From £8.49 to £59… reds offering real character and value. Note the disparity of price in bargains from Bordeaux and Burgundy respectively. It's interesting to me that Tesco are listing quite a few reds with obvious ageing potential. See, for example, offers from Chapoutier of the Rhône and LFE (Luis Felipe Edwards) of Chile. Pinot Noir, including red burgundy, predominates because it goes so well with turkey and sweetish trimmings but there are plenty of north Rhôneish Syrahs too. Santé!
CARMIM, Monsaraz Reserva 2020 Alentejo 15%
Blend of mainly local, Portuguese grapes aged in oak barrels. An example of of Portugal’s dangerously low prices. The result is a combination of freshness with the ripeness of Alentejo.
£8.49 Lidl, part of their Christmas Wine Tour while stocks last
Ken Forrester, The Misfits Cinsault 2021 Western Cape 12.5%
Super-fruity nose – almost strawberry. Pure Paris wine bar stuff, the sort of light, sweetish wine they call glou glou, and with a fashionable grape variety!
M Chapoutier 2020 Côtes du Rhône-Villages 14.5%
For some reason the term 'sagebrush' came to mind when I smelt this, not that I'm at all sure what that smells like, but this is all dry herbs on top and interesting spice underneath with really convincing ripe, but not overripe, fruit and enough freshness. Incredibly serious wine for the price, from an excellent Rhône vintage, and there is absolutely no hurry to drink it. Buy it by the case!
Le Roc, Les Petits Cailloux 2019 Fronton 14%
Deep luscious crimson. Nicely integrated with a little graininess on the end. Lots of local character for the money in this local speciality from just north of Toulouse.
£9.95 The Wine Society
Bruce Jack, Stream of Consciousness Reserve Collection 2021 Western Cape 13.5%
Blend of Cinsault, Shiraz and Grenache. Another glou glou wine from South Africa at under a tenner.
Dom du Bosc, Sagesse 2020 Pays d’Oc 14%
Mark Savage MW blends this, and an equally good white version, with great care every year. Vastly superior to most Languedoc blends, this is based on Bordeaux grapes, including Petit Verdot. Handsome magnums for large households. Masses of ripe fruit and spice.
£10.75 or £22 per magnum Private Cellar
Weinert, Carrascal Corte 2018 Mendoza 14%
It’s always fun to taste the long-aged wines from this idiosyncratic producer. Masses of interest per penny, a far cry from made-to-a-formula technical winemaking. Meaty – bloody meat – flavours. Very Argentine!
£10.95 The Wine Society
Journey’s End, Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Coastal Region 14%
This seems underpriced considering the oak regime. Fully ripe and none of the tartness that can dog some South African reds. Good balance and persistence. Though classicists may still prefer a bordeaux at the same price.
Salvaje del Moncayo, La Garnacha 2019 Ribera del Queiles 14%
Old Grenache vines at 810 m on a north-facing site. Bottled in Rioja! Pale garnet. Sweet, round and jewel-bright fruit. Very well made. This would be great with ham, anything salty.
Undurraga, Finca Las Lomas Pinot Noir 2021 Leyda 13.5%
Pale garnet. Very light beetroot aromas. Firm finish. Far from just a sweet red wine. This has real potential for development; in fact, it is a little too young at the moment.
£11.50 The Wine Society
Javier San Pedro Ortega, Viuda Negra Crianza 2019 Rioja 14%
From a rising star in Rioja. Very gentle, lively, subtle wine. Still youthful but very convincing, Long and sophisticated. Not classic rioja but a very good red with great vivacity.
£11.50 The Wine Society
Ch Laulan 2018 Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 14%
Quite rich and St-Émilion-like! Definitely ready to drink even though there is still a bit of tannin in the background. This could be a tad fresher – tastes as though the Merlot was allowed to get pretty ripe – but it's excellent value.
£11.99 MJ Wine Cellars
Mommessin, Discovery Collection Pinot Noir 2020 Arbois-Pupullin 13%
Only very lightly Pinot; very light fruit. A little sour on the end and light Pinot from the Jura that definitely tastes French with its bone-dry finish but it's delicate and probably one of the more interesting wines to be found at Sainsbury's.
