La rivista britannica Decanter ci consiglia questi 34 grandi vini per iniziare al meglio il nuovo anno.
Buona lettura e cin cin
Kozlovic, Teran, Istria, Croatia 2012
Kozlovic is one of the best-known estates in Istria, and while perhaps more famous for its Malvasia or more structured reds, this Teran is a fine, approachable quaffer. Full of juicy red cherry fruit and a hint of liquorice, it is a moreish and friendly wine crying out for a plate of antipasti.
Price £13.49 Bowes Wine, Great Wines Direct, Hallgarten Druitt, Guildford Wine Co, Novum, Stony Wines, Wine Therapy
Cramele Reca˛s, Castel Huniade Feteasc˘a Regala, Romania 2012
Recas’ vineyards were first documented in 1447 and this cuvée, made from local grape Feteascã Regala, is named after a key historical landmark. A very inviting wine at an incredible price, showing lots of citrus and peach characters and a touch of honey on the finish.
Price £5.99 Adnams
Planeta, Eruzione 1614, Carricante, Sicily, Italy 2012
Taking its name from the Etna eruption in 1614 that lasted 10 years, this fresh and elegant Carricante has an attractive lime and floral nose and a palate loaded with beautiful aromas, an elegant structure and limey finish. The 10% blend of Riesling brings a soft floral and honey touch as well.
Price £15.40 Carruthers & Kent, Enotria
Chacra, Pinot Noir Barda, Patagonia, Argentina 2011
Pinot Noir is not a grape usually associated with Argentina but this bodega makes some of the best in the New World, especially at this price level. Beautiful purity of plum and berry aromas, and spice. The palate is silky smooth with lively red fruit characters and firm tannins.
Price £18.95–£26 Harvey Nichols, Lea & Sandeman
Beyra, Beira Interior, Portugal 2011
Síria and Fonte Cal grapes from some of the highest vineyards in Portugal (700m) have produced a beautifully pure and fruitforward wine. There’s appealing freshness and minerality on the palate too, which is lively with just a hint of spice. And you get change from a tenner!
Price £9.50 Bottle Apostle, Drinkmonger, Pippa Sedgwick Wines, Reserve Wines, Wadebridge Wines, Worth Bros
Rustenberg, Straw Wine, Coastal Region, South Africa 2011
Rustenberg has been making wine in the Simonsberg Valley since 1682. This moreish sweetie (where grapes dry on straw mats for four weeks) has aromas of apricot, peach and lemon. It’s vibrant with bags of stone fruit and citrus concentration.
Price £10.95–£15 (375ml) Harvey Nichols, Lea & Sandeman, Majestic, Stone Vine & Sun, Waitrose
Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Triple Zéro, Montlouis Pétillant, France NV
Chenin Blanc is a dexterous grape that can produce stunning wines whatever the style. This one is sparkling: light and fresh, with lots of green apple and lime fruit. There’s no sugar added during dosage, hence the name Triple Zero, which gives the wine a very dry mouthfeel.
Price £14–£18 Justerini & Brooks, Oddbins
Josef Chromy, Tasmania, Australia NV
This producer is one of Tasmania’s best, as evidenced by the DWWA 2013 International Trophy for its Chardonnay. The estate’s Chardonnay is also in this fizz, joined by Pinot Noir, and the nose shows green apple and citrus fruit, while the palate reveals lightly toasted notes, crisp acidity and a long finish.
Price £20 Marks & Spencer
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Loxarel, Xarel-lo Amfora, Penedes, Spain 2012
For more than four generations the Mitjans family has been caring for the vineyards that make this amphora-fermented and aged wine. The palate has a good nervosity and a great harmony between the limey acidity and the weighty structure.
Price £13–£16 Caviste, Les Caves de Pyrène, Market Row Wines, The Grape Store, The Solent Cellar, Wright’s Independent
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Fabrice Durou, Durou Exception Malbec, Vin de France 2011
Made by the winemaker of the renowned Château de Gaudou in Cahors (the seventh-generation running this estate), this dense Malbec – called Côt in Cahors – is packed with blackberry and damson characters. The palate is fresh and vibrant and supported by soft tannins, leading to a deliciously juicy finish.
Price £6.75 Lea & Sandeman
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Stonier, Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia 2010
The cool maritime climate of the Mornington Peninsula is ideal for early-ripening varieties like Pinot Noir, and Stonier has been planting it here since 1982. This cuvée has a lifted, floral edge to the forest fruits on the nose and the palate is bright and very perfumed.
