Like our recent list of 20 great value French white wines under £25, this list also spans the whole of France covering the major red wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon as well as the Pays d’Oc IGP in the southwest, a region known for its wallet-friendly French red wines.
The list is dominated by the red wines but does also include a number rosé wines including one pink sparkling wine from the Limoux region in the south-west of France – the Château Martinolles Rosé is ‘precise and elegant with linear acidity, berry characters and a biscuity autolytic note’ – and a canned rosé from the Mirabeau team in Provence. This is refreshing and tasty with ‘a lovely red berry fruit flavour, ripe cherries, raspberries and wild strawberries, alongside hints of grapefruit and apricot.’ Perfect for picnics.
The other rosés come from Languedoc, Rhône, Provence and Burgundy, a region not normally associated with rosé. All are well worth seeking out.
A handful of own-brand supermarket wines make the list – perfect for stocking up straight from the high street – with Aldi’s Château Chantemerle Médoc 2017 coming in at under £10. It’s a ‘smooth, leathery and spicy Bordeaux’. Elsewhere on the high street the Tesco Finest Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 offers ‘dense but sappy black fruit’ for £18.
Top wine regions of Margaux and St-Émilion in Bordeaux are also represented, as well as Anjou in the Loire, Beaumes de Venise in the Rhône and Beaujolais cru Broilly.
Three superb reds from Burgundy are also worth tracking down – and splashing out on. They include the aromatic, fruit-forward Plan Gilbert 2019 from Hubert Lignier and Domaine Michel Lafarge’s L’Exception 2019, described by Charles Curtis MW as ‘aromatic with pretty floral notes on the nose.’
A sweet wine also features on the list – Les Vignerons de Maury, Solera 1928 Cask No849 from the Languedoc. It’s fortified Grenache made in a solera, similar to Sherry, and is full of fruit cake, fig and nutty flavours – a great choice for existing fans or worth seeking out for those unfamiliar with the style. Less than £20 for a slice of history.