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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
8 Feb 2013
 


Mark Hughes of The Real Wine Company, a lively, UK-based online retailer, sent me this selection of his recent finds a few months ago. He clearly specialises in £7.99 wines.

Wines are listed in decreasing score order. The Verus Slovenians continue to offer great value.

  • Marc Chauvet, Tradition Brut NV Champagne

    Very slight greyish pink tinge. Very light biscuity nose and quite marked acidity. Not quite as satisfying as one or two of the previous cuvées. Certainly a decent price but I suspect I'd tire of the acidity before the end of a second glass. Not much follow through. 12%
    Drink 2012- 2013
    £19.99 Real Wine Co
    15
  • Verus Sipon 2011 Stajerska Slovenija

    Furmint by any other name. Exciting! Broad, spicy and pretty tight on the palate but convincingly tense with clean, fresh fruit. Ver ytart on the finish but none the worse for that.  Chewy. 13%
    Drink 2013- 2015
    £9.99 Real Wine Co
    16.5
  • Verus Pinot Gris 2011 Stajerska Slovenija

    Off dry and racy. But a slight lack of exuberant fruit on the middle. Much better than most PGs. But a  bit dry on the end. 13.5%
    Drink 2012- 2014
    £9.99 Real Wine Co
    15.5
  • Verus Riesling 2011 Stajerska Slovenija

    Quite dramatic and exuberantly fruity white with lots of acidity. A bit too chewy. 13%
    Drink 2013- 2015
    £9.99 Real Wine Co
    15.5
  • Verus Muskateller 2011 Stajerska Slovenija

    Sweet and round. I'm not quite sure why this is £2 more than the other varietal whites. Very slightly catty. Astringent finish. But it's fun and unusual. An attractively bumptious mouthful of grapes and white currant fruit. 12%
    Drink 2012- 2014
    £11.99 Real Wine Co
    16
  • La Ferme du Mont, Le Ponnant 2010 Côtes du Rhône-Villages

    Darker, drier than the average Ch9. Quite hard work. Needs a bit more flesh. 14.5%
    Drink 2014- 2016
    £11.99 Real Wine Co
    15.5
  • Ch Lamothe-Vincent Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Bordeaux

    Medium gold. Pungent appetising nose. The fruit has been fattened by a little Sémillon, apparently, and this is very far from lean and skinny. Very attractive at first but just a little watery on the finish. Certainly respectable for the price and very clean. Not bad value at all. 12.5%
    Drink 2012- 2013
    £7.99 The Real Wine Co
    15.5
  • Ch Lamothe-Vincent, Intense Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Bordeaux

    Interestingly, this more expensive bottling with a smarter, taller bottle has a screwcap instead of a cork. Only just more intense, I'd say.  Mark Hughes' notes suggest it's akin to a Sancerre but I see yeast and winemaking more than minerality on the nose, though there is a nice pure line on the palate. Finishes more assertively than the regular bottling with good dryness. 13%
    Drink 2012- 2013
    £9.95 The Real Wine Co
    16
  • Ch Lamothe-Vincent, Rosé 2011 Bordeaux

    Full marks to Mark for not slavishly buying every vintage. He skipped the 2010 of this apparently. Strawberry pink. Very round with the acidity in minor key but with lots of fruit as opposed to sweetness.  A pink wine for food.  Very well made. Positive with some structure. 12.5%
    Drink 2012- 2013
    £7.99 The Real Wine Co
    16
  • Ch Lamothe-Vincent Merlot 2011 Bordeaux

    Bright crimson. Light nose but fresh and clean with lots of positive sweetness and a hint of leather on the finish. Not the most intense wine but not expensive either. QGV 14.5%
    Drink 2012- 2014
    £8.99 The Real Wine Co
    16
  • Boas Quintas 2011 Dão

    A blend of the Encruzado and Cercial of Dão. Much more modern and technical than most examples I can readily remember on the nose without that much weight, or apparent ageing potential, but it's very seductively pretty on the palate in a herbs and flowers kind of way. Finishes dry and positively. Some persistence. Just a tad sweet and simple but GV. 13%
    Drink 2012- 2013
    £7.99 The Real Wine Co
    16
  • Boas Quintas 2009 Dão

    On the face of it (I have not tried the wine yet) this looks a great price. Made by Nuno Cancela de Abreu from Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Alfrocheiro and Touriga Nacional. Light crimson. Light but bracing and with quite enough fruit - rather un-Dão-like in that respect! Slightly Dão Lite but very easy to like. And with lots of both fruit and fresh acidity. Exuberant. Not at all heavy. VGV 13%
    Drink 2011- 2013
    £7.99 The Real Wine Co
    16
  • Quinta de Sant'Ana 2011 Vinho Regional Lisboa

    Known as 'Baby Red' apparently. A blend of Touriga Nacional and Aragones (another name for Tempranillo). Light ruby. A little light and soft and jammy.  Nothing wrong with it but I think I would find the older Boas Vinhas at the same price a little more interesting. Fades a bit fast. 14%
    Drink 2011- 2013
    £7.99 The Real Wine Co
    15.5
  • Almeida Garrett, TNT 2010 Beira Interior

    From the north of Portugal. Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira - hence the name. Mid to dark crimson. Very slightly reduced. Lots of plums and damson fruit with masses of acid and light tannin. Some ageing in French oak barrels gives this more structure than the other two Portuguese reds at this price. You certainly get a lot for your money. But you probably have to love the Atlantic build of Portuguese wines to begin with. Quite long. GV 14%
    Drink 2012- 2015
    £7.99 The Real Wine Co
    16
  • Racemi, Pietraluna Negroamaro 2011 IGT Salento

    Dark purplish crimson. 45-year-old vines apparently. Just a bit sweet and tarty for me with mouth-puckering acidity at the end. But it does deliver some opulent, velvety fruit. Gamey and cuts off a bit suddenly. 13%
    Drink 2012- 2014
    £7.99 The Real Wine Co
    15
  • Racemi, Anarkos 2011 IGT Puglia

    The Real Wine Co's best seller. A blend of Primitivo (Zinfandel/Tribidrag), Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. We are urged to drink it with anchovies. The nose nudges you towards port and then is super smooth and sweet but not sickly. I can certainly see why it's so popular. Polish and flattery - who'd have thought you'd find a dilpomat on the heel of Italy?! Already lots of fun and over-delivers. But not heavy. 13%
    Drink 2012- 2014
    £8.99 The Real Wine Co
    16.5