£12 (reduced from £14 until 13 December) Sainsbury’s
Dom du Mourchon, Tradition 2020 Côtes du Rhône-Villages, Séguret 14.5%
You could enjoy this spicy little number already. Lots of pleasure. Just a tiny bit of heat on the end, but this wine takes surprisingly well to being chilled. My favourite of the Mourchon 2020 reds for current drinking.
£12.50 The Wine Society, also £14.99 Averys from 10 December
Tbilvino Saperavi 2020 Georgia 13%
The firm, deep-coloured grape of which Georgians are so proud, without the palate-crunching acid and tannin of some other examples. A very attractive example for current drinking.
Ch Pesquié, Edition 1912m 2020 Ventoux 14.5%
Certified organic, artisanal wine named after Mont Ventoux’s elevation, from an appellation that’s up and coming and whose wines taste like high-altitude Côtes du Rhône. Will improve in bottle too.
Ch de Pitray 2017 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 14%
Fully mature, sweet and fresh, really quite zesty. Fairly light-bodied with a dry finish. Great with cold beef?
Dom des Garriguettes, Tradition 2021 Côtes du Rhône 14.5%
Certified biodynamic grower. Spicy with notes of cinnamon and light dustiness on the end. Masses of personality and potential. No sign of oak just pure, well-grown fruit. Chock-full of life – you can almost sense the microbes pinging around the palate.
£14.25 Stone Vine & Sun
Dom Jean-Marc Burgaud, Côte du Py 2020 Morgon 13%
Good freshness and energy with a minerally undertow. Firm finish promises well for the future.
£14.95 The Wine Society
Wente, Beyer Ranch Zinfandel 2020 California 14%
Sweet and round. Lots of fun and no exaggeration though some may find the sweet spice of the American oak a little intrusive.
£14.95 The Wine Society
Mount Edward, Earth’s End Pinot Noir 2020 Central Otago 14%
Agreeably sweet and fruity before a dry finish. Good-value NZ red for current drinking.
£15 Marks & Spencer
Luis Felipe Edwards, Marea Syrah 2020 Leyda 14.5%
Ripe-but-leathery true Syrah nose. Fine tannin suggests this is made for a long life and is only just approachable now. Serious Chilean answer to the northern Rhône that needs food!
Maturana, Negra San Francisco 2021 Maule 13%
San Francisco is probably the Chilean name for the Negramoll grape of the Canaries. A thoroughly artisanal red to drink without food. But far from simple. Really savoury and intriguing. Lightly dusty finish.
£16.50 Corney & Barrow
Alpha Estate, Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro 2019 Amyndeo 14%
Unnecessarily heavy bottle. Pure, sleek, minerally fruit. Bone dry on the end but lots of fun on the way there. Clearly from a cool site. Good stuff! Should confound preconceptions about Greek wine.
£17.50 The Wine Society
Ch La Brande 2016 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 13.5%
Some real evolution on the nose. Attractive confidence with ripeness and freshness. Needs food as it has quite a structure. Quite long. Very respectable claret, also available in seriously useful big bottles!
£17.75 or £39.50 per magnum Yapp Brothers
Begude, Esprit Pinot Noir 2021 Haute Vallée de l’Aude 13%
Really convincing special selection from the hills of Limoux. Burgundy, eat your heart out! Begude is now quite a star Pinot performer.
Moschopolis, Aíora 2021 Greece 13%
Blend of Syrah with Greek grapes. Great balance and a fun drink that will probably appeal more to wine nerds than those suspicious of Greek wine.
£18.99 MJ Wine Cellars
Cosme Palacio, Glorioso Gran Reserva 2015 Rioja 14%
Masses of class and interest per penny. Beautifully balanced mature Rioja.
£19 The Wine Society
Cortijo los Aguilares, Pago el Espino 2018 Sierras de Málaga 14%
Mainly Petit Verdot blend sculpted near Ronda in Andalucia. Most unusual with pure, structured fruit. A serious, ambitious fine wine.
£19.95 Tanners Wine Merchants
Reyneke, Cornerstone 2018 Stellenbosch 14%
Another fresh bordeaux blend, this time from a South African biodynamic pioneer. It’s just a little young at the moment and definitely needs food, or a decanter.
Louis Latour 2019 Côte de Beaune-Villages 13%
This skids to a rather sudden, drying finish but there is some charm in the fruit. No one would be disappointed to secure this true red burgundy for £20 a bottle.
