89

2007 Ogier, Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône

( £25, 15%, Majestic )

Too many UK retailers are already on the 2009 and even 2010 vintage of CNDP, so it’s good to taste a wine that, while still young, is showing some bottle maturity. This is rich and deeply coloured with dark berry fruits, a hint of clove and a spicy, meaty finish.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, France, Red, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre
92

2012 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia

( £23, 12.5%, Liberty Wines )

Polish Hill is always the tightest and most restrained of Jeffrey Grosset’s wines and that’s the case here, but this excellent dry Riesling seems a little more open than usual. It’s floral and delicate with lovely, minerally acidiity and notes of lime and green apple. Long and complex.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Australia, White, Riesling
91

2010 Scott Shiraz/Sangiovese, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

( £14.99, 14%, Oddbins )

A really innovative blend (12% of it Sangiovese) from a comparatively new Adelaide Hills winery, this is a very smart, textured red with cherrystone and plumskin aromas, supple, yet savoury tannins, bramble and mint flavours and an Italianate dry flourish. One of the best Italian-influenced reds I’ve had from Down Under. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, Red, Sangiovese
90

2009 Château Marsyas, Békaa Valley

( £££, 14.2%, Contact the winery for details )

An impressive Lebanese blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, which benefits from the consultancy of Bordeaux’s celebrated Stéphane Derononcourt. The high altitude of the vines (900 metres) is reflected in the freshness of the wine, which has notes of honey and cinnamon, a twist of orange peel and a long, well-balanced aftertaste.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Lebanon, White, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
91

2008 Iona, One Man Band, Elgin

( £23.99, 14%, Enotria & Coe )

There are no fewer than six varieties in this well-crafted red from the high flying Iona winery in Elgin. Syrah dominates to the tune of 80%, with support from Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre and Viognier. The wine has real density, with smoky, bramble and blackberry fruit, toasty oak and the freshness you’d expect from a cooler area. A bright debut.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, South Africa, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mourvèdre
94

NV Taittinger, Prélude, Champagne

( £47, 12%, Fortnum & Mason, Hailsham Cellars, Harrods, Majestic, Wine Rack )

If you can’t afford Comtes de Champagne (the 2000 is delicious), this is a more than acceptable substitute at under £50. It’s got lovely toasty, autolytic complexity, notes of grilled hazelnuts and citrus fruit and a very long, satifying finish. A delicious fizz.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-20Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Chardonnay