92

2012 David Reynaud, Beaumont, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley

( N/A, 12.5%, Liberty Wines )

A Crozes-Hermitage under screwcap? You’d better believe it. David Reynaud’s wines are perfumed as it is, and the new clsoure should make sure that’s always the case. There’s no reduction here – sometimes a problem under screwcap for Syrah – just lots of bramble and blackberry fruit. Spicy, bright and mineral with delightful freshness. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, France, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
90

2012 Fowles Wine, Are You Game? Shiraz, Victoria

( N/A, 13.7%, Enotria & Coe )

Ignore the nudge nudge, wink wink name of this wine (it’s only a bit of fun anyway) and concentrate, instead, on what’s in the glass. Violets, bramble and some gentle spices, with a touch of cracked pepper make this a refreshing, easy drinking red. A dash of Tempranillo adds extra interest here.

Drinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Australia, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
90

NV Chandon, Rosé

( £15.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

An unusual but (for Argentina) rather appropriate blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Malbec, this bronze-tinged rosé is savoury and flavoursome with notes of summer fruits, toast and leesy richness. A very drinkable bottle of bubbles at the price. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Argentina, Sparkling, Malbec, Chardonnay
90

2012 Innocent Bystander Syrah, Yarra Valley, Victoria

( N/A, 13%, Liberty Wines )

Phil Sexton’s Yarra Valley winery is one of the most innovative in the region. It’s got a lot of tourist appeal, but it’s wines are deadly serious, too. This is a typically elegant, refined red, with fine-grained tannins, subtle pepper spice and plush raspberry and blueberry flavours and a minerally, refreshing finish.

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
93

2011 Mas Cal Demoura, L'Infidèle, Languedoc-Roussillon

( £19.90, 14%, Cambridge Wine Merchants, I'Anson Wines )

A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault from one of the best terroirs in the Languedoc region of southern France, this is a very stylish wine with a minty edge to it. Smooth, subtle and complex, with refined tannins, sweet blackberry and bramble fruit, subtle oak and refreshing acidity. Balanced, nuanced winemaking.

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, Red, Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah/Shiraz
91

2011 Domaines Schlumberger, Riesling Les Princes Abbés, Alsace

( £13.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

It’s a pleasure to drink an Alsace Riesling made in a dry style like this one. Stony, minerally and unoaked, this is tangy and transparent with appealing bottle development but enough concentration to age for another four to eight years. Great with food. 

Drinking window: 2014-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Riesling
94

2013 Richard Kershaw Wines Chardonnay, Elgin

( N/A, 13.5%, Contact the winery for details )

Englishman Richard Kershaw has followed up his 2012 release with a wine that’s every bit as good. This is a smoky, minerally,  citrus-tinged, stylishly constructed Chardonnay that whispers of its cool climate origins in Elgin. Discreet and subtle, it’s a wine with texture, harmony and palate length. One of the Cape’s best examples of the grape.

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, South Africa, White, Chardonnay
93

2012 Massolino Nebbiolo, Langhe, Piedmont

( N/A, 14%, Liberty Wines )

Fascinating to taste this wine under screwcap and cork and perform a contrast and compare job. They are both excellent, as you’d expect from a top producer in an outstanding vintage, but I slightly prefer the brightness and purity of the screwcapped wine. Fresh and elegant, with pure raspberry and cherrystone fruit, subtle oak and the chalky minerality that’s so typical of Serralunga. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: 91-95, Italy, White, Nebbiolo