93

2011 Bird on a Wire Marsanne, Yarra Valley, Victoria

( £32, 14%, Naked Wines )

Caroline Mooney’s wines are some of the most exciting things I’ve tasted from Australia in the last three years. This barrel-fermented Marsanne shows the variety’s classic honeysuckle and aniseed notes, well integrated with oak and sustained by bright acidity. Honey and some white flowers add extra complexity and texture. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Australia, White, Marsanne
89

2011 Benjamin Darnault, Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Languedoc-Roussillon

( £10.99, 14.5%, Naked Wines )

A heady, wild cocktail of Syrah and Grenache from the hills of the Roussillon region of southern France. Youthful, fiery, spicy, with notes of lavender, thyme, sweet red fruit and liquorice. Needs food, preferably rich food, to show at its best, but this is an unoaked star, with bags of flavour and focus. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Red, Grenache, Syrah/Shiraz
90

NV Bolney Estate Cuvée Rosé, Sussex

( £24.99, 12.5%, Naked Wines )

Just when you were beginning to think that English fizz is a little over-hyped, along comes a stylish, well-priced number like this Pinot Noir-based cuvée. Coral pink in colour, showing some toasty, yeasty bottle development on the nose, small bubbles and a savoury, wild strawberry finish. One to baffle a French wine snob with.  

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, England, Sparkling, Pinot Noir
89

NV Paradiso Prosecco, Veneto

( £11.99, 11.5%, Naked Wines )

Not the cheapeast Prosecco on the market by soem distance, but this is worth the loot: light bodied, just off dry, wtih fine bubbles and flavours of boiled sweets, citrus fruit and a hint of peach. Long and refreshing. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-13Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Italy, Sparkling