88

NV Finest* Premier Cru Champagne Brut, Champagne

( £19.99 down to £12.74, 12.5, Tesco )

Just in case you think I’ve got the maths wrong, this wine is already on a deal until October 1st at £16.99, so the combined discount brings it to £12.74. It’s a youthful, Chardonnay-dominated bubbly with 30% Pinot Noir adding fruit to the former variety’s acidity and structure. It could do with a little more bottle age (what do you expect for such a well-priced wine?) so don’t be afraid to tuck it away for a year or two. But right now, it’s very drinkable: zesty and fresh, with notes of citrus, wet stone and brioche.

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
89

2009 Verget Saint Véran Grand Elevage, Mâconnais, Burgundy

( £17, 13%, Oddbins )

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. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, White, Chardonnay
90

2007 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume, Vignoble de Vaulorent, Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Burgundy

( £29, 13%, The Wine Society )

2007 was a vintage that was overlooked in Burgundy, both for reds and whites, which is a shame as they are drinking really well now. This has a delicious combination of honeyed development with bracing acidity to pull the wine back into line. Taut and chalky, with impressive palate length. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, France, White, Chardonnay
92

2010 Marc Colin & Fils, En Créot, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru, Burgundy

( £24, 13.5%, The Wine Society )

If you’re on the hunt for comparative bargains in th Côte de Beaune, Marc Colin in Saint Aubin should be at the top of your list. This is everything I love about 2012 white Burgundies: focused, yet generous, with citrus rind acidity, a touch of oatmeal, subtle oak and a core of stony, chalky fruit. Superb white Burgundy at a very affordable price. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, France, White, Chardonnay

Everyday value?

by Matt Walls
Lined up against the wall in my hallway, they stood quietly like forlorn commuters queuing for a bus. These were not bottles to make a taster salivate. Why didn’t I...
94

2010 Greywacke Chardonnay, Marlborough

( £25.99, 14.5%, Swig )

When he was at Cloudy Bay (and that was for over 20 years) Kevin Judd was better known for his Sauvignon Blancs thatn his Chardonnays, but the latter were sometimes even more exciting. This superb effort from the top notch 2010 vintages deserves a place among the country’s best interpretations of the grape. It’s smoky and toasty, with flavours of citrus and hazelnuts and a long, minerally finish that wouldn’t look out of place in Puligny-Montrachet. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Chardonnay
89

2011 The Co-operative Chablis, Chablis, Burgundy

( £9.99, 12.5%, The Co-operative )

2011 was a slightly tricky vintage in Chablis, so hats off to the Co-op for finding a wine that delivers under £10. It’s a fairly soft, forward style, but there’s enough steeliness to stop it cloying. It’s fresh and appealing with no oak and supple pear and spice on the palate. 

Drinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Chardonnay