Bargain Wine

by Tim Atkins on Friday, 29 January 2010

1 2009 Asda South African Pinotage, Spier (£3.78, 14%) When it's made in a modern, fruity, easy-drinking way, South Africa's native Pinotage grape can be a quaffable red. This unoaked example is bright and supple, with aromatic raspberry and red cherry fruit.

2 2008 Tesco Soave Classico, Cantina di Soave (£3.78, 12%) A cheap wine that does what it says on the label, this pure Garganega from the excellent Soave co-op is soft and pear-droppy with a hint of ginger spice. It's not massively complex, but a very acceptable party white.

3 2008 Santerra Spanish Dry Muscat, Valencia (£3.99, 12%, Morrisons) You're more likely to come across sweet, fortified Muscat from this part of Spain, but I prefer this dry style, made using 85% Muscat and 15% Merseguera. It's grapey, aromatic and fresh with a hint of orange peel.

4 2008 Old Man Creek Chardonnay, New South Wales (£4.99, 13%, Marks & Spencer) An Aussie Chardonnay that makes you want to finish the bottle in a single sitting, this is a great cheap white with attractive peach and honeydew melon flavours underpinned by refreshing acidity and a smidgeon of oak.

5 2009 Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley (£4.99 each for two, 13.5%, Majestic) The two-bottle deal makes this the best sub-£5 Sauvignon Blanc in the country at the moment - a cool-
climate Chilean white with taut, mineral and elderflower flavours and a touch of gunflint. This is as good as many a Sancerre at twice the price.

6 2008 Pujalet, Vin de Pays du Gers (£4.99, 11.5%, Waitrose) A blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc, sourced from Armagnac country in the south-west of France, this is a juicy, lip-smacking white with notes of grapefruit and boiled sweets, and a tangy, refreshing finish. Armagnac's loss is the wine lover's gain.

7 2006 Snake Creek Shiraz, South Eastern Australia (£4.99, 14.5%, Oddbins) This comes down by £1 in price if you buy it by the mixed case, but it's still good value at the single-bottle price. Smoky, brambly and lightly oaked, this has classic Aussie Shiraz flavours of ripe plums and eucalyptus. It's good to see Australia bouncing back with wines like this one.

8 2003 Sainsbury's Gran Reserva Monastrell, Alicante (£4.99, 13.5%) If you like red wines with some age about them - think Rioja, but different grape varieties - this blend of Monastrell and Syrah from the south of Spain is reassuringly traditional, with flavours of fig and currant, and plenty of sweet oak. This is amazing value at under £5.

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