2007 Marqués de Mejía Rioja, 13%vol, Spain (£6.25; Wine Society). So tasty is this Tempranillo-based Rioja that I had to double check the price only to confirm that it’s an absolute steal. With vibrant red and dark berry fruit, all juiciness and succulence, and a gentle touch of subtle oak it’s beautifully crafted and, as with all Rioja, it goes beautifully with roast lamb.
2006 Carmen Reserva Merlot, 14.5%vol, Chile (£8.99; Co-op). Currently owned by the Claro family, Carmen is one of the oldest names in Chilean winemaking and was the first producer to farm grapes organically there. I love their wines and this is a firm favourite, being soft, supple and smooth with silky tannins and a rich, spicy finish that just cries out for a blood-rare T-bone.
2009 Tahbilk Viognier, 14%vol, Australia (£9.99; Jeroboams). Tahbilk is Victoria’s oldest family-owned winery, and celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Best known for its exceptional Marsanne (from the world’s oldest such vines) its Viognier is an equal delight, with wonderful apricot and peach flavours, hints of citrus and a full, dry finish. It’s that rarity, the perfect white wine for roast pork.
2006 Catena Malbec, 14%vol, Argentina (£10.99; Waitrose). Malbec thrives in Argentina – specifically Mendoza – despite having all but been ignored elsewhere other than Cahors in France. Catena is a superb exponent of the variety and this is a delight, being full of plums, blackcurrants and violets and soft, succulent tannins. There’s nothing better with a juicy sirloin steak.
2006 Château Unang ‘La Source’ (£11.99; Hennings Wine). English owners, James and Joanna King, are having great success with this ancient Côtes du Ventoux estate (the château of which was first mentioned in 867). This, their mid-range red, is a determinedly expressive hand-picked, low yield, blend of syrah, grenache and carignan that’s robust and spicy and delicious with all manner of hearty meat dishes.
2000 Berrys’ Gevrey-Chambertin, Domaine Rossignol Trapet, 13%vol, France (£24.95; Berry Bros). This is classy stuff indeed, an organic, biodynamic 100% Pinot Noir from the Rossignol brothers in the heart of Burgundy. Rounded and supple and satisfyingly mature, it has typical red berry fruit flavours and whiffs of farmyard. Perfect for washing down a bowl of classic boeuf bourguignon.