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Top tipples for under a tenner

James Allen finds some great Italian whites and some warming Southern Hemisphere reds that won't break the bank

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James Allen

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As winter draws ever closer and Christmas is looming over the horizon, I thought I would look at bottles that are great value at under £10 – so some excellent drinking, without breaking the bank – we’ve got super Italian whites, a really good Pinot Noir from Romania and some warming Southern Hemisphere reds.

Winemaker Series, The Red

Many of us have heard of the Chocolate Block from South Africa. Using grapes from the same vineyards, winemaker Mark Kent has created an exclusive blend of Cab Sauvignon, Syrah and Cinsault, but at a cracking price. Beautiful dark berry flavours and a lovely smell of blackberry leaves dominate this wine. Great with any dish with a meaty sauce or with cheese in the evening.
Majestic, Newbury, £9.99



Cantina Cellaro ‘Grillo’

Glorious wine that starts off with lemony freshness before the palate softens out and it finishes with a lovely peachy depth. The package is great too. Part of Grapesmith’s ‘Quaff’ selection of excellent value wines for everyday drinking.
Grapesmith, Hungerford, £9.95

Bodegas Puerta Vieja, Rioja, Spain

Classic Rioja, savoury fine backbone with bramble fruits and good power. This Rioja mixes old world complex flavour with pure fruit-driven palate. There has been no oak ageing so the fruit flavours shine through. Great price.
The Naked Grape, Hungerford, £8


Lautarul Pinot Noir, Cramele Recas 2016

The Cramele Recas estate is located on the far western fringes of Romania’s Transylvania/Banat region, where wines have been produced since the mid 15th century. Here, the winemaking team of Hartley Smithers (Australia) and Nora Iriate (Spain) works closely with a team of Romanian viticulturists and winemakers to create a series of modern, fruit-driven wines. This Lautarul Pinot Noir is a light, clean, red cherry-scented wine. It is fresh and bright – great value for a good quality Pinot Noir.
Haynes Hanson & Clark, Whitchurch, £7.20



Definition Gavi, 2016

Gavi derives from north western Italy near Piedmont. With Burgundy prices on the rise, this offers very similar flavours for a far more reasonable price. Packed with apple flavours and a light body, it makes a great aperitif wine or to have with salads, chicken or seafood dishes.
Majestic, Newbury, £9.99



Malbec, Las Pampas

Grapes are carefully hand-picked to produce a fruity red with intense colours. With aromas of ripe plums, strawberries and blackberries, Las Pampas Malbec is a soft and juicy wine with silky tannins and balance acidity. Classic Malbec from Mendoza.
Haynes Hanson & Clark, £8.80

Vigneti Del Salento ‘I Muri’ Primitivo

Deep ruby red colour with violet reflections. This wine has red berry fruit perfumes with a hint of spice. Full-bodied with firm tannins, this wine is well balanced, with lots of ripe fruit flavours.
Innathome, Newbury, £9.95

Tastings

Naked Grape, Hungerford
Saturday, November 18
12noon-6pm
Christmas Wine Festival – an open house tasting, free to attend and full of wines, drinks and refreshments for the festive period.

Innathome, Newbury
Friday, November 17
7.15pm
Fortified wine tasting - £25 per ticket
Friday, November 24
7.15pm
Sparkling wine tasting - £30 per ticket

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