By the standards of some celebrity-endorsed or consumed Provençal rosés, this is positively great value. It’s a crisp, refreshing, bone dry pink with notes of red cherry and rosehip, tangy acidity and a long, palate-cleansing finish. Just the thing to quaff on the beach or in the garden this summer.
I’m a huge fan of Vermentino wherever it’s grown, but this Sardinian example is a total bargain. It’s ripe and spicy, with plenty of colour as well as notes of fresh straw, pear and aniseed, a bitter, nutty undertone and refreshing acidity. Superb value at under £11.
This is only the “entry point” wine from Hawkes’ Bay producer, Trinity Hill, but what a cracker is it. The addition of a splash of Viognier gives a little more aroma, but it’s the Syrah that drives the wine and gives it focus. Violets, plums and cracked pepper on the nose and palate, with spicy tannins and oak adding extra complexity.
Arneis is Piedmont’s best white grape in my opinion, especially when it offers the sort of value and fruit concentration on show here from Ascheri in Bra. Refeshing and zesty, with a slight spritz, but with plenty of weight and concentration behind, with pear and angelica spice and a deliciously bitter twist.
When it’s good – and 2010 is a very classy vintage in Tuscany – Chianti Classico can still deliver a lot of flavour and complexity for less than £20. That’s certainly the case here, because I can’t remember a better basic wine from this estate. Its texture is almost Pinot Noir-like, but with a nip of tannin to add some extra backbone. On the palate, it’s silky and sweet with subtle oak and notes of dried tea, raspberry and wild strawberry. Essence of Sangiovese.
Is Mount Etna Italy’s greatest secret when it comes to whites? It certainly makes some amazing wines from the Carricante grape: taut, minerally and refreshing. This is stony and crisp with notes of white flowers and lime blossom and a tangy finish. Sicily’s answer to Chablis. Drink now to 3 years.