Price £15.95 Asda
Gonzalez Byass, Una Palma Fino, Sherry, Spain
Taking its name from the chalk mark made on the Fino casks during the Sherry’s final classification process, this vibrant and elegant wine is laced with almond and floral aromas with some seasoned spice. The palate is complex, fresh, nicely textured and very attractive.
Price £11.75–£13 Cambridge Wines, H2Vin, Lea & Sandeman, The Wine Society
Sugrue Pierre, South Downs, England 2010
Made by Dermot Sugrue, former winemaker at Nyetimber, this is the second vintage from a vineyard planted on chalk in 2006. A classic blend of the three Champagne grapes, it boasts great purity and elegance. Lemon and apple aromas are followed by a palate of delicate stone fruit and crisp acidity: long, complex and absolutely delicious. Limited production.
Price £35 Swig
The Society’s Exhibition, Albariño, Rías Baixas, Spain 2012
Albariño seems to be the flavour of the moment with lovers of white wine, and this example would be a great choice next time you have a hankering for seafood. A peachy nose with hint of white flowers, then a refreshing palate with a lot of citrus notes and rich fruit. Quite punchy with nice minerality on the finish.
Price £12.95 The Wine Society
Dominio do Bibei, Lalama, Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2010
Located on the banks of the Bibei River where Romans once found large deposits of gold, this Mencía blended with Garnacha, Brancellao and Muraton displays plenty of vibrant red cherry characters with spice. The palate is nicely textured with fine acidity and freshness on the finish. A fantastic wine.
Price £19.95 Berry Bros & Rudd, Caviste, Field & Fawcett, Wadebridge Wines
Lopez Martin, Carte d’Or Brut Premier Cru, Champagne, France NV
It’s a challenging task to source a good bottle of Champagne below £30. This small grower-producer has worked the region’s vineyards for generations, creating its own house in the early 20th century. This cuvée is unpretentious, packed with zesty ripe fruit and showing strong vinosity.
Price £27.50 Finest Fizz Biz
Yalumba, Viognier, Eden Valley, South Australia 2012
Yalumba has spent the past 30 years mastering Viognier and this Eden Valley beauty is the quintessence of what the grape variety can put forth. Delicate stone fruit aromas with hints of floral make for an elegant nose. These flavours follow through on the palate, which has lovely texture and is quite complex.
Price £12.99–£14.99 Majestic, Waitrose
Recaredo, Brut Nature Gran Reserva, Cava, Spain 2007
From a winery founded in 1924, this is a serious, bone-dry style of Cava which has plenty going on. There are lovely hints of hazelnut, smoke and white fruit on the nose, and this layered complexity continues on the palate and beyond, to a lingering finish. A great food wine.
Price £25.49 Les Caves de Pyrène, Ottolenghi, Theatre of Wine
Domaine de la Meynarde, Plan de Dieu, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 2012
The southern Rhône’s famous Mistral wind whips through the small Plan de Dieu appellation, where vines cling on to soils composed of ancient alluvial deposits. This rich red has delicious, rich cherry tones, firm tannin structure and a long, lingering finish. A perfect winter warmer.
Price £8.99 Marks & Spencer
Clos Floridène, Graves, Bordeaux, France 2011
Denis Dubourdieu, a leading expert on white wine vinification, owns this estate and the wine is a true standard bearer for white Bordeaux. Lots of herbal aromas with apple and citrus notes precede a textured palate with nice fruit concentration and minerality on the finish. Drinking beautifully now but will age very well.
Price £18 Christopher Piper, The Wine Society
Torello, Brut Special Edition, Cava, Spain NV
The Torello family has a long, rich history, for the Can Martí estate has been under its ownership since the end of the 14th century. The strikingly liveried cuvée, made from Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo, is forward but elegant in style with an attractive intensity of zingy, ripe apple fruit.
Price £17.95 Enotria
Domaine des Aubuisières, Cuvée de Perruches, Vouvray, France 2012
From a 28ha property with vines spread out on some of Vouvray’s best soils, this is a delightful, great-value wine. The pear and peach nose is complemented by floral hints and the palate is fresh, mineral and vibrant with ripe fruit and honey notes, driven on by Chenin’s signature acidity.
