See our selection of Merlot from around the world - find your perfect wine for under £20, selected by Decanter's tasting team...

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Great value wines under £20

Decanter’s tasting team search the key tastings to hunt down the best value wines the supermarkets, high street and wine merchants can offer.

This week’s selection takes you on a Merlot journey around the world from France to New Zealand, via Chile, South Africa, Romania and Israel. Find your favourite, all under the £20 mark and rated by our expert tasters.

See the top 6 wines in the collection below…



Each week we bring you new wines, so you can branch out from your usual choices, without breaking the bank – especially if you’re one of the wine drinkers who stick to the same wine for a decade.

Don’t forget to also look at our selection of supermarket wines.


 

Tour Chapoux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Bordeaux, France, 2015

Tour Chapoux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Bordeaux, France, 2015

Predominantly Merlot, this good value everyday drinking claret is bursting with bright and juicy red fruit characters. Rounded, seductive and fruit-forward on the palate, it is balanced out by a good tannic core that gives it a nice grip on the finish.

Points 89
Te Rakau, Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawke’s Bay, 2015

Te Rakau, Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawke’s Bay, 2015

The Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand's North Island has developed a world-class reputation for its Bordeaux-style blends, made up of the classic Bordeaux varieties. This example is predominantly Merlot for a plush, chocolatey character, while the two Cabernets lend cassis and blackberry notes to the mix. There is also…

Points 89
Montes, Alpha Merlot, Colchagua, Chile, 2013

Montes, Alpha Merlot, Colchagua, Chile, 2013

The Alpha range of wines by Montes is reliably good value. This Merlot has super-concentrated cassis on the palate with a touch of dried basil and rosemary and some violet notes. Extremely ripe, sweet and juicy with a full, dense mouthfeel. Gorgeous, but a bit one dimensional. Thankfully the generous…

Points 90
Journey’s End, Bluegum Merlot, Stellenbosch, 2014

Journey’s End, Bluegum Merlot, Stellenbosch, 2014

From the Schapenberg hills in Stellenbosch, the handpicked grapes are fermented in stainless steel, and the free-run juice is then racked into 300 litre barrels for malolactic fermentation. It is then matured in a mixture of new and old French and American oak for 18 months. The wine has a…

Points 90
La Umbra, Dealu Mare, Dealurile Muntenei, Merlot, 2012

La Umbra, Dealu Mare, Dealurile Muntenei, Merlot, 2012

From Halewood Estates, this Romanian Merlot is full and fruity, and is one to enjoy with dishes such as pasta and ragù. Heady, jammy, bramble fruit aromas of dark cherries and cassis follow through to a juicy palate with peppery notes.

Points 88
Marks & Spencer, Koha Merlot Cabernet Franc, 2015

Marks & Spencer, Koha Merlot Cabernet Franc, 2015

Platinum: Best Value New Zealand Red Bordeaux Varietals Engaging and intriguing bouquet with aromas of dark plums and black fruits. Juicy hedgerow fruit on the palate, but with beautiful freshness. A vibrant and super elegant youthful wine.

Points 95
Valenciso, Rioja, Reserva, Reserva, Rioja, 2008

Valenciso, Rioja, Reserva, Reserva, Rioja, 2008

Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso’s Reserva is always a delight to taste, and ages brilliantly in bottle. Made entirely from Tempranillo, spread over 14 parcels, it’s floral, elegant and refined with impressive finesse and subtle red fruit flavours. The oak is deftly integrated, too.

Points 96
Bodegas Muriel, Rioja, Taste the Difference Vinedos

Bodegas Muriel, Rioja, Taste the Difference Vinedos

Tailor made by the famous Bodegas Muriel, this 100% Tempranillo is made from old vines, with the oldest being 80 years old. This is a classic style with scented raspberry,red cherry and sweet spice. This Crianza has spent 12 months in American oak barriques, giving it a subtle sweet vanilla…

Points 89
Bodegas Aldonia, Rioja, Vendimia, Rioja, 2015

Bodegas Aldonia, Rioja, Vendimia, Rioja, 2015

This is not your traditional Rioja, quite the opposite. Predominantly Grenache, this offering is full of red and bright juicy fruit with notes of plum and red cherry. This modern style has only spent 4 months in 500 litre oak barrels, resulting in a very fruit driven style with a…

Points 90
Artevino, Rioja, Mainland Spain, Spain, 2010

Artevino, Rioja, Mainland Spain, Spain, 2010

Fragrant cherry and tobacco nose. Archetypical style, with nice toasty notes, very ripe fruit and wonderful balance, backed by fine tannins. A lovely expression of Rioja that is very inviting and savoury.

Points 90
Wakefield Estate, Clare Valley, The Exquisite Collection

Wakefield Estate, Clare Valley, The Exquisite Collection

Made by the talented Adam Eggins at Wakefield Wines, this has all the varietal characters you're looking for in a Clare Valley Riesling: creamy lime curd and floral aromas, then a bone-dry palate showing apple purée and orange zest. Light and long with just enough acidity to made it a…

Points 92
Pewsey Vale, Riesling, South Australia, Australia, 2014

Pewsey Vale, Riesling, South Australia, Australia, 2014

This is a classic Eden Valley Riesling with floral, lemon and dried herb aromas. This wine is very much alive and not only is it refreshing, it shows great depth of flavour; very distinctive and sleek too. Drinking beautifully now but will keep rewarding for five to 10 years.

