89

2010 Paololeo, Fiore di Vigna Primitivo, Salentino, Puglia

( £13, 14.5%, Oddbins )

Essence of Primitivo (aka Zinfandel) from the Salento Peninsula, this is rich, ripe and textured, but carries its 14.5% alcohol with ease. The focus here is on fruit rather than oak: plummy, spicy and sweet, with tobacco and Asian spices and enough acidity for balance. Needs robust food to show at its best.

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Italy, Red
91

2009 Cillar De Silos, Ribera del Duero

( £15.50, 14%, Oddbins )

Serious, concentrated, inky Tempranillo from Ribera with excellent structure and acidity. This is less oaky than some of this bodega’s releases and better for it in my view, with flavours of plum and spice, a touch of vanilla and a backbone of tannin. Should age well, too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, Red, Tempranillo
91

2012 Hatzidakis, Assyrtikos, Santorini

( £13.75, 13.5%, Oddbins )

if you’re flirting with Greek wines but haven’t consumated the relationship yet, this is the place to start. Sourced from the volcanic island of Santorini, it’s rich, spicy, yet unoaked, with plenty of weight, notes of pear and fresh hay and a thrilling backbone of stony acidity. Like a cross between a Chablis and a Rhône blend, but with a herbal, Mediterranean twist that is all its own.

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Greece, White, Assyrtiko
88

2012 Semeli Wines, Feast, Moschofilero, Peloponnese

( £8.50, 12%, Oddbins )

It’s a pleasure to be recommending a bottle from Oddbins as my wine of the week once more! And what better way to start than something from Greece, long an Oddbins speciality? This is a musky, perfumed, dry white with hints of pear and rosepetal, crunchy acidity and a tangy, seafoood-friendly finish. A great introdcution to an indigenous grape variety. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Greece, White, Moschofilero
91

2010 Scott Shiraz/Sangiovese, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

( £14.99, 14%, Oddbins )

A really innovative blend (12% of it Sangiovese) from a comparatively new Adelaide Hills winery, this is a very smart, textured red with cherrystone and plumskin aromas, supple, yet savoury tannins, bramble and mint flavours and an Italianate dry flourish. One of the best Italian-influenced reds I’ve had from Down Under. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, Red, Sangiovese
91

2009 Cape Chamonix Pinotage

( £13, 14.2%, Oddbins )

If you’ve always struggled with the idea that Pinotage is the Cape’s USP, try a glass of this amazing example from Pinot Noir specialist Cape Chamonix in Franschhoek. It’s made in a ripasso style (like some Valpolicellas) to give it a little more alcohol and weight. It’s supple, smooth and sensitively oaked with black plum and blackberry fruit, sweet oak and a harmonious finish. Best of all, perhaps, it doesn’t taste like most Pinotage. 

BuySimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, South Africa, Red, Other Reds