Lonely Vineyard Montepulciano 2017 Eden Valley 13.5%
Quite a find! Michael Schreurs who used to work with Stephen Henschke has gone on his own. This southern Italian grape may be unexpected in South Australia but it’s hugely successful. Smooth as silk initially and chock full of tangy ‘Italian’ fruit.
£20.95 Corney & Barrow
Marziano Abbona, Papà Celso 2021 Dogliani 14.5%
Real bite and pure Piemonte. Bring on the raw meat! Super-tangy. This would be superb at almost any table.
£21.95 Lea & Sandeman
Dom Sylvain Pataille 2018 Marsannay 13.5%
The star of Marsannay delivers yet again. Correct, interesting nose with pure fruit. Quite a bit of tannin on the end. Real artisan red burgundy.
£23.50 The Wine Society
Dom Poulleau Pinot Noir 2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or 13.5%
Rather beautiful red burgundy for immediate drinking. And not ridiculously expensive. Complete.
£23.99 MJ Wine Cellars
Ch La Tour de By 2015 Médoc 13.5%
Notably fragrant. Well melded and already a fine drink. Masses of fruit with tannin much in retreat. Lightly inky on the end but this would gladden the heart of any claret lover.
£24 Tanners Wine Merchants
Joan d'Anguera, Altaroses 2020 Montsant 14.5%
Super-sweet palate entry but then it's very refreshing in a sort of marmalade way. Long and rich. On a tightrope. Really exciting wine. If it were over the border in Priorat, it would probably cost much more... So easy to like.
£24.50 The Sourcing Table
Franco Conterno, Cascina Sciulun 2020 Langhe Nebbiolo 13.5%
Head for a good Langhe Nebbiolo for Barolo without the wait. Good dusty/chewy character. Fresh fruity start and a bone-dry, demanding finish.
£25.49 Bancroft Wines
Verzier, Empreinte 2020 St-Joseph 13%
Beautiful north Rhône Syrah! Not unlike a Jamet Côte Rôtie. Polished tannins and a bone-dry end. Not cheap, but then St-Jo isn’t nowadays alas; Chapoutier Les Granits is £44. So clean – mouthwash!
£26.50 Stone Vine & Sun
Scorpo, Estate Shiraz 2019 Mornington Peninsula 14%
Saline and minerally and recognisably varietal without any exaggeration. Not overpriced. Should interest any fan of relatively ripe Côte Rôtie.
£28.50 Haynes Hanson & Clark
Dom Boris Champy, Altitude 377 2019 Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune 13.5%
377 m is the elevation of these organic vineyards. Subtle, fresh and classic without being at all fusty. Great stuff!
£29.25 Haynes Hanson & Clark
Dom Jessiaume, Les Gravières Premier Cru 2020 Santenay 13.5%
Organic fruit transformed gently into a round, flattering wine with liquorice notes.
£33 The Wine Society
Marrone 2018 Barolo 14.5%
Very energetic! Long and lively. Should be served reasonably cool. Masses of fine tannin. Very refreshing.
£35.95 NY Wines of Cambridge and others
Pax Syrah 2020 North Coast 12.5%
Tastes French, though with less mid palate than, say, a fine St-Joseph. But this would be extremely difficult to put in California in a blind tasting! Has the slightly green notes of whole-bunch fermentation.
£37.50 The Sourcing Table
Sato, Pisa Terrace Pinot Noir 2018 Central Otago 13.5%
Wonderfully exuberant sweet, raspberry NZ fruit with some complexity. So easy to love! Very delicate and carefully judged with a hint of violets. Beautifully precise.
£40.50 The Good Wine Shop
Dom Guyon, Les Bons Ores 2017 Chorey-lès-Beaune 13.5%
Complete, richly textured but not sweet fruit. Just the right amount of acidity and tannin for current drinking. Long and lively. In a burgundian context this is fair value.
£42 Berry Bros & Rudd
Dom Génot-Boulanger, Vieilles Vignes 2017 Pommard 13.5%
Very pure, if light-bodied, mature red burgundy from a notably approachable vintage. For fans of nuance and classicism. To be enjoyed with food that's not too assertive; turkey would do it.
£52.68 Justerini & Brooks
Porseleinberg 2018 Swartland 14%
The best of three vintages of this very fine South African Syrah currently featured by The Wine Society. Subtle, tingly and persistent.
£59 The Wine Society
Image by Michele Ursi/EyeEm, via Getty Images.