Everyone loves a bargain when times get tough – so I have been searching for wines under £12 across the world to serve this Easter – with some fantastic finds in unusual places such as Amyndeon in northern Greece and Costers del Segre in Spain.
Penedes, Spain: CONTEVEDO CAVA ROSADO NV ***STAR VALUE***
Remarkably fruity and intense for the price – this zippy fresh Catalonian blend made by the traditional method (as all Cava is) has delightful apple and raspberry aromas, crunchy red berried fruit palate, hints of honey and a fine mousse. Shows what a bargain Cava rosado can be.
Penedes, Spain: THE WINE SOCIETY CAVA RESERVE BRUT NV
£9.50 The Wine Society
Expertly made by a family winery run by Carlos and Nuria Sumarroca who make all their Cavas from their own vineyards. At under a tenner this clean refreshing cuvee made from traditional Cava grapes Parellada, Macabeo and Xarello and a dollop of Chardonnay is a superb buy with its citrus and caramelised honeyed flavours, nutty notes and yeasty richness.
Veneto, Italy: CECILIA BERETTA PINOT GRIGIO 2021
£10.50 Corney & Barrow
I am not normally a fan of Pinot Grigio, but this zippy fresh citric, nutty soft rounded dry white is such a beautifully-made example – it stood out in Corney & Barrow’s recent tasting. I love Cecilia Beretta’s wines and would also recommend their red Merlot Trevenzie at the same price.
Amyndeon, Greece: FILOS SINGLE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2022
Well done Aldi for delving into the appellations of northwest Greece. I loved this Chardonnay’s zesty citric fruit, herby spicy element and refreshing vibrant acidity made by Filos Estate showing the potential of the 600m high Amyndeon plateau near Mount Vitsi.
Puglia, Italy: MUCCHIETTO FIANCO 2021 ***STAR BUY***
£10.95 Corney & Barrow
A combination of limestone soils, cooling sea breezes just four miles from the Ionian sea and Puglia’s warm summer sun has created a fine example of Fiano. Tropical fruit notes with honeyed undertones and enough acidity to keep the mouth fresh.
Coastal Region, South Africa: MORRISONS THE BEST CHARDONNAY 2021
Beautifully citric minerally lightly oaked example of Chardonnay made by Trizanne Barnard from high altitude grown vines on a farm in up-and-coming Swartland area north of Cape Town – and as part of the Fairtrade scheme a portion of sales go to the welfare of the vinegrower’s employees.
Costers del Segre, Spain: CERVOLES COLORS BLANCO 2021 ***STAR BUY***
£10.50 The Wine Society
For those who seek out organic wines – this is an excellent example of ‘new Spain’. Such bright fresh fruits and piquant acidity, drizzled with mango and peach, silky creamy leesy mouthfeel and a touch of honeyed spice to finish in this clever dry white blend of Macabeo, Chardonnay and Albarino from Cellar Cervoles (bottle pictured above).
Peloponnese, Greece: M&S ‘FOUND’ MOSCHOFILERO & RODITIS 2021
£8.50 Marks & Spencer
Superb dry white from ‘Master of Moschofilero’, Leonidas Nassiakos of Semeli winery based on the Mantinia plateau in central Peloponnese. Roditis from Aigialia mountain slopes gives minerality, freshness and zip to softer silkier Moschofilero. Spicy, sherbet and limey with honeyed notes and salty edge.
Provence, France: MIRABEAU PURE PROVENCE ROSE 2021
£11.99 reduced from £15.99 until 11 April Waitrose
Cracking Easter price for this stylish Grenache/Syrah/Cinsault blend of pale pink rose from Maison Mirabeau, made by an English family who moved to Provence. Beautifully packaged, mellow fruits and a zippy freshness to the palate.
Navarra, Spain: VINA ZORZAL GRACIANO 2020 ***STAR BUY***
£9.75 The Wine Society
My go-to Spanish bargain red is from often-forgotten Navarra region next to Rioja – the source of fantastic value wines. This Graciano made by the Sanz family in Corella village is wonderfully juicy lightly spiced, very approachable and delicious with roast lamb.
Casablanca, Chile: IRRESISTIBLE CASABLANCA VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2021
Easy soft polished version of Pinot Noir from Casablanca Valley has a distinct sweetness with pure raspberry and cherry fruits, soft tannins, a hint of oak and smooth long finish. It is hard to find decent well-balanced Pinot Noir at this price – and Chile does it well.
Mendoza, Argentina: TRIVENTO PRIVATE RESERVE MALBEC 2021
Popular Trivento brand have a ladder of quality levels for Malbec, with Private Reserve on the middle rung at £10. Typical of Argentina Malbec – bursting with succulent black fruit with vanilla and cocoa notes and soft silky tannins – it scooped a gold medal at International Wine Challenge last year.
Naoussa & Santorini, Greece: M&S ‘FOUND’ XINOMAVRO & MANDILARIA 2020 ***STAR BUY***
£9.50 Marks & Spencer
An accessible version of tricky Xinomavro grape with pale tone, fragrant raspberry notes herby undertones and lingering finish. Xinomavro ‘sour black’ comes from Naoussa in northwest Greece, but winemaker Apostolos Thymiopoulos blends in Mandilaria from volcanic Santorini to add uplighted big bold fruits.
Rhone, France: LES VIGNERONS D’ESTEZARQUES COTES DU RHONE ‘LES OLIVIERS’ 2021
£11.30 The Sourcing Table
From a dynamic co-op cellar near Avignon with an artisanal approach making ‘natural’ low intervention wines; gorgeous red fruit and herby aromas, soft smooth tannins and a hint of floral note to the finish.
Puglia, Italy: TERRA DI MONTELUSA PRIMITIVO 2020
£11.95 Cork & Cask, Edinburgh
A style Puglia does so well with ripe succulent juicy fruits, bright red fruits, spicy undertones and velvety texture, made by Calatrasi who make wine in both Puglia and Sicily.
By Rose Murray Brown MW. Published in The Scotsman 25 March 2023
Join Rose’s Escorted Wine & Culture Tour to Georgia www.rosemurraybrown.com