See also: Wines of Australia tasting US Syrah Cahors & Madiran LAST WEEK: Top 10 late summer BBQ wines NEXT WEEK: Top 10 supermarket own-brand whites
Marks & Spencer, Hermitage, Rhône Valley, France 2005
Hermitage is a name that boasts great cache and, generally, for good reason. This example from Marks & Spencer (Decanter’s Supermarket of the Year) is such an offering and, although it being a touch young, shows what is great about the region. It’s pure yet creamy with lovely forest fruit notes, brilliant balance and a slick finish.
Marks & Spencer, Colluvia Syrah, Chile 2006
A little lovely of a wine that gives a peek as to what Chile can achieve with the Syrah grape. Fragrant and juicy, there’s plenty of ripe, plummy fruit which is given an added twist by a brief dash of pepper on the back palate.
Asda, Extra Special Chianti Classico Riserva 2004
This ticks all the right boxes and at a more-than-keen price. Laced with cedar and warm cherry cake hints. Elegant with lovely balance, mouth-feel, and good length that carries you through to a fresh finish..
Asda, Extra Special Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, Australia 2005
Made by Wingara, this is classic Coonawarra – elegant, herbal and blackcurrant-led. The palate is sweet and juicy but supported by ripe, grippy tannins and balanced acidity.
Sainsbury’s, Taste the Difference South African Shiraz, Western Cape, South Africa 2006
Great realisation of the Shiraz grape, with a black fruit-dominated, tight and youthful nose. Clean and very fresh. A good weight with sweet black fruits to start. Good tannic structure. Well balanced and long.
Sainsbury’s, Taste The Difference Douro, Douro Valley, Portugal 2006
Produced by the renowned Quinta do Crasto, this is consistently one of the strongest of Sainsbury’s own label wines. There’s plenty of perfumed, red fruit aromas and fine overall harmony with nice acidity and soft tannins. Good value.
Waitrose, In Partnership with St. Hallett, Barossa Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia 2006
St. Hallet is no stranger to producing great wines from the Shiraz grapes, and at all price points. Full bodied, ripe and juicy this is typically concentrated in style. The palate is full of overt blackcurrant and vanilla notes, with a solid middle core that delivers. Great value for the price.
Waitrose, Quinta da Rosa, Douro Valley, Portugal 2006
Good harmony and complexity here with the oak very well integrated. It’s also nicely balanced with firm, red fruits and sprinklings of spice that liven up the palate.
Tesco, Finest Ribera del Duero, Viña Mayor Tempranillo, Spain 2005
From one of Spain’s cult regions, this is a good value Tempranillo that displays some attractive, rich, dark fruit that fill the mouth, and an elegant finish.
Tesco, Finest Hermitage, Rhone Valley, France 2004
Another fine own label Hermitage, this one produced for Tesco by the Tain l’Hermitage co-operative. This is charmingly groomed, with elegant, supple tannins and a pretty, long, and pure finish. Should develop well.