By Rose Murray Brown MW   Published in The Scotsman 25 June 2016

This week’s column is for those who love searching for good quaffing bargains, rather than serious wine – with dry whites, rose and reds all under £6 – and some even under a fiver – to suit all styles:


Aldi Exquisite Collection Albarino reviewed by Rose Murray Brown MWRias Baixas, NW Spain:  THE EXQUISITE COLLECTION ALBARINO 2015   ***STAR BUY***
(£5.99 Aldi : online launch offer £5.29)
Looking for a dry zesty white with crisp acid and rich textural depth under £6?  You cannot go wrong with the popular Albarino grape from Galicia; this bargain example certainly fits the bill.  Peach & apple with a floral herby undertones, a good glycerol feel on the palate making it a good match for scallops or monkfish: 12%

(£5.99 Waitrose)
Popular in our tasting with those who like dry racy whites.  This unoaked Chenin Blanc is nothing serious, but an ideal quaffer for aperitif or with a summer salad.  Hails from a Fairtrade vineyard too: 12.5%

wine under £6 reviewed by Rose Murray Brown MW in The ScotsmanRepublic of Moldova:  CHATEAU VARTELY FETEASCA REGALA 2015   ***STAR BUY***
(£5.75 The Wine Society                      
The surprise of the tasting.  Blossomy hay aromas, soft ripe fruit palate, smooth silky and very fresh: a unanimous winner with all tasters.  This shows the potential of the Romanian Feteasca Regala, a grape created in the 1930s and usually found in Romania.  Over the border in Moldova in its Codru region, Nicolai Ciornii has invested heavily in vineyards and proves that he can create a just off-dry white with some style at a brilliant price: 13%

Central Valley, Chile: VINA MAIPO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015
(£4.75 Sainsbury’s; Tesco)
Clean linear Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from the Vina Maipo range; ‘acceptable as a quaffing aperitif’, ‘zippy and freshness’ said tasters; serve it well-chilled to enjoy its zestiness: 12.5%

Dr Loosen Riesling reviewed by Rose Murray Brown MWMosel, Germany: DR LOOSEN RIESLING 2014
Price: £5.98 (reduced from £7) at Asda until 14 July
This entry-level Mosel Riesling was pitched against Pfalz-based Devil’s Rock Riesling in our tasting.  Dr Loosen’s Mosel example shone out with its light floral notes, just off-dry style, racy fresh, hint of minerality & very modest alcohol: pretty good value at Asda’s offer price: 8.5%

(£5.49 Lidl)
Very acceptable at this price level for this exotic fruit flavoured Chenin Blanc with just a hint of oak; some sweetness lingering here, but that might suit some palates.  Tasters enjoyed its ‘juiciness’ and ‘melony fruits’: 13.5%

Cotes de Gascogne, SW France:  VIN DE PAYS DU GERS 2014
(£5.50 Marks & Spencer)
Ugni Blanc and Colombard are not the wine world’s most exciting grapes, but perfectly suited to creating light bodied appley dry unoaked whites. Very easy, approachable and light in alcohol; tasters found it ‘tangy’ and eminently quaffable for the price:  11%


Navarra, Spain:  SENORIO DE SARRIA ROSADO 2015
(£5.95 The Wine Society
The best of a bad bunch.  Many of the roses in this tasting were far too sweet, but this deep dark Navarra Garnacha-based rose is vibrantly fruity without being too sickly with a good dry finish; very quaffable and pretty good for the price. 14%                                  



Mendoza, Argentina:  EXTRA SPECIAL MENDOZA MALBEC 2014
(£5 Asda)
For a cheap quaffing Malbec this holds the cards at this price.  Deep dark colour, plenty of ripe blackcurrant and damson fruits, velvet lushness on the palate and finishes is moderately long: 13.5%

wine under £6 in The Wine Society reviewed by Rose Murray Brown MWZaragoza, Spain: 3C CARINENA 2014   ***STAR BUY***
(£5.25 The Wine Society
A very high scorer in our tasting.  This Spanish red is brilliant value: youthful, juicy, warm baked fruits on entry, but bags of flavour for your money.  An all-round celebration of Carinena: the name of the grape, the village and the appellation.  13.5%

(£4.99 Aldi; online launch offer £4.79)
Robust hefty cherry fruits, sweet jammy palate, not an elegant Pinot but lots of rumbustious rich ripe fruits: 13.5%

Campo de Borja, Spain:  GRAN VISTA GARNACHA 2015
(£4.99 Co-op)
This Garnacha smells really youthful ‘just out of the vat’ said one taster: peardrop and cherry notes with a sweet juicy fruit palate, quite grapey and a touch peppery.  Little known Campo de Borja region is known locally as the empire of Garnacha: 14%


Waitrose Romanian Pinot Noir reviewed by Rose Murray Brown MWDealurile Munteniei, Romania:  WAITROSE ROMANIAN PINOT NOIR 2015  ***STAR BUY***
(£5.99 Waitrose)
Smells of peardrops and raspberries, very smooth silky palate, light bodied and undemanding as you would expect from a Romanian Pinot at this price: 13%

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