Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

93

2013 Domaine Les Yeuses, Syrah, Les Epices, IGP Pays d'Oc, Languedoc

£7.99, 13.5%, Majestic

Is this the best value red in the high street at the moment? It's certainly the best value Syrah in my view. Yesterday, it was presented with the "Best Red of Show" gong at the Languedoc Roussillon Top 100 Awards in London beating lots of more expensive wines. Wild thyme and rosemary notes, blackberry and bramble fruit, smooth tannins and enough perfume to keep your nostrils twitching for half an hour, this finishes with an intense, savoury flourish. 

BeefLambGame

 

 
 

93

2014 Maquina & Tabla Blanco, Rueda

£15.95, 13.5%, Lea & Sandeman

One of an excellent line-up of regional delights from an exciting new Spanish venture, this tastes as good as it looks. Made from biodynamically farmed, old vine Verdejo, it's a savoury, textured white with subtle oak, tangy acidity and just a hint of oak framing the pear and citrus fruit flavours. Almost Burgundian in terms of weight, concentration and complexity, this is a remarkable Verdejo.

PorkChickenFishVegetables

 

 
 

92

2014 Domaine de la Noblaie Le Temps des Cerises, Chinon, Loire Valley

£8.95, 13%, The Wine Society

Is Loire Cabernet Franc finally getting the recognition it deserves, partly because of the rise in the grape's fortunes elsewhere? If so, it's about time. Where else can you find a wine as complex as this Chinon for under £9? It's a classically grassy, refreshing red with no apparent oak and remarkable elegance and fruit purity. Drink it chilled, and drink lots of it. 

BeefLambGameCheese

 

 
 

93

2015 Bellingham The Bernard Series Roussanne, Paarl

£10, 14%, Sainsbury's

Bellingham's Roussanne is one of the few stand alone examples of the grape in South Africa, and it's getting better with every vintage, showing impressive weight, texture and finesse. This deftly-oaked, full-bodied white is rich but not unctuous, with notes of baking spices, citrus and green tea, a hint of tropical fruit sweetness and a grippy, almost tannic finish that works really well with food. 

ChickenSpicyFish

 

 
 

89

2012 Bodegas Tonel Malbec, Mendoza

£5.99, 14, Lidl

Hard to beat for its sheer exuberance and gluggability, this is a brilliantly priced Argentinean Malbec with classic violet perfume, a touch of smoky oak and oodles of plum, blackberry and liquorice fruit. Made for a juicy steak, but this is smooth enough to work with spring lamb, too.

BeefLamb

 

 
 

93

2012 David Reynaud, Beaumont Crozes Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley

£16.33, 12.5%, Liberty Wines

This is my kind of wine. In fact, I could drink a bottle of this almost every day and never get bored. Classic, perfumed Crozes, with violet and rose petal aromas, textured tannins and lovely, gluggable flavours of blackberry, black olive and liquorice. The tannins are silky smooth, the oak beautifully integrated and there's enough tannin to add some backbone. 

PastaBeefLambGameBarbecue

 

 
 

88

2014 Weingut Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner Morrison Signature, Niederösterreich

£8, 12%, Morrison

It's great to see an Austrian Grüner of this quality in a major supermarket. It's not a power packed wine, but what it lacks in weight, it makes up for in freshness. Floral and medium weight, with some pepper spice, pear and citrus fruit flavours and a zesty, tangy finish. A really good food wine - and I don't say that very often. 

AsianSpicyVegetables

 

 
 

90

2013 Chez Rocailleux Braucol Rosé, Côtes du Tarn, South West France

£11.99, 12%, Red Squirrel Wines

Light, elegant and refreshing, this is a south-west French wine that wouldn't look out of place in Provence, give or take a slightly green, grassy undertone that's typical of the Braucol grape. Summer berries, tangy acidity and bone dry with a note of capsicum and a long, tapering finish. 

FishVegetables

 

 
 

90

2007 Mount Pleasant Cellar Aged Elizabeth Semillon , Hunter Valley

£14.95-£17.80, 11%, Slurp.co.uk, Wine Library, Hedonism, BBR.com

Not many white wines age as wll as Hunter Valley Semillon and this is well up to speed, as its haul of medals (plastered all over the front label) testifies. It's just starting to shift into another gear, developing the toasty notes that are so typical of the style. Refreshing, waxy and taut with custard, honeysuckle and citrus peel notes. Long and satisfying. 

PastaChickenFish

 

 
 

91

2014 The Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc, Piekenierskloof

£12.49, 14%, Noel Young Wines, Cambridge, Woodwinters Wines & Whiskies

Sourced from vineyards at 750 metres (which is high for South Africa), this was made by the talented Donovan Rall from the under-rated Piekenierskloof region. Tangy, refreshing and crisp, it's tauter than some Cape Chenins with apple, pear and herbal notes and a creamy mid palate. 

PorkChickenFish