93

2021 Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec, Mendoza

( £15, 14.5%, Sainsbury's )

On offer at Sainsbury’s right now, this is an outstanding value Malbec from one of the country’s best producers. Blending grapes from the Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley sub-regions of Mendoza, it’s full-bodied, plush, yet remarkably fresh and layered, with aromas of violet and aniseed, sculpted tannins, plum and blueberry fruit and a frame of scented, spicy oak. Good now, but will develop further in bottle.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-32Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, Argentina, Red, Malbec
91

2021 Taste The Difference Chardonnay, Trentino

( £9.25, 12.5%, Sainsbury's )

There are so many native grapes in Italy that it’s easy to forget that the place makes really smart Chardonnay too. This example from Alpine Trentino is bright, fruity, tangy and refreshing, with a touch of the appealing bitterness that you often find in the country’s whites, citrus, pear and clementine fruit, lots of vibrant acidity and a faint hint of vanilla spice.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-26Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Italy, White, Chardonnay
91

2022 Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Discovery Collection Fronton, Fronton

( £9, 13% , Sainsbury's )

I’m regularly impressed by the Discovery Collection label at Sainsbury’s, as it offers unusual wines at decent prices. This is an unoaked south-west French blend of local Négrette with more widely planted Malbec. Youthful, sappy and refreshing, it has lovely bramble and black cherry fruit flavours, spicy, savoury tannins and the underlying concentration and structure to stand up to the smokiness of a summer barbecue.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-29Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, France, Red, Malbec, Négrette
91

2022 Taste the Difference Discovery Collection Lugana, Lugana

( £12, 13%, Sainsbury's )

Made with the Trebbiano di Lugana grape, sometimes called Turbiana in the region, this tasty, refreshing, summery white hails from vineyards close to the shores of Lake Garda. Floral and enticing, it has aromas of jasmine and honeydew melon, plenty of acidity and zip, lemon zest, peach and pink grapefruit flavours and a slightly bitter, nutty twist. Perfect for a picnic.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-25Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, Italy, White, Trebbiano di Lugana
90

2021 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile

( £6.50-£7.50, 13.5%, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose )

One of those mass-market wines that rarely, if ever, lets you down, this 26 million bottle blend from Chile’s biggest producer uses grapes from Maule, Rapel and the Maipo Valley. Subtly wooded, with classic blackcurrant pastille, mint and fresh herb flavours and a whisper of oak spices. Outstanding at the price.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-28Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Chile, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon
90

2020 Taste The Difference Coteaux du Giennois, Loire Valley

( £10.00, 12%, Sainsbury's )

Coteaux du Giennois is not as famous as Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, the two great Sauvignon Blanc-producing appellations of the Loire Valley but it often offers better value for money, partly because of its lower profile. This one from Vignobles Berthier, sold under Sainsbury’s reliable Taste The Difference label is tangy, stony and refreshing with a lovely interplay between citrus and passion fruit flavours.

BuyDrinking window: 2022-24Similar Wines: £5-£10, White, Sauvignon Blanc
90

2019 Bosman Nero, Wellington

( £12, 13%, Sainsbury's )

Bosman Family Vineyards have always been great innovators, so it’s no surprise that they’ve pioneered the planting of Sicily’s Nero d’Avola grape in the Cape. It’s also no surprise that a variety that does so well in Italy has adapted to the heat of Wellington too. This is medium ruby in colour, with sweet spices on the nose, subtle oak and flavours of bramble, raspberry and red cherry. The tannins are savoury and fine, the acidity brisk and refreshing. And the wine even has its own soundtrack on Spotify.

BuyDrinking window: 2021-24Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, South Africa, Red, Nero d'Avola
91

2017 Taste the Difference Royal Tokaji Dry Furmint, Tokaj

( £8.25, down from £10, 12.5%, Sainsbury's )

Furmint is one of the world’s greatest white grapes, although very few people are familiar with it. They might have heard of – or even tasted – a sweet Tokaji (the wine is spelled with an i, the region without) – but dry versions of the grape are harder to track down. So well done Sainsbury’s for listing this taut, racy, stony example with fine texture, citrus and white pepper flavours and a long, refreshing finish.

BuySimilar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Hungary, White, Furmint
93

2015 Bellingham The Bernard Series Roussanne, Paarl

( £10, 14%, Sainsbury's )

Bellingham’s Roussanne is one of the few stand alone examples of the grape in South Africa, and it’s getting better with every vintage, showing impressive weight, texture and finesse. This deftly-oaked, full-bodied white is rich but not unctuous, with notes of baking spices, citrus and green tea, a hint of tropical fruit sweetness and a grippy, almost tannic finish that works really well with food. 

BuyDrinking window: 2016-19Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, South Africa, White, Roussanne
88

2012 Zalze Chenin Blanc Reserve, Coastal Region

( £9.99, 13.5%, Sainsbury's )

Kleine Zalze deserves to be more famous than it is in South Africa. It consistently turns out a very good range of commercial wines, as well as smaller quantities of top end stuff. This belongs in the latter category and it’s a great example of ripe, tropically fruity Cape Chenin. Pineapple and melon notes are balanced by the refreshing acidity that’s the variety’s calling card and rounded out by subtle oak fermentation. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, South Africa, White, Chenin Blanc
89

2011 Kanonkop Kadette, Stellenbosch

( £9.99 down to £7.49, 14%, Sainsbury's )

So-called Cape red blends are controversial, largely because of the inclusion of Pinotage, which can dominate other varieties to a remarkable degree. But that’s not the case here, despite the presence of 57% Pinotage, offset by Merlot and Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc. This is a classy, nauanced red, with well judged oak, fine tannins and leafy, grassy Cabernet combined with sweeter, raspberry notes from the Pinotage. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, South Africa, Red, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage
91

2009 Taste the Difference Barolo, Piedmont

( £15.49 down to £11.61, 14.5%, Sainsbury's )

Delicious Barolo, like delicious red Burgundy, is hard to find under £20, let alone at closer to £10, but Matteo Ascheri is brilliant at finding parcels of Italy’s most tempertmental grape that deliver flavour as well as value for money. This is a riper style (it was a warm vintage), but combines aromas of rose petal and red fruits with savoury, smoky tannins and a classically firm, even austere finish. A great introduction to the joys of Nebbiolo. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nebbiolo