91

2023 Tenute Pieralisi Monte Schiavo, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico

( £8.99, 11.5% )

Part of a really good new range of Italian whites from Majestic – look out for other arrivals over the next month – this is a bright, tangy, unwooded Verdicchio from one of the highest vineyards in the Marche region. As crisp and a freshly ironed white shirt, it has fennel and chamomile aromas, flavours of citrus and quinine, racy acidity and a waft of mountain herbs. Long and refreshing.

BuySimilar Wines: 90-94, Italy, White, Verdicchio
91

2021 M&S Found Saperavi, Kakheti

( £10, 13%, Marks & Spencer )

If Saperavi were French, it would be one of the world’s most famous red grapes. Instead, Georgia’s premium variety remains something of a secret to most UK wine drinkers. This tasty, toothsome example, sold under Marks & Spencer’s very good Found range, comes from the premium region of Kakheti, where the limestone soils always seem to give the wines a chalky frisson. Plum and damson fruit flavours are supported by protein-friendly tannins and racy acidity.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-30Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Georgia, Red, Saperavi
90

NV Taste the Difference Cava, Catalonia

( £7.50 until May 14, 11.5%, Sainsbury's )

Just the thing if you’re looking for a party fizz – especially at the reduced price until May 14th – this is a Cava made from traditional local grapes, rather than interlopers like Chardonnay. Blending 40% Xarel-lo with 30% each of Macabeo and Parellada, this is a bargain bubbly from Castillo de Perelada, with lots of zip, notes of cream and petrichor, citrus and yellow apple flavours and a hint of sweetness.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-27Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Spain, Sparkling, Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo
93

2022 Casa Ferreirinha Planalto White Reserva, Douro Valley

( £8.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

The Douro Valley may be better known for Port and red table wines, but its whites can offer tremendous quality and value for money too. This brilliant, unoaked blend is a cuvée of seven different local grapes – Arinto, Codega, Godello, Malvasía Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato and Viosinho – from cooler, higher altitude sites. Spicy, pithy and intense, it’s a bright, tangy, seafood friendly number with citrus, lime, white pepper and fennel flavours and a lingering finish.  Outstanding value.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-28Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Aristo, Codega, Godello, Malvasia Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato, Viosinho
91

2022 Juan Gil Monastrell, Jumilla

( £13, 14.5%, Aitken Wines, Cheers Wine Merchants, D. Byrne, Noel Young, Premier Cru Wine Merchants, The Battleship, The Bottleshop, Vin Neuf )

Thanks to its preponderance of old vines and a new generation of winemakers, Jumilla is becoming one of Spain’s most talked about regions. This is an understated, sensitively wooded, organically farmed Monastrell from Familia Gil with lots of sweet spices, red berry, bramble and raspberry fruit and plenty of supporting acidity from its high-altitude terroir at 700 metres. Great value from the Castilla a Mancha.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-29Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, Spain, Red
94

2021 Gallina de Piel Manar dos Seixas, Ribeiro

( £23.98, 13%, Shelved Wine, The Fine Wine Company )

David Seijas was the sommelier at El Bulli, considered the best restaurant in the world at the time, for 11 years, but is now making an excellent range of Spanish wines under his Gallina de Piel label. This is brilliant cuvée of mostly Treixadura with lesser amounts of Godello, Albariño and Loureira, sourced from the granite soils of the Ribeiro region. Intense, stony and bone dry, it has flavours of lemongrass and pink grapefruit, plenty of grip and intensity and top notes of green tea, chamomile and juniper. Utterly delicious.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-28Similar Wines: £20-25, 90-94, Spain, White, Albariño, Godello, Loureira, Treixadura
91

2019 Tesco Finest Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany

( £10, 13.5%, Tesco )

Chianti Classico is one of those wines that it’s easy to take for granted. It’s the kind of thing that often gets overlooked in our scramble to try new things. But when it’s good, you remember why it’s a staple of the wine world. This very lightly wooded Riserva, made by Melini, is a blend of Sangiovese with 15% Canaiolo and Malvasia Negra. Plum, red cherry and sweet spice flavours are completed by bright, tangy acidity, polished tannins and a lingering finish. The perfect treat with a plate of pasta.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-29Similar Wines: £10-15, 90-94, Italy, Red, Canaiolo, Malvasia Nera, Sangiovese
92

2020 Rupert & Rothschild Classique, Western Cape

( £18.99, 13.9%, Majestic )

It’s no mean feat to make 1.2 million bottles of a wine that’s as good as this blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with 8% Petit Verdot and a splash of Malbec. Blended across the Cape, with components from Stellenbosch, Darling, Wellington and Paarl, it has floral bramble, cassis and red berry flavours, stylish oak, caressing tannins and some understated aromatic spices. A delicious alternative to red Bordeaux.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-30Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, South Africa, Red, Malbec, Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
91

2021 Umani Ronchi Fonte del Re Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, Marche

( £15.50, 13%, Tesco )

Made with the comparatively rare Lagrima di Morro d’Alba grape, this unwooded Adriatic red is one of the hidden jewels in the sprawling Tesco range. Close your eyes and you could almost be smelling a white wine, as aromas of ginger and Turkish Delight waft from the glass. The palate puts you right, though, as it combines plum and black cherry fruit with plenty of underlying grip and acidity. A perfect wine with a plate of fresh pasta.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-29Similar Wines: £15-20, 90-94, Italy, Red, Lacrima
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

2022 The Society's Chinon, The Loire Valley

( £9.99, 13%, The Wine Society )

Partly inspired by a line in Peter Pharos’ latest column, I’ve decided to feature a Chinon as my wine of the week. The Loire Valley is one of those under-rated French regions  that consistently delivers great value for money, especially for Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc lovers. This is a gloriously scented, leafy, unwooded example of the former grape from Famille Bougrier, with crunchy acidity, raspberry and black cherry flavours and top notes of graphite and green herbs. Appealingly juicy.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-30Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, France, Red, Cabernet Franc
90

2020 Tesco Finest Peumo Carmenère, Peumo, Cachapoal Valley

( £8.50, 14%, Tesco )

Something of a bargain within the Tesco range, this is a plush, engagingly scented Carmenère from Peumo, considered one of the best regions for the grape in Chile. Judiciously blend with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s appealingly unwooded, with flavours of rocket, dark chocolate and green pepper, supple tannins and enough acidity to freshen the finish.

BuyDrinking window: 2024-30Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Chile, Red, Carmenère