by Tim Atkin

The pick of Waitrose’s wine range


2010 Saumur, Les Nivières (£7.49, 13%)
Essence of Loire Cabernet Franc, this unoaked red is a delight: soft and grassy with fresh acidity, no oak and pure blackcurrant and green pepper notes.
88 points

2009 Gérard Bertrand Minervois (£7.49, 14%)
One of the best value wines from this charismatic ex-rugby player, combining Syrah and Carignan to delicious effect: perfumed, spicy and as wild as the hills.
89 points

2007 Torre del Falco Nero di Troia, Puglia (£7.99, 13%)
Made from the aromatic, cherry-scented Nero di Troia grape, this Puglian rosso is refreshing, minerally and unoaked. Try it lightly chilled. 

88 points

2009 Azienda Agricola Malvirà, Nebbiolo delle Langhe (£11.99, 13.5%)
“Cheap” Nebbiolo isn’t always a pleasant experience, but this is lovely: savoury, refined and almost Pinot Noir-like, with just the right amount of tannin.
90 points

2008 Heinrich Hartl St Laurent, Thermenregion (£16.49, 12.5%)
Austria’s reds don’t get as much coverage as its whites, but the best are superb. This is textured and crunchy, with notes of tomato leaf and strawberry.
92 points

2009 Te Muna Road Craggy Range, Martinborough (£19.99, 14.4%)
Craggy is one of New Zealand’s best red wine producers. This is ripe, but well balanced with fine tannins, subtle oak, sweet red fruit and impressive length.

93 points

2008 Odfjell Orzada Carignan, Cauquenes (£15.99, 14.5%)
Carignan is the most exciting grape in Chile at the moment, especially from Maule. Minty, stylish and sweetly oaked, with fresh acidity and a nip of tannin. 92 points

2010 Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block, Western Cape (£18.99, 14.5%)
A great name and a great wine, this blend of mostly Syrah with three other grapes is wonderfully aromatic, with bags of blackberry fruit and seamless oak.
 93 points

2010 Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz, New South Wales (£17.99, 14%)
Tim Kirk makes some of Australia’s finest Shirazes. This is his “entry point” wine, but it’s still very complex, with zesty acidity, polished tannins and pepper spice.
93 points


2011 Cowrie Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (£5.99, 12.5%)
Classic gooseberry and grapefruit flavours with no cloying sweetness. Hard to do better than this from New Zealand for less than a fiver.

87 points

2010 Charte d’Assemblage, IGP Côtes de Gascogne (£7.99, 12%)
Made from Colombard and Ugni Blanc, this unoaked Gascon white is deliciously tangy, with flavours of melon and pink grapefruit and palate-cleansing acidity.
88 points

2010 Domaine Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer, Alsace (£13.99, 13.6%)
Far less OTT than some Alsace Gewurzs, this is a very poised, even restrained white with lovely balance, a touch of sweetness and subtle ginger spice.
92 points

2010 Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau (£10.99, 10%)
Johannes Leitz makes some of my favourite German Rieslings. This minerally white is zesty and floral with haunting balance between acidity and sweetness.

91 points

2010 Terredora Terre degli Angeli Greco di Tufo (£13.99, 13%)
A really complex example of this native Campanian grape: spicy, rich and appealingly honeyed with fresh acidity and a hint of bitter almond.
91 points

2010 Txomin Etxaniz Chacoli de Guetaria (£13.99, 11.35%)
Not the easiest wine to pronounce, but this Basque country white is the perfect aperitif: spritzy, light-bodied and refreshing with lemon and lime fruit.
91 points

2010 Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño, Rias Baixas (£15.99, 13%)
My favourite Albariño on the market at the moment, combining weight and intensity with freshness. Pear, citrus and stone fruit with a very long finish.
94 points

2010 McManis Family Vineyards Viognier, California (£10.99, 13.5%)
A sign that California is finally starting to deliver in the mid-priced market? Creamy and textured with spice balanced by peachy, yet refreshing flavours.
89 points

2010 Catena Chardonnay, Mendoza (£11.99, 13.5%)
The Chardonnays from this forward-thinking producer are getting better by the vintage. This combines New World richness with Burgundian minerality.
90 points

2009 Vincent Girardin Meursault (£29.99, 13.5%)
Toasty and comparatively forward (2009s often are), this has the fatness of Meursault but is underpinned by racy, almost Puligny-like acidity.

93 points


Graham Beck Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Brut, Western Cape (£12.99, 12%)
For less than £13, this dry fizz has to be the best value sparkling wine in the UK. Small bubbles and complex flavours of toast and grilled almonds.
91 points

Waitrose Brut NV Champagne (£19.99, 12%)
Waitrose’s own labels Champagnes are the best on the high street, but this one really stands out. Malty, creamy and full of Pinot fruit, it’s a steal at £15. 92 points

2004 Waitrose Brut Special Reserve (£29.99, 12%)
An elegant, all-Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs from P&C Heidsieck that’s a great foil for the Non Vintage Brut. Very fresh, very pure, beautifully balanced.
93 points


2001 Felsina Berardenga Vin Santo, Tuscany (£29.99, 16%)
If you’re ever going to splash out on a great sweet wine, now is the time. Made from dried grapes, this has notes of incense, violets and spiced raisins.
95 points


Waitrose Solera Jerezana, Fino del Puerto (£8.49, 16.5%)
This is the pouring Sherry in my house at the moment. It’s salty, yeasty and refreshing, like standing by the sea with the wind on your face.
90 points


Leave a Reply