2018/19 Winter Drinks Roundup

So we all buy wines from different outlets and there’s both a lot of value and a lot of dross out there. Luckily I’m on hand to guide you through all the best stuff that’s on the shelves right now. I’ll go through each of the major wine retailers listing their superstars this season. Please note that not all wines are available in every store but most of the retailers claim they can all be purchased on-line. For my full listfrom each retailer click on their logo on the right of this page.

All prices pretty much accurate at time of writing but are subject to change.

Marks and Spencer
Campbells Shiraz Durif £13.00 - Proper Aussie number, big and brash, bags of fruit, easy to get along with
La Fortezza Merlot £7.00 - soft, silky Italian merlot, forward bramble fruit.
Notte Rossa Primitivo di Manduria £11.00 - Black currant nose, warming cassis and oak, light wood smoke
Palataia Pinot Noir £20.00 - Lovely light pinot noir, spice and blueberry, cedar and spice, balanced

Gold Label Sauvignon Blanc (Fra) £7.00 - Light in sauvignon character, subtle, gooseberry and greengage, party wine
Domaine Pierre de Prehy Chablis £15.00 - Nice flinty nose, racy acidity, oyster, apple and lime, perfect
Sancerre Les Ruettes £15.00 - Stylish Sancerre, light, fresh and crisp, zesty lime pith, great value
Mount Bluff NV £13.50 - Big nosed yeasty Kiwi fizz, creamy red apple palate
Marks and Spencer Vienna Lager £2.00 - Really well made beer balanced hop and malt
Alcohol Free G and Tee £2.50 - as good a zero alcohol G&T as you will get, perfect

Morrisons The Best Rioja Reserva £6.75 - Total bargain, big and oaky, soft tannin, good black fruit
Wm. Morrison The Best Crozes-Hermitage £12.00 - This pretty much ticks all the boxes and is very well priced
Morrisons The Best Carmenere £7.50 - Great looking bottle, pipe smoke, soft plum and damson, perfect party wine
Morrisons Pinot Noir £4.65 - Best value red in the UK this season, balanced fruit and tannin

Timestone Marsanne Grenache Blanc £10.00 - Classy looking wine, passionfruit and lychee, fresh acidity, beauty
Wm. Morrison Rioja Blanco Reserva £13.00 - Good ripe oaky nose, baked apple and cream, lovely
Wm. Morrisons Chenin Blanc £6.50 - straightforward fruity creamy palate, fresh acidity

Morrisons The Best Vintage Cava Brut £8.25 - Erm, £8.25? Really good Cava, really good price!

Meadowhawk Zinfandel £8.99 - Inky, deep and complex, powerful winter warmer
Estevez Cabernet Sauvignon-Carmenere £4.79 - Ripe damson and plum nose, good blackcurrant with lovely menthol notes, nice tannic structure
Artisan Tasmanian Pinot Noir £16.99 - Cool climate pinot noir, bramble, raspberry and something savoury, high % but you wouldn't know

Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling £6.99 - Floral and aromatic, white blossom, very well made
Artisan Tasmanian Gewurtztraminer £10.99 - Lovely aromatic floral nose, dry, perfumed wine, like drinking petals
Ashwood Freeman’s Bay Pinot Gris £5.79 - Tropical fruit, lychee and melon, lovely complex gris
Phillipe Michel Cremant de Jura £7.99 - East drinking fizz, well priced, apple and grass, lovely
Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut £11.49 - Fresh bread nose, red apple palate, fresh and rich
Masons Gin £24.99 - Classy looking bottle, balanced gin, lively orange peel and forward juniper

Finest Agilanico £9.00 - Full on concentration, rich and deep, very easy to drink
Boschendal 1865 Shiraz £8.00 - Eucalyptus nose, proper Aussie shiraz
Finest Vina del Cura Rioja Reserva £8.00 - Spice and oak, medicine cabinet complexity
Finest St. Emillion Grand Cru £16.00 - Black cherry nose, earthy, pencil box, soft approachable tannins, ripe black fruit
Finest Saint Mont £6.00 - Light green apple nose, fresh and zippy, great value
Tesco Fiano £5.50 - Floral aromatic wine, blossom, citrus palate, tropical
Finest Marlborough Riesling £8.00 - Lime zest, perfumed, refreshing dry, all it should be, first rate
Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse £17.00 - Classy burgundy, apple and lime, good use of oak
Coteaux D'Aix en Provence Rosé £6.75 - A proper cut above, dlicate red berry and citrus, very pretty bottle
Finest Blanquette de Limoux £9.00 - Lovely apple and grass nose, creamy, hint of sweetness
Finest Late Bottled Vintage Port £10.00 - Ripe and intense black fruit, deep and complex
Tesco Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur £10.00 - Warm, sweet and salty, unctuous, lovely

