93

2006 Taste the Difference Hunter Valley Semillon, Hunter Valley

( £9.99 down to £7.49, 13%, Sainsbury's )

This wine has been on Sainsbury’s shelves for a while (a reflection of Semillon’s lack of popularity, rather than the quality of this example, which is outstanding), but now is still a great time to buy this aged Hunter white. Toasty, fresh and mature with focused acidity and notes of lemongrass and cream soda and a long, unoaked finish. Go on, give it a go!

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, Australia, White, Semillon
90

2009 Leasingham Magnus Riesling, Clare Valley

( £9.49 down to £7.11, 12%, Sainsbury's )

Another Aussie white that may appear a little long in the dental department, but has actually benefited from the extra bottle age. This is just off-dry, showing delicious, lemon, lime and toasty flavours with a hint of kerosene. Focused and long, this is great with Asian food. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Australia, White, Riesling
92

2010 Bellingham The Bernard Series Roussanne, Paarl

( £10.99 down to £8.24, 14.5%, Sainsbury's )

Why isn’t there more Roussanne planted in the hotter parts of the Cape, such as Paarl? Beats me, because it seems to do really well there, especially in the hands of Niel Groenewald at Bellingham. This lightly oaked, lees-influenced white is savoury and complex with notes of oatmeal, vanilla and cinnamon and a long, yeasty finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, South Africa, White, Roussanne
91

2009 Lacoste Borie, Pauillac

( £23.99 down to £17.99, 13%, Sainsbury's )

If you’re looking for a tasty claret to enjoy now, but that will keep for another six or seven years, this is the perfect candidate. Made by the team at Fifth Growth Pauillac estate, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, it’s a light, perfumed, refined, Merlot-based blend with notes of graphite and blackcurrant leaf and impressive balance and poise. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, France, Red, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
92

2010 M Chapoutier, Les Meysonniers, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley

( £15.99 down to £11.99, 13%, Sainsbury's )

2010 was a great vintage in the Rhône, as it was elsewhere in France, and this is a Crozes that wouldn’t look out of place in more prestigious Hermitage, up river. Smoky, tapenade notes on the nose segue into flavours of black pepper, clove and blackberry, with no oak to interfere with the fruit purity. Deliciously poised and complex. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
94

2007 Roda Reserva, Rioja

( £25.99 down to £18.74, 14%, Sainsbury's )

A top Rioja Reserva for less than £20? Sounds very appealing to me. This is very much a modern style Rioja, with the emphasis on Tempranillo (97% of the blend here, with 3% Graciano for added backbone) and the ability to age further in bottle rather than drinkability on release. This is sweetly oaked, with fine tannins, fresh, minerally acidity and a core of red and black fruits. Long, textured and very complex, it’s still a very young wine, so hold off if you can. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Spain, Red, Graciano, Tempranillo
90

2010 The Olive Branch Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia

( £10.49 down to £7.86, 14.5%, Sainsbury's )

It’s surprisingly hard to find wines made solely from Grenache (such is its predigree as a blending grape), but McLaren Vale in South Australia is often a good bet. This has all the variety’s hallmarks – high alcohol, bags of red fruits and full, but smooth tannins – with well integrated vanilla oak and plenty of perfume and concentration. Very tasty. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Australia, Red, Grenache
91

2011 d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Marsanne/Viognier, McLaren Vale, South Australia

( £9.99, 13%, Sainsbury's )

The wonderfully theatrical Chester Osborn is better known for his reds than his whites, but he has a suprisingly subtle touch with the latter, as this very lightly oaked blend of Viognier with 32% Marsanne demonstrates. It’s a spicy, pithy, understated white, with good crunch and zest, a hint of apricot and a mealy, balanced finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Australia, White, Marsanne, Viognier
91

2011 Leitz Rheingau Riesling Spätlese, Rheingau

( £12.99, 10%, Sainsbury's )

Made by the talented Johannes Leitz, this is a modern Rheingau Riesling from a very good vintage, with classic sweet and sour flavours of apple and stone fruit, 47 grams of sugar, some extra weight from lees contact and a long, crunchy finish. Very refreshing, despite the residual sugar. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
93

2010 Domaine Brocard, Saint Céline, Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu, Burgundy

( £16.99, 12.5%, Sainsbury's )

It’s worth paying a little extra to secure a bottle of this special Premier Cru from Domaines Brocard, as it has even more weight and concentration. There’s great texture here, with notes of citrus fruit and fresh cream and a stony, chalky finish. Fantastic value and a brilliant expression of a very good Chablis vintage.

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

2010 Domaines Brocard Sélection, Chablis 1er Cru, Burgundy

( £14.99, 12.5%, Sainsbury's )

One of a series of brilliant Chablis to emerge from this domaine (or domaines) in 2010, this is a textbook example of what Chardonnay can produce in a great year in the Yonne. It’s tangy and fresh with lovely chalky minerality and purity of fruit. Deliciously drinkable.

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