Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes


2012 The Society's Vinho Verde, Minho

£5.95, 11.5%, The Wine Society

Summer may be over (at least in northern Europe), but this is still a delicously refreshing, low-alcohol Portuguese white that's just the thing for sunny afternoons. It's commendably cheap, too. Tangy, spritzy and zingy, it's floral and dry with palate-tickling acidity and a citrus fruit bite. 





2011 Finest* Albariño, Rías Baixas

£7.99 down to £5.99, 12.5%, Tesco

It's a reflection of how Albariño, one of Spain's best white grapes, has entered the UK mainstream that the major supermarkets nearly all have own-label examples these days. This is from the ever-dependable Martin Codax, and it's a classy example of the style, showing some spritz, floral aromas, tangy acidity and notes of citrus and honeysuckle. Very quaffable. 





2012 Taste the Difference Albariño, Val do Salnés, Rías Baixas

£7.99 down to £5.99, 12.5%, Sainsbury's

Classic Alabriño from the Val do Salnés sub region of Rías Baixas on Spain's Atlantic coast, showing lots of floral perfume, notes of pepper and aniseed, zesty acidity and a bone dry, seafood friendly finish. Spain's answer to Muscadet, but with a flavour that is all its own. 





2012 Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde

£5.99, 11%, Majestic

If summer ever arrives in the UK - come to think of it, spring would be welcome, too - this is a wine that I'd be happy to have in my fridge or ice bucket. Crisp and aromaitic, with notes of fresh limes and lemon peel, showing a touch of spritz and tastebud-tingling acidity. Tangy and light, it's the sort of wine I could drink all afternoon. Portugal at its value for money best. 




2011 Tercius Alvarinho, Vinho Verde

£9.99, 12.5%, Marks & Spencer

Alvarinho is exactly the same grape as Albariño - it's just grown on the other side of the Minho River in Portugal, as opposed to Spain. In fact, it's one of the key grapes in Vinho Verde, althoiugh it's often blended with other grapes. This is typically floral and fresh, but with more weight than many Vinhos Verdes, with notes of lime and pear and a chalky, palate-cleansing minerality. 





2011 Auzells, Costers del Segre, Catalonia

£9.95, 13%, The Wine Society

Made from no fewer than eight varieties (with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Muscat among them), this is an intriguing nothern Spanish white that combines perfume with fruit intensity. Grapey, fresh and lime-scented, it's a focused, floral dry white with a hint of bitterness on the finish.