87

2012 Simply Garnacha Rosé, Campo de Borja

( £4.59 down to £3.44, 13.5%, Tesco )

You don’t get much for less than £3.50 these days, but this Garnacha pink from Bodegas Borsao is very drinkable stuff: dry and pleasantly fruity with flavours of rosehip, cherry and strawberry and vibrant acidity, especially noteworthy from such a warm Spanish region. A chance of celebrate the end of a memorable summer in the UK. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: Under £5, 86-90, Spain, Rose, Grenache
88

2012 Finest* Côtes Catalanes Carignan, Languedoc-Roussillon

( £6.99 down to £5.24, 13.5%, Tesco )

This unoaked, old vine Carignan comes from one of my favourite parts of the world – the Roussillon in southern France. It’s a wild, appealingly unruly red with firmish, sun-kissed tannins, ripe, plum and blackberry fruit and a rich, concentrated finish. You get a lot of wine for your money here. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, Red, Carignan
90

2009 Finest* Chianti Riserva, Tuscany

( £7.99 down to £5.99, 13%, Tesco )

An unoaked, modern meets traditional style Chianti Riserva from Piccini which blends a dash of Merlot with 95% Sangiovese. This is a medium weight, savoury red with good focus and acidity, some sweetness from the Merlot and fine, filigree tannins. A superior red to go with your bowl of pasta tonight. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Italy, Red, Merlot, Sangiovese
92

2009 Tim Adam's Shiraz, Clare Valley

( 14.5%, £12.99 , Tesco )

Tim “bonecrusher” Adams is equally adept at making whites and reds, but it’s the latter that really stand out for me. This is a big wine, but it’s not ponderous or over done: minty and aromatic with rich, bramble and blackberry fruit, subtle oak and soft, palate-caressing tannins. A wine that, on past form, ages well, too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
87

NV Tesco Cava Reserva NV, Penedès

( £6.99 down to £5.24, 11.5%, Tesco )

A traditional Cava blend (with no sign of international Chardonnay or Pinot Noir), this bottle-fermented and aged fizz is on the dry side, with crisp acidity, a hint of earthiness (more pleasant than it sounds, believe me) and a tangy, lightly toasty finish. Great party fizz. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: 86-90, Spain, Sparkling, Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo
88

NV Finest* Premier Cru Champagne Brut, Champagne

( £19.99 down to £12.74, 12.5, Tesco )

Just in case you think I’ve got the maths wrong, this wine is already on a deal until October 1st at £16.99, so the combined discount brings it to £12.74. It’s a youthful, Chardonnay-dominated bubbly with 30% Pinot Noir adding fruit to the former variety’s acidity and structure. It could do with a little more bottle age (what do you expect for such a well-priced wine?) so don’t be afraid to tuck it away for a year or two. But right now, it’s very drinkable: zesty and fresh, with notes of citrus, wet stone and brioche.

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
90

2012 Finest* Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc

( £7.49 down to £5.62, 12.5%, Tesco )

This wine picked up a best white of show award at a Southern French competition I was involved in earlier this year, so it has proven pedigree. It’s the kind of thing that tastes best with a plate of oysters or, failing that, a piece of white fish or some scallops, but it’s great on its own, too. Pear, apple and a hint of tropical fruit combine appealingly on the palate here, with good acidity and impressive concentration for an every-day white. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Picpoul
90

2011 Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache, Barossa Valley, South Australia

( £11.99, 14%, Ocado, Slurp, Tesco, The Co-operative )

Grenache should be all about sun-kissed drinkability, which is exactly what you get in the bottle here. It’s quite pale in colour (as Grenache can be), with notes of Asian spices, red fruits and deftly handled oak. Savoury, peppery and deceptively forward, this is a wine that develops with time in the glass.

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

2012 Tesco Finest Tingelup Riesling, Western Australia

( £9.99, 12.4%, Tesco )

This isn’t quite the amazing bargain it once was, but it’s still one of the best whites on Tesco’s books, a stylish, finely crafted white from Howard Park. It’s fresh and minerally, with haunting lime-juice and citrus peel flavours and a dry, stony aftertaste. On past perfermance, it will develop well in bottle, too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Australia, Red, Riesling
88

2011 Tesco Finest Swartland Shiraz, Swartland

( £6.99, 14%, Tesco )

Adi Badenhorst has created some increasingly smart wines since he set up on his own, post-Rustenberg, in the Swartland. This lightly-oaked red from a region that is growing in importance and stature is elegant, smoky and gentle with appealing red fruits and a fresh, yet well rounded finish. A good wine to serve with turkey. Or at a Christmas party. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, South Africa, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
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
87

2011 Simply Garnacha, Campo de Borja

( £4.59, 13.5%, Tesco )

It’s not easy to find really good glugging reds under £5 any more, but the Campo de Borja region in northern Spain would be my first port of call. This unoaked example from Bodegas Borsao is juicy, brambly and full of raspberry and redcurrant fruit. Soft and supple: pure, uncomplicated pleasure.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-13Similar Wines: Under £5, 86-90, Spain, Red, Grenache