92

1996 Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha, Douro Valley

( £25, 20%, Majestic )

This may “only” be a single quinta wine, supposedly from a non-vintage year for Port, but it’s still delicious. It’s great to drink right now, with lots of spice and heat, succulent red and black fruits, some fig and dark plums and a thrust of spirit. Just the thing to drink with blue cheese. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Fortified, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional
88

2011 Finca Flichman Gestos Malbec, Mendoza

( £5.99, 14%, Majestic )

This Portuguese-owned operation in Mendoza makes someof the best value wines in Argentina at the moment, typified by this pungent, sweetly oaked Malbec. It’s got a ripe, almost honeyed sweetness to it, balanced by notes of vanilla, blackberry and spice. You have to serve this with a juicy steak. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Malbec
89

2007 Ogier, Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône

( £25, 15%, Majestic )

Too many UK retailers are already on the 2009 and even 2010 vintage of CNDP, so it’s good to taste a wine that, while still young, is showing some bottle maturity. This is rich and deeply coloured with dark berry fruits, a hint of clove and a spicy, meaty finish.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, France, Red, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre
90

2009 Vignobles Jeanjean, Les Hauts de Castelmaure, Corbières, Languedoc-Roussillon

( £11.99, 14%, Majestic )

Heady, aromatic, garrigue-saturated red blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, made in a modern style with some carbonic maceration and French oak. Richly aromaitc, with lots of fresh herbs and a sweet, spicy succulence. Needs a barbecue to show at its best.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Red, Carignan, Grenache
94

NV Taittinger, Prélude, Champagne

( £47, 12%, Fortnum & Mason, Hailsham Cellars, Harrods, Majestic, Wine Rack )

If you can’t afford Comtes de Champagne (the 2000 is delicious), this is a more than acceptable substitute at under £50. It’s got lovely toasty, autolytic complexity, notes of grilled hazelnuts and citrus fruit and a very long, satifying finish. A delicious fizz.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-20Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Chardonnay
92

NV Taittinger Brut, Champagne

( £37.99, 12%, Majestic, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, Wine Rack )

Taittinger is in a rich vein of form at the moment, from this its non vintage blend right up the Olympian heghts of Comtes de Champagne. This is dry, toasty and well balanced with Chardonnay providing the freshness and lift on the palate. Appealingly dry for non vintage blend, using bottle age rather than sweetness for balance.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-17Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Chardonnay
91

2010 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Santa Barbara

( £18, 13.5%, Majestic )

Jim Clendennen makes some of the subtlest Chardonnays on the West Coast, and this understated effort is typical of his style, favouring subtle oak, fresh acidity and medium body. This is textured, aromatic and fresh, with some honey and cinnamon spice, a touch of oak, creamy lees and a zesty finish. I’d love to see more California Chardonnays like this. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, United States, White, Chardonnay
92

2006 Parcel Series Riesling, Eden Valley

( £6.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

A 92 point wine for only £6.99? You betcha. I can’t believe that this mature parcel of Eden Valley Riesling is so cheap. Sourced from McWilliams (better known for their aged Semillons), this is a delicously developed wine, showing classic flavours of lime and toast. It’s fresh, beautifully balanced and complex, with amazing length on the palate. Get on line, drive to your local Majestic, do whatever it takes, but make sure you buy this stunning wine. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, Australia, White, Riesling
91

2011 Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin blanc, Western Cape

( £9.59, 14.5%, Majestic )

You can really taste the old vine concentration is this ripe, textured, tropical fruity Cape Chenin. The flavours coat the palate: honey, pineapple and cinnamon spice, some vanilla sweetness from oak ageing and crisp, appley acidity. Weighty, concentrated and full of flavour, this has impressive length and freshness too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, South Africa, White, Chenin Blanc
91

2011 Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

( £9.99, 13%, Majestic )

There’s so much mediocre Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc around (bland, sweet, overcropped and sometimes all three) that it’s a pleasure to recommend one that has real personality. This comes from the cooler Awatere Valley and is beautifuly taut and refined: a focused, almost minerally white with one foot in the Loire Valley, stylistically speaking. Fresh, crisp and tangy with notes of elderflower, wet stones and kiwi fruit, it lingers tantalisingly on the palate. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Sauvignon Blanc
90

2010 Viñalba Reserva Cabernet/Malbec/Petit Verdot, Mendoza

( £8.99, 14.5%, Majestic )

Viñalba makes some of the most consistently tasty red wines in Argentina, and at very approachable prices. This full-bodied Bordeaux style blend is plush and concentrated with sweet, well integrated oak, flavours of chocolate and plums, ripe tannins and good underlying freshness. If you’re bored of Malbec, try this instead. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Malbec
91

2005 CVNE Viña Real Gran Reserva, Alavesa, Rioja

( £21.49, 13.5%, Majestic )

A much more modern style than we’ve grown accustomed to from CVNE in recent years, this is youthful and vigorous for a Gran Reserva, with the emphasis on vibrant Tempranillo fruit. The freshness of the Alavesa vineyards is really evident on the palate. This is refreshing and fine, with sweet oak, medium weight tannins and nuanced red and black fruits flavours. An interesting change of tack by CVNE. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Spain, Red, Graciano, Tempranillo