Points 90
Jim Barry, Watervale Riesling, Clare Valley, 2013

Jim Barry, Watervale Riesling, Clare Valley, 2013

Textbook Riesling: juicy and limey balanced by concentration and finesse and lifted by a zesty, fresh finish. A versatile glass of wine that will provide pleasure now, yet has the potential to develop into something much more complex.

Points 88
Hans Michel, Riesling, Alsace, France, 2015

Hans Michel, Riesling, Alsace, France, 2015

Alsace is world-renowned for its white wines, and this dry Riesling doesn't disappoint. It has a lime and apple-drenched palate, with a backbone of acidity running through to keep things fresh and light. Good value.

Points 89
Rabbit & Spaghetti, Riesling, Clare Valley, 2014

Rabbit & Spaghetti, Riesling, Clare Valley, 2014

Winemaker Adam Barton has selected old-vine fruit from Watervale, a sub-region of Clare Valley, for this Riesling, and it ticks all the boxes: lifted aromas of lime, lemon, acacia, wool, a hint of petrol and mouthwatering high acidity along with lightness of body and a crisp, clean and long finish.

Points 91
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett,

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett,

An exquisite Riesling at a great price. Aromatic floral and juicy lime intensity. It may have 42 grams of residual sugar, but thanks to the pristine acidity, it doesn’t feel that sweet. The low alcohol makes it a perfect garden-party wine.

Points 90
Rolf Binder, Eden Valley, Highness Riesling, 2013

Rolf Binder, Eden Valley, Highness Riesling, 2013

Rolf Heinrich Binder founded this estate in 1955 and today it’s overseen by his son Rolf (who makes the reds) and daughter Christa (whites). From the eastern side of Eden, this is a lovely, blossom- and citrus-infused Riesling, with juicy acidity plus hints of apple and pear.

Points 90
Kakapo, Premium New Zealand White, Waipara Valley, 2016

Kakapo, Premium New Zealand White, Waipara Valley, 2016

A blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from the Waipara Valley on New Zealand's South Island. It has a waxy apple and stone fruit character, with a streak of lemon juice acidity running through. Round, juicy and zesty; very moreish.

Points 89
Wakefield Estate, Wrattonbully, The Restless Wine Merchant

Wakefield Estate, Wrattonbully, The Restless Wine Merchant

This wine is made from fruit selected from vineyards in high quality Wrattonbully in South Australia, grown on its famous terra-rossa soils. This Shiraz has a hint of eucalyptus alongside aromas of ripe, jammy cherry and blackberry. In the mouth, sweet hedgerow fruits flavours are accompanied by black pepper spice…

Points 88
Te Mata, Estate Syrah, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, 2015

Te Mata, Estate Syrah, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, 2015

Medium-bodied Syrah, with the flowing silky red fruits indicative of its Bridge Pa and Woodthorpe origins. Aromas of violet, peony, raspberry, cranberry, sandalwood and star anise. Not terribly long, but expressive, vivid and detailed.

Points 90
Aldi, Exquisite Collection Shiraz, South Australia, 2016

Aldi, Exquisite Collection Shiraz, South Australia, 2016

This blend of Shiraz with 12% Cabernet is reminiscent of a mid-2000s Barossa Shiraz, with super-ripe red and black fruits with a jammy character. Give this a whirl if you enjoy this full on style of wine, otherwise I would suggest looking elsewhere.

Points 86
Domaine Gilles Robin, Crozes-Hermitage, Les Papillons, 2015

Domaine Gilles Robin, Crozes-Hermitage, Les Papillons, 2015

Made from young vines, this Crozes has a delicious black fruit nose with a waft of violet and perfumed red fruits. The palate has a concentrated meat and black fruit character with pepper and tar notes. A delicious and fairly smooth wine, ideal for matching with barbecued or grilled red…

Points 90
Cave de Roquebrun, St-Chinian, Les Hauts de Saint Martin,

Cave de Roquebrun, St-Chinian, Les Hauts de Saint Martin,

Undoubtedly the south of France is home to some of the best value reds, and this offering is full of flavour. It's packed with juicy black cherry fruit, spices and a slight leafy edge. An equal blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan with a dash of Mourvèdre, this is a…

Points 90
Christophe Pichon, St-Joseph, Rhône, France, 2014

Christophe Pichon, St-Joseph, Rhône, France, 2014

Christophe Pichon owns four hectares of 35 year old Syrah in St-Joseph, which he hand harvests. It has a lovely crispy bacon and hedgerow fruit nose, while the palate is very intense yet remains juicy and supple, with precise black and red fruits. There is a good oak structure to…

Points 91
Quinta do Moinho, Vida Nova Reserva, Algarve, Portugal, 2012

Quinta do Moinho, Vida Nova Reserva, Algarve, Portugal, 2012

Cliff Richard has a string of hits going back many years, among them Where Do We Go from Here; sadly the same could be said for his wine venture, as it is rumoured to be up for sale. Aged in oak for 12 months, this delicious Syrah Aragoñez blend exhibits…

Points 91