WINE: The current pick of the bunch

Red wine pouring down from a wine bottle (clipping path included) against white background PPP-141211-142114001
Red wine pouring down from a wine bottle (clipping path included) against white background PPP-141211-142114001
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A very simple criteria for this month’s feature – a snap-shot of wines recently tasted, that offer great value on a quality to price ratio.

Tesco finest – Côtes de Gascogne 2015 IGP – France £6 – A cracking blend of Gros Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc. Citrus flavours – lime and grapefruit, with crisp acidity and a youthful, fresh finish. Try with fish pie, or fish-cakes.

Aldi Exquisite Collection –Clare Valley Riesling 2014 –Australia £6.99 – Multi-award winning Riesling. Green apple, citrus and stony minerailty, with fresh, vibrant acidity, that fills the mouth and retains its intensity with long length. Seafood, or Thai cuisine.

Waitrose – Grüner Veltliner 2014 Niederösterreich – Austria £7.99 – Made by Markus Huber (top Grüner man). Bright grapefruit, lime and greengage flavours, supported by smart acidity, white pepper and wet-stone notes. Try with Asian food.

Asda Extra Special – Gavi 2014 – Italy £8 – Pear and almond, with a trace of minerality, pin-point acidity and a stylish, long finish.

Bellingham – The Bernard Series – Hand-Picked – Viognier 2015 Coastal Region – South Africa £10.99 Co-Op stores – Super Viognier, showing peachy aromas, rich, yet poised fruit intensity, yellow-stone fruit characteristics and subtle spice.

Asda Extra Special – Dão 2013 –Portugal £5 – Characterful. Blackberries with hints of thyme and liquorice, along with fabulous food-friendly acidity. Great value.

Tesco finest – South African Malbec 2015 Swartland £5.50 – Swartland’s a real hot-bed and source of some very impressive wines right now and this succulent, bold, damson plum, black cherry-spiced red represents amazing value. Drink with a steak sandwich or tomato-based pasta dishes.

Jacques Dépagneux – Pinot Noir 2011 Vin De France £5.75 The Wine Society – Pinot Noir grown in the favourable conditions of the upper Aude Valley (Limoux). A supple, smooth, red-fruit scented wine, that would accompany tuna, pâté, or lamb cutlets.

Montaignan – Carignan – Vieilles Vignes 2014 Vin De France £6 Cambridge Wine Merchants – Juicy, blackberry and plum flavours, with a generous texture and bags of instant appeal. Enjoy with cured meats, pizza, or bangers and mash.

Definition – Viňa Majestica - Rioja Reserva 2009 – Spain £12.99 (£9.99 mix six price) Majestic – Textbook Rioja Reserva, with a modern twist. Soft-black fruits – blackcurrant, plum, vanilla and toasty oak. Roast lamb with rosemary would match this wine nicely.

-- Neil is a freelance wine educator and writer. He runs wine courses and tutored tastings for groups and individuals, in Bury and Cambridge. More details: 01359 270318/