Tried and Tested

June 2020

Meinklang Weißer Mulatschak 2018

This family-run biodynamic estate in Burgenland is proud of the manure created by its herd of Angus steers. Thankfully, you can’t taste it in this invigorating Gewürztraminer/Pinos Gris/Welschriesling blend, with its pithy, zesty Seville orange notes. So fresh, joyous and quaffable, you could drink it by the pint.

RRP: £12.95 ABV: 11.5%
Vintage Roots (0800 980 4992)

Le Seigneur du Raveil Vacqueyras 2016

It would be a real shame if the contents of the bottle weren’t as classy as the packaging, but thankfully that’s not an issue here. A well-built blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault, it pulls off that Rhône trick of being both rich and deep as well as light and fresh, with satisfying cassis and blueberry characters.

RRP: £18.99 ABV: 15%
Vindependents (020 3488 4548)

De Angeles Malbec Sin Roble 2017

“Unfettered” is the word that springs to mind to describe this mesmerising Malbec. There’s no oak involved: the juice is allowed to consider its options in bottle for 36 months, emerging with juicy ripe plum characters and a slight hint of iron, expressing the unique Luján terroir exactly as the maker intended.

RRP: £32.50 ABV: 14.5%
Las Bodegas (01435 874772)

Fincher & Co
Sauvignon Blanc 2018

This Awatere project is intended to produce a more European, food-friendly style than most Marlborough Sauvignons, with minimal residual sugar and tighter, less tropical flavours. But it retains the pungency we associate with the region, with the palate dominated by crisp lime and elderflower notes.

RRP: £11.95 ABV: 12.5%
Vineyard Productions (0117 915 4555)

Rogers & Rufus Rosé 2019

This Barossa Grenache is billed as a savoury rosé, and it certainly has the credentials to stand its ground with a variety of dishes, especially of the fishy or spicy variety. But the soft summer fruit flavours are also there in the mix, giving the wine a playful sort of character. It slips down all too easily, with a more serious steely note to the finish.

RRP: £14.95 ABV: 12%
Richmond Wine Agencies (020 8744 5550)

Folding Hill Estate Pinot Noir 2016

Sometimes with Pinot Noir you’re happy to settle for “faultless” if “ethereal and life-affirming” are unavailable – or, more likely, beyond budget. This is a masterly addition to the Kiwi Pinot canon, with just enough ripe red fruit, just enough acidity, just enough tannin and more than enough charm.

RRP: £24.99 ABV: 14%
Vindependents (020 3488 4548)

Domaine du Cléray Chardonnay 2019

Generous without being fat, simple without being bland, fruity without losing its mineral zip, this is what Chardonnay tastes like from Muscadet country, and it’s a delight. A summery blend of orchard fruits and melon, crafted by the man who justifiably calls himself The Pleasure Maker, Pierre-Jean Sauvion.

RRP: £10 ABV: 12.5%
Famille Helfrich (07789 008540)

Jean-Claude Mas Cuvée Secréte Merlot Cabernet 2019

Most merchants are eager to sniff out wines around £10 that overperform at that price point, and this sulphite-free blend from the south of France is pretty sharp value with its bright, pure redcurrant and cherry flavours and hints of wild herbs. An easygoing and unpretentious wine for the budget conscious.

RRP: £10.50 ABV: 14%
Vintage Roots (0800 980 4992)