Stars of the New World

Stars of the New World

18th Aug 2010

The prices might be low but the quality is high – 10 fantastic wines all costing no more than £10.

Hard to believe, but the sun is still shining even in the school holiday season, traditionally the month of constant rain! Let us rejoice - there is still time to indulge the great British institution that is the summer barbeque. Ahh yes, sun burn, burnt food, aunty slack bottom wants to go home, screaming kids and wasps. Paradise!

Still, the drinking wine part is nice. We know it’s a cliché but how could we let the season pass without a guide to summer drinking. Many members have e-mailed us in the last month asking for wine recommendations that don’t cost the earth. The community is understandably keen for supermarket wines as they are easy to get hold of and convenient to toss in with the shopping. However, as we said to one member this week:

‘Supermarket wine is kind of like Hollywood films - some occasional gems but also a lot of crap! It's easy to like the 3 for £10 offers we see in Tesco etc and they use them as loss leaders to get you in.  In our experience local wine merchants offer much better wines and value.’

So the following selection is available from on-line merchants, not supermarkets, but just as easily available as many of the following offer free delivery. They are some of the best examples of what countries like South Africa and Chile can do, fruit rich but also elegant wines at affordable prices.  Great summer drinking but good all year round too. Enjoy!

Whites

2009 Zonnebloem Ltd Edition Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, www.sawinesonline.co.uk  £8.99

This is one of the most thrilling Chenin Blancs ever, at a reasonable price. Oak aged but beautifully balanced, this is a soft, rich and delicious wine with ripe apple, banana and citrus fruit on the palate with a vanilla topping.  Lovely texture and a long finish. The perfect partner to BBQ fish.

2008 Fairview Darling Chenin Blanc, Paarl, South Africa, www.sawinesonline.co.uk £8.29

Another great Chenin, although in a very different style to the wine above. Ripe apple and citrus fruit give way to a lovely mineral edge and good backbone. The acidity keeps the wine nicely balanced and refreshing to drink. A more aromatic, crisp style of wine. Try it with Shellfish and salads.

2009 Moncellier Wines Pinto Gris, Marlborough, New Zealand, www.mumblesfinewines.co.uk £9.99

If you think Pinot Grigio means flat, neutral wine, then try this beauty from New Zealand. Pungently aromatic with notes of peach, watermelon and honeysuckle, it’s packed with ripe soft fruit. We can’t imagine a better aperitif.

  2009 Moncellier Wines Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, www.mumblesfinewines.co.uk £9.99

Every sane person loves New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and we do too. This is another classic, pungent example, with ripe citrus and melon fruit and a subtle hint of passion fruit on the palate. Perfect fodder for bbq white meats, this is one of the most impressive Sauvignons that we have come across.

2005 Victoria Greek Chardonnay, South Australia, Australia, www.mumblesfinewines.co.uk £6.99

A lot of Australian Chardonnay can be overripe and almost sickly to drink but not this one. Refreshingly un-oaked, it impresses with its strong aromas of lemon and vanilla, ripe peach and apple on the palate are balanced by a good acidity. We like it with pork and apples cooked in Cider.  

Rosé

2007 Carmen Rose Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo, Chile, www.qpwines.com £7.89

A strong contender for the best rosé we have tried this year, and not just for summer drinking.  You can enjoy this full, rich, delicious rosé all year round. It combines the raspberry and redcurrant fruit flavours of Syrah with hints of blackcurrant and cassis. This wine is perfect for drinking without food.

Reds

2009 Horse Mountain Pinotage, Paarl, South Africa, www.sawinesonline.co.uk  £9.79

South Africa’s crossing of the Pinto Noir and Cinsault grape varieties produces rich, velvety and meaty wines that stand up well to the strong flavours of bbq food. This brilliant example from Stellenbosch offers enticing flavours of ripe mulberry, juicy raspberry, roast coffee beans, and vanilla. Particularly good with spicy lamb chops.  

2008, Dona Paula Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, www.oddbins.com £10.99 (Ok it’s a pound over, but so worth it!)

Malbec can make stunningly intense wines – this signature example from Argentina has a lovely complex bouquet of jam, tar, blackberry and dark chocolate - guaranteed to impress anyone who tries it. Ripe raisin and blackberry fruit dominate the palate with a vanilla edge to the finish.  Begs to be served with Rib Eye steak.

2008 Nostros Reserva Carmenere, Central Valley, Chile, www.qpwines.com £6.81

Closely related to Merlot, this is one of Chile’s signature grape varieties. This example from the Nosotros estate is a wonderfully soft wine, dark in colour with herbal, plum fruit and a touch of sweet-sour tomato cum soy sauce.  Can be enjoyed quite happily on its own.

2004, Carmen Merlot Cabernet Franc, Rapel, Chile, www.qpwines.com £7.89

Last but by no means least, this Merlot Cabernet Franc blend strikes the perfect balance between ripe fruit and a structured palate, this wine would continue to age well if we could bear to cellar it! Notes of plum, violet, butter and caramel dominate an intense palate – very long finish. A wine for a special occasion.

 

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