas Borsao is juicy, brambly and full of raspberry and redcurrant fruit. Soft and supple: pure, uncomplicated pleasure.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-13Similar Wines: Under £5, 86-90, Spain, Red, Grenache
92

2009 Louis Latour, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Another winery that is in the running for my heavy bottle Burgundy award. Mid garnet/red in colour. The palate shows sweet oak, reasonable concentration, some raspeberry coulis notes and good acidity, with appealing balance. It’s more of a village level wine than a Grand Cru, but it’s still a decent Pinot. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: Under £5, 91-95, France, Red, Pinot Noir
89

2009 François Lamarche, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Better known for its holdings in Vosne-Romanée, this domaine produces densely powerful wines with a lot of oak. That’s the case here too: big, dense, low yield-derived Pinot with the barrel staves a little too dominant on the palate and a dry, almost Italianate finish. Not my style of Pinot. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: Under £5, 86-90, France, Red, Pinot Noir
93

2009 Jean Grivot, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

I am a huge fan of the 2010s from Etienne Grivot’s Vosne-Romanée-based domaine, so the 2009s inevitably suffer by comparison. But this is still a very good wine: quite oaky at the moment, but with excellent underlying sweetness, crunchy acidity and rich black fruits. The oak should intergrate over the next five years. 

BuyDrinking window: 2017-25Similar Wines: Under £5, 91-95, France, Red, Pinot Noir
97

2009 Jacky Confuron-Cotetidot, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Yves Confuron’s wines are very distinctive, partly because of his use of stems but also because of his way of expressing his vineyards. Mid garnet/pink, with a stemmy, but highly aromatic nose. Quite traditional in style, with a firm tanninc backbone giving structure to the sweetness of the fruit. Fresh acidity, finely poised. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-25Similar Wines: Under £5, 96-100, France, Red, Pinot Noir
98

2009 Jean-Jacques Confuron, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

To me, this was one of the wines of the tasting: a pale, scented, delicately crafted Clos de Vougeot that deserves a slot in any Burgundy lover’s cellar. Aromatic and fine, with well integrated oak, wild berry fruit, sappy acidity and superb texture and balance. Who says the 2009s aren’t well balanced? 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-22Similar Wines: Under £5, 96-100, France, Red, Pinot Noir
96

2009 Daniel Rion, Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy

( ££££, 13.5%, Fine + Rare )

Mid ruby/pink. Very youthful, with just a hint of (acceptable) reduction. Scented, sexy, plush fruit on the palate with fine-grained tannins and minerally, lip-smacking acidity. Perfumed, complex and mouthwatering, with a long, tapering finish. An impressive wine that will improve further in bottle. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-25Similar Wines: Under £5, 96-100, France, Red, Pinot Noir