2011 The Society's Australian Chardonnay, McLaren Vale, South Australia

( £6.50, 12.5%, The Wine Society )

It’s a measure of how far Aussie Chardonnay has advanced in recent years, that even a Chardonnay from warmer climate McLaren Vale is light-bodied and unoaked. This is appealingly dry with flavours of stone fruit and a bite of lemon zest-like acidity.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-13Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Australia, White, Chardonnay

2010 Beaumont Hope Marguerite Chenin Blanc, Bot River

( £16, 13%, The Wine Society )

Rightly awarded Five Stars in the recent edition of South Africa’s Platter Guide, this is a sublime Cape Chenin Blanc. It’s made in a Chenin meets Chardonnay style, with vanilla-scented barrel fermentation and some nice texture from the lees. The Chenin part provides fresh acidity, notes of apple and subtle tropical fruit and a fine finish. The wine should develop further over the next two or three years. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, South Africa, White, Chenin Blanc

2011 Von Hövel Oberemmeler Hütte Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

( £13.50, 8%, The Wine Society )

Saar Kabinett at its light and most pristine, this charming, floral, medium sweet Riesling is very delicate on the nose and tongue, with notes of apple and stone fruit, crunchy, Granny Smith acidity and all the fruit you’d expect from a warm vintage like 2011. Max von Kunow has taken over from his father, Eberhard, and there is a perceptible shift here towards a slightly drier style, but the quality of the wines remains as high as ever. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Germany, White, Riesling

2009 Nicosia Fondo Filara Nerello Mascalese IGT Sicilia, Etna, Sicily

( £9, 13%, The Wine Society )

This Nerello Mascalese won a gold medal in the Decanter 2012 awards, and it’s not hard to see why. The fruit is lithe and ripe, with an attractive smoky hint. There’s an overwhelming sense of freshness, vitality and elegance in this wine – and the Etna trademark minerality is present and correct, together with a lemon-candy note on the finish. At £8.50 this is one of Etna’s few bargains – It’s no surprise therefore that the Wine Society has sold out. Let’s hope they can secure some more soon.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-2016Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nerello Mascalese

2010 Thymiopoulos Jeunes Vignes de Xinomavro, Naoussa

( £10.50, 13.5%, The Wine Society, Theatre of Wine )

This is only the young vines version, but it gives you an idea of how classy Xinomavro can be as a grape. It’s part Nebbiolo, part Pinot Noir, part Nerello Mascalese, but also has a savoury note that is all its own. Scented red fruits, mid weight tannins, a whisper of oak and pine resin. Not many countries can deliver quality like this at just over a tenner.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Greece, Red, Xinomavro

2011 Lagar de Costa Albariño, Rias Baixas, Galicia

( £11.50, 12.5%, The Wine Society )

The old vine (60 years to be precise) concentration really comes through in this refreshing Galician white. Focused, minerally and very long on the palate with notes of lemon zest and lime and a hint of spritz. A really classy Albariño that’s worth paying a little extra for. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, White, Albariño

2011 Château Rouquette sur Mer, Cuvée Arpège, La Clape, Languedoc

( £9.95, 13.5%, The Wine Society )

If you’re looking for a rare southern French white with lots of personality, this blend of Roussanne and rare Bourboulenc from cosatal La Clape deserves a slot in your wine rack. It’s rich and slightly honeyed with notes of wax and pear and a spicy, textured finish with just a hint of grape skin bitterness. A white wine with grip. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Bourboulenc

2011 Auzells, Costers del Segre, Catalonia

( £9.95, 13%, The Wine Society )

Made from no fewer than eight varieties (with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Muscat among them), this is an intriguing nothern Spanish white that combines perfume with fruit intensity. Grapey, fresh and lime-scented, it’s a focused, floral dry white with a hint of bitterness on the finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Spain, White, Albariño, Chardonnay, Macabeo, Muscat of Alexandria, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc