90

NV Chandon, Brut, Mendoza

( £14.99, 13%, Majestic )

Moët’s sparkling wines in South America have mostly been a disappointment, but this blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is a huge improvement on what has gone before. It’s a rich, toasty style with some sweetness from dosage, flavours of hazelnut and brioche and a baking spicy, well balanced finish. 

Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
90

NV Chandon, Rosé

( £15.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

An unusual but (for Argentina) rather appropriate blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Malbec, this bronze-tinged rosé is savoury and flavoursome with notes of summer fruits, toast and leesy richness. A very drinkable bottle of bubbles at the price. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Argentina, Sparkling, Malbec, Chardonnay
91

2011 Domaines Schlumberger, Riesling Les Princes Abbés, Alsace

( £13.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

It’s a pleasure to drink an Alsace Riesling made in a dry style like this one. Stony, minerally and unoaked, this is tangy and transparent with appealing bottle development but enough concentration to age for another four to eight years. Great with food. 

Drinking window: 2014-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Riesling
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
93

2011 Craggy Range Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, Martinborough

( £22.50, 13.5%, Majestic )

Craggy Range makes some of the best Pinot Noirs in New Zealand, without charging the high prices of some of its competitors. This is a typically savoury Martinborough Pinot Noir, with less colour than examples from Central Otago, but more complexity than the majority from Marlborough. Red cherry and pomegranate, toasty oak, medium-weight tannins and a long, refreshing finish. It should age nicely, too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
88

2012 Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde

( £5.99, 11%, Majestic )

If summer ever arrives in the UK – come to think of it, spring would be welcome, too – this is a wine that I’d be happy to have in my fridge or ice bucket. Crisp and aromaitic, with notes of fresh limes and lemon peel, showing a touch of spritz and tastebud-tingling acidity. Tangy and light, it’s the sort of wine I could drink all afternoon. Portugal at its value for money best. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Portugal, White, Albariño
89

2011 Vega de la Reina Sauvignon Blanc, Rueda

( £6.49, 13%, Majestic )

International varieties are overshadowed in Spain by local grapes, but Sauvignon seems to have found an ideal spot in Rueda, producing wines that are delicious as well as distinctive. This is a total bargain if you buy two bottles, and I promise you wont’t regret having a spare in the fridge. It’s got flavours of pink grapefruit and passion fruit, a hint of gunflint on the nose and, pithy, refreshing acidity. Not many places could better this at £6.49 for a tasty Sauvignon Blanc. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Spain, White, Sauvignon Blanc
90

2010 Montes Alpha, Merlot, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley

( £12.99, 14.5%, Majestic )

Montes is a winery that has mastered the art of delivering flavour and some complexity at affordable prices, as typified by this ripe, deeply-coloured Merlot from the Colchagua Valley. This has some classic Chilean mint, with attractive plum and black cherry flavours, mid-weight tannins and sweet, assertive oak. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Chile, Red, Merlot