Reds between £10-15
100x100 from Jumilla
is a three tick showstopper wine. This organic syrah is absurd value at £11.60. It was a real surprise when I drank it. Perfumed and aromatic, smoky red fruits. Deeply and comfortingly red. Brilliantly balanced with soft tannins and not even that alcoholic like a lot of Spanish reds can be. A real delight.
Elsewhere from Spain, Nauta Monastrell
(£9.99 down from £12.49) is top, top value. This is straight up oaky, deliciousness: liquorice, violet, vanilla, and black pepper cling to blackcurrant in harmony. It’s beautiful to look at and there’s some dried fruits hanging around in there as well. This is a go-to favourite from Waitrose if you have it in your local one.
Terre de Mistral, a low sulphur Cotes du Rhone, was my highlight of the week (Buon Vino, £10.50
, Salon, £11). This was elegantly smooth - both on the nose and on the palate, with aromas of black cherry, crushed black pepper on the nose, and wafts of cured, hanging meat from the pantry. Best affordable red I’ve had in a long time.
Whites & oranges between £10-15
Chardonnay fans should check out Bonaterra from Waitrose
(£12.49). This has a really surprising depth to it and a great way to explore warmer climate chard’. Honey, tropical flavours, with a butteriness that oaky chardonnay fans will love. If you’re used to drinking cooler climate chardonnays and want to see a great tropical display - this is a great start pointing.
Berry Bros & Rudd, one of England’s oldest wine merchants, has as series of their affordable own brand wines that have gained good notoriety. Their Good Ordinary Claret (£9.95) was a bit too dry for my liking, but their White Burgundy
(£12.50) is a very good and well priced: expect fresh stone fruits, and a bit of smokiness.
This is a bottle I’ve since gone back to again and again. BBR have also opened an outpost in London Bridge station. They sell this by full and half bottle, with a slight premium of a few pounds added on to each for being in a station.
I had my first can wine this weekend. Purchased from newcomer Nektar Wines, this Alloy Wine Works Chardonnay (£11 for 375ml) was very nice indeed. Strong vanilla, pears, and lemon, with a lees-driven autolytic note too. This smashed out any concern about flavour of wine in cans straight away. A slight cheat this one as the can is actually a half-bottle but this format fits into the bracket.
The highlight of the Farmdrop week though came from Terre di Marca’s orange wine made from Pinot Grigio
(£11.45). There’s barely any orange colour or cloudiness here, so you could easily believe it’s a regular white. That is until you bury your nose in and discover grapefruit, melon and honey. Great mouthfeel and very well balanced. Buy this immediately!
(£14.50) is a great lesson in not judging a book by its cover. Truth be told I wasn’t expecting much from this label design, but actually the white flowers and grapefruit were the sorts of notes I love in whites these days.
Louis Latour has a classic white Burgundy [at Waitrose
]. It’s buttery, appley, ripe lemony, apricoty, and nods of honey. A lovely body & long finish. Usually priced at £13.99, at £10 I’d buy as much of this as you can afford to stock up on. It’s sold out online already: so go find it in your local.
This was one of the best treats from a supermarket last Christmas. It’s great value even at £14.29 (current price).