BuyDrinking window: 2014-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Portugal, White, Arinto, Bical
Filipa Pato is one of the most dynamic winemakers in Portugal right now, crafting wines that are every bit as good as those of her father, Luis, albeit in a different, more modern style. This blend of Arinto and Bical, this is tangy, sappy and refreshing, showing the Atlantic influence that colours the wines of Portugal’s coastline and flavours of fresh herbs and citrus fruit. Just the thing to drink with a seafood platter, especially if you’re in Portugal.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, Red, Grenache, Syrah/Shiraz
Jean Gardiés is one of the leading names in the Roussillon, making balanced, herbal reds that have a true sense of place. Violets, thyme and rosemary combine appealingly here on the nose, backed up by flavours of raspberry and mulberry, medium weights tannins and a long finish.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Sauvignon Blanc
The sort of wine that has made Gascony one of the best value-for-money white wine regions in France, this is a comparativley unusual blend of Sauvignon and Gros Manseng, a grape more often found in Jurançon. It’s tangy, refreshing and crisp, with peach, apricot and grapefruit flavours and a zesty finish.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Italy, Red
Essence of Primitivo (aka Zinfandel) from the Salento Peninsula, this is rich, ripe and textured, but carries its 14.5% alcohol with ease. The focus here is on fruit rather than oak: plummy, spicy and sweet, with tobacco and Asian spices and enough acidity for balance. Needs robust food to show at its best.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, Red, Tempranillo
Serious, concentrated, inky Tempranillo from Ribera with excellent structure and acidity. This is less oaky than some of this bodega’s releases and better for it in my view, with flavours of plum and spice, a touch of vanilla and a backbone of tannin. Should age well, too.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Greece, White, Roditis
Greek white varieties deserve to be better appreciated, partly because theu retain acidity and pefume in a warm climate. This is a case in point: aromatic, lime-scented and surprisingly light, with good, sappy acidity and undertones of summer flowers.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Greece, Red, Xinomavro
Xinomvaro can be pretty toothsome stuff, even when the vines are young. But this combines the Nebbiolo-like tannnins and dryness with some sweet, supple red fruits. The overall effect is vey tasty indeed, with hints of rose petal, raspberry and wild strawberry set against a background of savoury, spicy tannins. Delicious at the price.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Chenin Blanc
Possibly a little closed at the moment, but this dry Loire Chenin Blanc hints at good things to come in the glass. Tangy, taut and crisp, with pure green apple fruit, lovely focus and a minerally backdrop. Time should confer more weight and some honeyed, bottle-developed characters.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, White, Chardonnay
White Burgundies from the 2009 vintage don’t lack opulence, but the best ones have freshness and bite, too. This is certainly on the ripe and honeyed side, but it has enough freshness for balance, with notes of vanilla and nutmeg spice, pear and citrus fruit and an appealingly honeyed texture.
Drinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Spain, Red, Tempranillo
The young red from Cillar de Silos is still a pretty substantial wine, with masses of juicy, plummy, brambly fruit, notes of violet and raspberry on the nose and a backbone of tannin. Bring me a leg of lamb!
BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Greece, White, Assyrtiko
if you’re flirting with Greek wines but haven’t consumated the relationship yet, this is the place to start. Sourced from the volcanic island of Santorini, it’s rich, spicy, yet unoaked, with plenty of weight, notes of pear and fresh hay and a thrilling backbone of stony acidity. Like a cross between a Chablis and a Rhône blend, but with a herbal, Mediterranean twist that is all its own.
BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Greece, White, Moschofilero
It’s a pleasure to be recommending a bottle from Oddbins as my wine of the week once more! And what better way to start than something from Greece, long an Oddbins speciality? This is a musky, perfumed, dry white with hints of pear and rosepetal, crunchy acidity and a tangy, seafoood-friendly finish. A great introdcution to an indigenous grape variety.