In all our years in the wine trade, it’s never been more difficult to find good value at everyday prices. Notwithstanding rising global production and transport costs, on an £8 bottle of wine more than 50% is tax alone. But fear not, we’ve been busy these past 3 months and have tasted over 1000 wines to save you from taking a gamble each time you see a wine on offer on the supermarket shelves! So, let’s introduce you to our first collection of sub £10 wines. Each and every one of them we’d be more than happy to drink ourselves and share with friends. Wines with soul by talented award-winning winemakers, that over-deliver at the price, and are true to their grape varieties and region of production. 1. Tierra Alta Cabernet Sauvignon 2022, Chile 14% 75cl Bursting with red and blackcurrant fruits, this is a really soft and pure Cabernet with gentle tannins and a hint of green pepper on the finish. Cool herby flavours mingle with red fruits and a nice touch of acidity. Easy drinking and uncomplicated. Working in partnership with small growers in the Central Valleys, this wine maintains the ethos of freshness and purity that is sought by flying winemaker Guillaume Letang. A relatively cool short fermentation to preserve fruit aroma with maceration on the skins for only a few days to extract nice colour and minimum tannins. Match with herby meat dishes, sausages or stuffed baked red peppers. 2. Aliança DOC Bairrada Reserva 2021, Portugal 13% 75cl Attractive mixed berry aromas with spice notes. Vibrant plum and black cherry on the palate with liquorice hints, elegant tannins, and finely poised acidity. A medium-bodied, vibrant and wonderfully drinkable glass of red. The grapes are vinified without being totally destemmed and macerated for 5 days in cold temperatures. This wine is all about finesse and approachability. Produced from a blend of traditional local grapes (70% Baga, 20% Tinto Roriz, 10& Touriga Nacional), Portugal never ceases to amaze us with its diversity. Matches well with Charcuterie platters and lamb dishes. 3. Les Volets Pinot Noir IGP Haute Vallée de l’Aude 2022, France 13% 75cl Bright ruby red, with upfront aromas of freshly picked raspberries and an underlying savoury leesiness. Fleshy red fruits continue to the palate and are joined by fine tannins and juicy acidity - the foundations of a serious Pinot Noir. About as South of France as you can get, these vineyards are located at the foothills of the Pyrenees and benefit from both the warm Mediterranean climate tempered by the higher altitude and cooler nights. These slower growing conditions suit Pinot Noir well and, made well, wines from this region can bridge the gap between a more traditional Burgundian style and fruit-driven New World style. Enjoyable on its own or try it with a herby sausage casserole or hard cheeses. Best served cooler than room temperature to allow the fruit its full expression. 4. Tesoro de los Andes Malbec Bonarda 2022, Argentina 14.5% 75cl The nose offers an appealing, mixed spice, bramble fruit followed by dark, damson and savoury overtones on the palate. The finish is smooth, rounded and nicely balanced. This is a bold wine and an immediate crowd-pleaser. Tasting dozens of inexpensive Malbecs is an arduous task and we were despairing until this beauty suddenly wowed us with its overt fruit, attractive spiciness, and smooth finish. Argentina is well known for Malbec, but the addition of the lesser-known (originally Italian) variety of Bonarda is very welcome. Grapes were sourced from the Mendoza region, where the warm days and long cool nights provide optimum growing conditions. This wine was vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and no oak was used. Drinks well on its own and loves any kind of red meat, especially if done on the BBQ. 5. Domaine Mas Bahourat Merlot IGP Gard 2022, France 14% 75cl Deliciously ripe fruit with flavours of prunes with a touch of bergamot. The tannins are supple and the finish is fresh - a characterful wine with a sense of place. Approachable and serious all in one bottle. Merlot can often be a bit over-simple, but this has a lot of complexity and some savoury characteristics which makes it adaptable for matching with food as well as drinking on its own. This vineyard is situated on a plateau near Nîmes in the Southern Rhône. The heat of the day is tempered by coastal sea breezes that add a lot of freshness to the wine. Micro-oxygenation was adopted during vinification to ensure minimum intervention and as a result, the tannins are finely textured. Great on its own but goes well with a variety of meat dishes. 6. False Bay “Old School” Syrah 2022, South Africa 14% 75cl Full yet elegant with bramble fruits, lifted berry fruit and some earth and meaty aromas. The palate is structured and well-balanced with fresh red fruit characters, gently spicy notes, fine tannins and a refreshing natural acidity. It punches well above its weight! In the days of a lot of “technical” winemaking, it’s great to see an inexpensive wine have so much care and attention bestowed upon it. Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested grapes, fermented spontaneously with wild yeast (including a portion whole bunch) and then raised in large wooden casks (or foudres). This wine is more than a nod to the Northern Rhône and tasted blind we rated this wine significantly more expensive than the price we’re offering it at. Enjoy!!! Suits spicy dishes, red meats, and rich Mediterranean dishes.