93

2022 Casa Ferreirinha Planalto White Reserva, Douro Valley

( £8.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

The Douro Valley may be better known for Port and red table wines, but its whites can offer tremendous quality and value for money too. This brilliant, unoaked blend is a cuvée of seven different local grapes – Arinto, Codega, Godello, Malvasía Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato and Viosinho – from cooler, higher altitude sites. Spicy, pithy and intense, it’s a bright, tangy, seafood friendly number with citrus, lime, white pepper and fennel flavours and a lingering finish.  Outstanding value.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-28Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Aristo, Codega, Godello, Malvasia Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato, Viosinho
92

2020 Rupert & Rothschild Classique, Western Cape

( £18.99, 13.9%, Majestic )

It’s no mean feat to make 1.2 million bottles of a wine that’s as good as this blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with 8% Petit Verdot and a splash of Malbec. Blended across the Cape, with components from Stellenbosch, Darling, Wellington and Paarl, it has floral bramble, cassis and red berry flavours, stylish oak, caressing tannins and some understated aromatic spices. A delicious alternative to red Bordeaux.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-30Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, South Africa, Red, Malbec, Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
93

2019 Muga Reserva, Rioja

( £19.99 as part of a purchase of six bottles, 14.5%, Majestic )

One of a dwindling number of top Riojas that combines grapes from the Rioja Alta and Rioja Oriental sub-regions, this impressive Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. Pairing Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 6% Mazuelo and 4% Graciano, with ageing in a 80/20 mix of French and American oak, it’s spicy, succulent and smartly wooded, with raspberry and blueberry fruit, sinewy tannins and plenty of acidity to freshen the finish. Will develop further in bottle.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-2035Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, Spain, Red, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo, Tempranillo
94

2019 Klein Constantia Metis Sauvignon Blanc, Constantia

( £19.99, 13.5%, Majestic )

Loire Valley guru Pascal Jolivet inspired the talented Matt Day to make this wild-fermented, left-field Sauvignon Blanc from two complementary parcels on one of the oldest estates in South Africa’s Constantia Valley. Still youthful, intense and showing some tannic structure, it’s a superb, bone-dry expression of Constantia with notes of grapefruit pith, elderflower and wet stones. How wonderful to see a top Cape producer releasing a white wine with some bottle age.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-26Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, South Africa, White, Sauvignon Blanc
92

2022 Calhavera Graves Blanc, Bordeaux

( £12.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

I’m so busy enjoying Semillons from Argentina, Chile and South Africa that I tend to forget that very good dry examples of the grape can be produced in Bordeaux, not to mention the variety’s starring role in the region’s sweet wines. This lightly wooded example, whose name comes from the Gascon word for a small pile of stones, is a delight, with lots of zip and focus, refreshingly low alcohol, beeswax, citrus and lanolin notes, a hint of vanilla spice and a piercingly refreshing finish. Will go toasty with a bit more bottle age.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-28Similar Wines: £10-15, 92, France, White, Semillon
91

NV Villiera Brut Tradition Cap Classique, Stellenbosch

( £14.99, 11.5%, Majestic )

Unless you want to drink Prosecco or Cava, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find good bubbly under £15. England and Champagne can’t hit that price point, but South Africa still can. Villiera’s cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, aged on its lees for 18 months, is my go-to party fizz right now. Made in a dry style with just six grams of dosage, it’s fresh, tangy and slightly toasty with lemon and lime flavours, a creamy mousse and appealing texture.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-27Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, South Africa, Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
93

2014 Château Fontesteau, Haut-Médoc

( £12.99 in store only, 13%, Majestic )

For all the talk about the latest en primeur releases, it’s worth remembering that good claret can age beautifully. In fact, there are times when mature red Bordeaux stops you in your tracks. This is one of them: a scented, graceful cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Merlot  that has classic coffee bean, tobacco leaf and cedar wood top notes, fine-boned, layered tannins and flavours of sweet spices, summer berries and blackcurrant leaf. The wine is sold out on line, but there’s still some available in stores.

BuyDrinking window: 2022-230Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, France, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
95

2020 Morandé Black Series Chardonnay, Malleco

( £11.99, 13%, Majestic )

Ricardo Baettig produces this stunning Chardonnay with grapes from two sources in Malleco – Baettig (owned by his brother, Pancho) and Kofkeche – both of whom grow the 95 clone. It’s a brilliant first release from Morandé, making the most of one of the most exciting cool climate regions in Chile right now. Chiselled, scented and refined, with effortless balance, concentration and focus, flinty minerality and a pure, tapering citrus and aromatic spice finish. Amazing value.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-30Similar Wines: £10-15, 95-100, Chile, White, Chardonnay
91

2021 Riccitelli Wines Hey! Malbec, Mendoza

( £10.99, 14%, Majestic )

“Honest and pure” is how Matías Riccitelli likes to describe this equal blend of Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley Malbecs, now produced as a 200,000 bottle blend. Floral, tangy and bright, Hey! is as appealing as its comic book label, with supple tannins and juicy bramble, aniseed and blackberry flavours.  Essence of Argentina at a great price.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-28Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, Argentina, Red, Malbec
93

2018 Muga Reserva, Rioja

( £17.99, 14%, Majestic )

Textbook stuff from the extensive Muga family, this is a pan-regional cuvée of Tempranillo with 30% Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo, aged in a combination of French and American oak. Youthful, structured and showing the freshness of the cooler, more “Atlantic” 2018 vintage, it’s good to drink now but will also reward some extra time in your wine rack. Textured and balanced, with racy acidity and flavours of liquorice, blackberry and vanilla spice.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-30Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, Spain, Red, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo, Tempranillo
92

2021 Caves Orsat Dôle Romane, Valais

( £13.99, 13%, Majestic )

This delicious Alpine red comes from close to the source of the Rhône river, but has more in common with Burgundy than, say, Crozes-Hermitage. Made with Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay, it’s a Swiss version of a Bourgogne Passetoutgrains, using fruit from some of the highest vineyards in Europe. Racy, juicy and lip-smackingly fresh, with red cherry and pomegranate flavours and fine-grained tannins.

BuyDrinking window: 2022-27Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, Switzerland, Red, Gamay, Pinot Noir
92

2020 Paul Jaboulet Ainé Mule Noire Organic Crozes Hermitage, Rhône Valley

( £19.99 as part of a purchase of six bottles, 13.5%, Majestic )

One of the best value reds in the Jaboulet range – which also includes the iconic La Chapelle, of course – this organic Syrah reflects the quality and focus of Caroline Frey’s winemaking. Scented and intense, with classic tapenade and white pepper aromas, bright, tangy, richly concentrated blackberry and blueberry fruit, subtle oak influence, smooth tannins and the concentration and freshness to mature nicely in bottle.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-30Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, France, Red, Syrah