Price £9.99 Majestic
Cennatoio, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy, 2000
Made in small oak barrels this ‘holy wine’, made from Malvasia and Trebbiano, has its origins in the Renaissance where it was used in religious ceremonies. Amaretto-like, with toffee-coated hazelnuts and a concentrated palate, this could only be from the heavens above.
Price £15.95 (500ml) Stone Vine & Sun
Weingut Thörle, Riesling Feinherb, Rheinhessen, Germany 2012
From a family-run winery that has been making wine here for four generations, this Riesling has delicate floral aromas with plenty of minerality. The structured palate boasts lots of pretty fruit with a steely backbone and good, direct acidity.
Price £12.95 Caviste, Field & Fawcett, Wadebridge Wines
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Mas Coutelou, Le Vin des Amis, Vin de France 2012
From the Béziers area in Languedoc, this exciting domaine (no stranger to these pages) has been making wine with minimal intervention since 1987. Predominantly Syrah with some Grenache, the nose is packed with juicy black fruit and the palate is vibrant and fresh with great depth of flavours.
Price £12.95 Roberson Wine
Gusbourne Estate, Brut Reserve, England 2008
This fine estate was established 10 years ago by a South African orthopaedic surgeon and ex-rugby player. Here, the nose shows roasted almonds with buttery notes and ripe stone fruits, while the palate is fresh, firm and persistent.
Price £24.30–£27 Armit, Lea & Sandeman, Oddbins, St Andrews Wine Co, Tanners, The Secret Cellar
Les Vins de Vienne, St-Péray, Rhône, France 2012
A collaboration between leading producers François Villard, Yves Cuilleron and Pierre Gaillard, this comes from St-Péray – a small, all-but-forgotten white wine region in the northern Rhône. It has plenty of ripe apple flavours on the creamy, textured weighty palate and the finish is long and lingering.
Price £14.99 Waitrose Direct
Viña Mayu, Syrah Reserva, Elqui Valley, Chile 2010
This won a 2013 DWWA Red Rhône Varietal Regional Trophy and it’s easy to see why. Assertive, dark berry fruits give added complexity from strong peppery and iodine components. Despite that lovely savoury facet there is still plenty of sweetness to the fruit and a long finish.
Price £10.99 Asda, Sainsbury’s
Ken Forrester, Workhorse Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch South Africa 2012
Planted in the shadow of the Helderberg mountain, the 35- year-old vines here benefit from cool, ocean breezes. First are punchy aromas of wet grass, then a weighty, complex palate high in acidity with a good intensity and structure. A rich Chenin that would pair well with food.
Price £7.99 Marks & Spencer
Domaine Lagneau, Beaujolais-Villages, Burgundy, France 2011
From a cellar built in the 12th century comes this rather serious Beaujolais – this is nothing like Nouveau! It displays amazing concentration of ripe red cherry and loganberry fruit and the supple, ripe palate is immediately rewarding but with a refreshing lightness throughout.
Price £9.95 Stone Vine & Sun
Te Whare Ra, TWR Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2012
The grapes for this wine come mainly from the Awatere Valley where cooler nights and warmer days have helped accentuate the vibrant aromas. The palate has lime and apple fruit and crisp acidity. An intense, stylish and serious glass of wine.
Price £18.95–£21 Bottle Apostle, Hallowed Ground, Harvey Nichols, Swig
Penfolds, Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet, South Australia 2011
First produced in 1978, this classic Australian blend is named after Penfold’s renowned Barossa Valley vineyard. The 62% Shiraz shines through, with rich and spicy aromas and flavours of red and black fruits. Pure, generous and well made. Always a reliable weekday red.
Price £9.99–£10.49 Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose
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Gramona, Brut Nature Gran Reserva, Cava, Spain 2008
It may have taken 132 years for this historic wine merchants to add a Cava to its portfolio, but it has taken the plunge in style. Gramona is one of the finest Cava houses and this is a vibrant glass of fizz, with an abundance of ripe apple and stone fruits mingling with more savoury, almond characters.
Price £16.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
Waitrose, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France NV
It’s often been true that anyone after a great-value, own-label supermarket Champagne could do far worse than reaching for one of Waitrose’s offerings, and it seems that’s still the case. From the Côte de Blancs area, this sparkler has plenty of breezy, lime and apple characters, plus an appealing texture.
Price £24.99 Waitrose
( Fonte Decanter.com )