Bellingham Pinopasso Pinotage £8.99 - Deep and complex, great value, intense, mouthwatering
Chateau Musar £24.99 - Perfect poise, balance of black fruit and peppery spice, savoury development too, amazing wine
Surani Costarossa Primitivo di Manduria £9.99 - Vanilla, coconut, powerful black fruit, intense
The Guv'nor (Spa) £6.99 - Satisfying wine, full on generous black fruit and a good touch of oak
Chavy Puligny Montrachet Les Charmes £45.00 - If you only buy one bottle of wine this year…
Paul Mas Estate Marsanne La Forge Vineyard £8.99 - greengage, lime, forward fruit, delish’
Nord Est Vermentino, Sardinia £8.99 - Open tropical fruit nose, peach, mango and pear, bursting with fruit, amazing
Montagny 1er Cru Les Millieres Cave des Vignerons de Buxy £9.99 - Lovely nose, green apple and grass, depth and quality, lemon zest, sophisticated wine

Chateau Barreyres Haut-Medoc £13.00 - Good intense Bordeaux nose, black pepper, black fruit, Xmas Day Claret
Taste the Diff Pic St Loup £9.00 - Oak, tobacco smoke, light fruit, interesting wine
Taste the Diff Chilean Pinot Noir £7.00 - Light new leather nose, soft redcurrant palate, good
Taste the Difference Fairtrade Morador Malbec £8.50 - Lovely intense, inky malbec, full on black fruit, mouthwatering

Communa Pinot Grigio £7.00 - Decent characterful PG. touch tropical, ripe fruit
Taste the Diff German Pinot Blanc £7.50 - Melon and fruit salad nose, generous fruit, dry and fresh
Taste the Diff Limoux Chardonnay £10.00 - Soft easy drinker, good oak, green apple, zippy
McGuigan Founders Adelaide Hills Chardonnay £9.00 - Classy, stone fruit and oak in balance

Orbitali Amarone £14.00 - Mouth-watering full on concentrated black fruit and BIG oak
Extra Special Carmenere £6.50 - Spice rack and black pepper, black fruit compote, intense
Zilzie Merlot £5.98 - Spice, medicinal, menthol, plum and damson compote, absolute bargain
Extra Special Malbec £6.98 - Hint of pipe tobacco, forward fruit, ripe and intense, proper 'Drinker'

Extra Special Chardonnay £5.98 - Fresh crisp green apple and lime zest, hint of grass and mineral
Kakapo Riesling/Sauvignon/Chadronnay (NZ) £6.00 - Pretty label, pretty wine, green lime, tropical fruit, classy, long pleasing finish
Extra Special Gavi
(Ita) £6.98 - Great value honest wine, good fresh zesty fruit, green apple and lime
Picpoul de Pinet £6.00 - Lovely peach nose, light tropical fruit palate, well made, easy drinking

Malbec Reserva Privada, Chile, Cimarosa £4.49 - Solid, ripe, classic malbec, very well made balance of big fruit and easy tannins
St Emillion Grand Cru 2014 £10.99 -
Good open black pepper and oak nose, lovely burnt toast notes, smashing wine
Montepulcianno d'Abruzzo £3.99 - Lots of wine for the money, good morello cherry palate, fantastic food wine
Chilean Malbec Reserva Privada, Cimarosa £4.49 - Touch of medicine cabinet on the nose, blackcurrant leaf and vanilla

Chardonnay Pays d'Oc, Chevalier Fauvert £4.79 - Lovely creamy buttery chardonnay, green apple and grass
Albarino Rias Baixas, Abellio £5.99 -
Greengage, lime zest, orange blossom, simple but elegant
Rueda Verdejo, Visigodo £4.99 -
Soft, easy,light, fresh, a real subtle beauty of a wine, under £5!

Ben Bracken 22 yo Islay Single Malt £44.99 - Not cheap but worth every penny, not overly peaty, medicinal, complex and deep

Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir £11.99 - Red cherry and cinnamon, earthy and deep, spiced oak finish
Blason du Rhone Chateauneuf du Pape £22.49 - Generous fruit and cedar, powerful yet subtle
James Irvine Signature Selection Merlot (Aus) £7.99 - Classy wine, great look and palate, intense damson, generous
Atkins Farm Shiraz (Aus) £9.99 - Tobacco, spice and pepper nose, black fruit palate, big wine, very good

Corbello Cataratto/Inzolia £7.99 - Light 11.5%, forward fruit and white blossom, delicate, delish
Catena Chardonnay £12.99 - Light green apple nose, hit of vanilla oak, integrated, lively
Le Clocher d’Amelie 2014 Sancerre £18.99 - Hit of perfume on nose, floral, some minerality, fab
Sandiford Road Pinot Grigio, California £7.99 - Very floral, more gris than grigio, peach and blossom, off dry, well made

Cordoniu '1872' Vintage Cava 2016 £7.99 - Cava is back! Precise melon and peach nose, yeasty undertone to palate, perfect Cava
Waitrose Duchy Original Old Ruby Ale £2.09 - Beer as it should be, balanced hop and malt, a classic style delivered perfectly