Three whites and three reds this week in my perfectly balanced selection.
2013 Gavi, Araldica, Piemonte, Italy (£9.99, reduced to £7.99 each if you buy two bottles, until 28 April, Majestic). While this is not the most accurate, flavour-wise, Gavi I have tasted, at eight pounds this is a lovely, crunchy, Italian white with a stylish palate and a delicious, lip-smacking finish. Take advantage of the deal and load up – this is a superb wine for summer parties, assuming the sun keeps up its appearances from behind the clouds!
2012 Verdicchio di Matelica, La Monacesca, Marche, Italy (£10.99, Waitrose). A little richer and more structured than many Verdicchios, this is a beautiful, greengage and honeysuckle-scented white with a lovely texture and oodles of class. I always compare this famous style of Italian wine to Chablis, but this particular version has the finesse of a Premier Cru Chablis, for half the price!
2012 Mirabelle du Château de la Jaubertie, Bergerac Blanc, France (£12.95, http://www.fromvineyardsdirect.com). This is a surprisingly flamboyant wine and it’s the time that the wine spends in American oak barrels which gives it such ostentatious proportions. The organically grown Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes are on tiptop form here and if you love juicy, nutty, honeyed white wines then rush to buy a case!
2010 Belezos, Rioja Crianza, Bodegas Zugober, Spain (£11.25, Corney & Barrow tel. 020 7265 2430). This fine Rioja estate is situated in Rioja Alavesa to the south of the Cantabrian Mountains. It is the highest and coolest of the three main regions in Rioja. This situation brings elegance and purity to Belezos giving us stunning, hypnotic red fruit notes and a gentle, silky palate. Total class and great value, too.
2010 Château Moulin de Mallet, Bordeaux, France (£8.70, Tanners tel. 01743 234455 & http://www.tanners-wines.co.uk). I love 2010 vintage Bordeaux and this bargain-priced beauty, made from a Merlot-dominant blend, is an absolute gem. James Tanner and his squad always track down superb, inexpensive red Bordeaux and we are very grateful for their efforts because most sub-tenner clarets out there are so many dreary and this one’s a winner.
‘Behind the Label’ – 2011 Escondite Perfecto, Mencía, Bierzo, Spain (£9.99, Marks & Spencer). There are increasing numbers of wines made from the Mencía grape appearing on our shelves. I really like the juicier versions, but some seem a little mean. This grape comes from the northwest corner of Spain and it’s a little like a ‘Spanish Beaujolais’ on the palate. With a nice bite of blackberry fruit and cool, raspy tannins Escondite is a real treat.