5 Estates with 5 great value wines
All featured in my new book 100 Most Iconic Wine Estates
2011 Valpolicella, Allegrini, Veneto, Italy (£10.99, Bennetts Fine Wines tel. 01608 661409, Noel Young tel. 01223 566744, Corks Out tel. 01925 267 700, Henderson Wines tel. 0131 337 4444). The Allegrini family makes the most beautiful red wines in the Veneto and this inexpensive Valpol is a beautiful example of their craft. Silky smooth, plum-imbued and stunningly scented this cracker should inspire to investigate the rest of the cosmic Allegrini portfolio.
2011 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc, M. Chapoutier, Côtes du Roussillon, France £8.99, Last Drop Wines tel. 020 7351 2973; £7.95 ND John tel. 01792 644688; £11.99, Wimbledon Wine Cellars tel. 020 8540 9979). Michel Chapoutier is one of the most famous winemakers in the world and this spectacular, perfumed white come from his Roussillon operation. With a heavenly, floral nose and slippery-smooth palate this is a wine that will entrance your senses.
2010 Catena, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina (£12.49, reduced to £9.99 until 4 December, Waitrose). My favourite wine estate in the whole of South America, Catena’s sensual, rich reds are a wonder to behold and they are all perfectly balanced, loaded with class and bravado. Make sure that you decant this blockbuster.
2011 Peter Lehmann, Hill & Valley EV Chardonnay, Eden Valley, South Australia (£12.99, Chiswick Fine Wines tel. 020 8747 3007, www.lokiwine.co.uk, www.lindleyfinewines.co.uk, www.gordonandmacphail.co.uk, www.strictlywine.co.uk, Cranbrook Wines tel. 020 8507 8447). The Lehmann portfolio is legendary and it is dotted with mighty reds, but this incredible chardonnay, coming from the cool Eden Valley region, is a triumph. It just goes to prove that many iconic estates also make fantastic value wines, too.
2011 Boekenhoutskloof, Porcupine Ridge Syrah, Swartland, South Africa (£7.99, Waitrose). The finest vintage that Boekenhoutskloof has ever made (and every single one has been featured in my column!) this wine is a standard bearer for the Cape and you will have immense pleasure wallowing in the blackberry and spice crowding the nose and palate of this wine.