June 22, 2012 7:41 pm

Love a bargain?

Our wine critic picks 25 great wines for under £10
Jancis Robinson tasting wine

Although those who supply the UK’s hugely competitive supermarkets have been under extreme pressure, not least because of continuous increases in duty, it is possible to find one or two almost incredibly good reds for under £5 a bottle (perhaps helped by the weaker euro). White wines are more transparent and less forgiving and I have not been able to find any I could recommend to an FT wine lover at under £6.99 – but I am proud of all the wines below, which show that specialist wine retailers can also offer some real value under £10.

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White wines

A bottle of Plaimont, Tesco Finest, Saint Mont 2010

Plaimont, Tesco Finest, Saint Mont 2010

Seriously distinctive blend of historic local Gascon varieties Gros Manseng, Petit Courbu and Arrufiac from the excellent co-op that dominates wine production in Armagnac country. Dry but juicy and well structured. No hurry to drink this bargain. 13%, £6.99 Tesco

Origin Wine, Tesco Finest Swartland Chenin Blanc 2011

Cult winemaker Adi Badenhorst advised on this blend of Chenin Blanc from South Africa’s most fashionable recuperated wine region with a little Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne. 13.5%, £6.99 Tesco

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Jancis Robinson

Quintay, Berrys’ Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2011 , Casablanca Valley

The Chileans are really giving the Kiwis a run for their money. A piercing nose is followed by the electric buzz of bone-dry fruit with a hint of nettle sting about it. Clean finish, though pretty lighton the mid-palate. 13%, £7.95 Berry Bros & Rudd

Rudi Rabl Grüner Veltliner , 2010 Kamptal

Dull label but wonderfully intense, herby perfume of Austria’s signature grape. Dry but spicy. 12%, £7.99 Marks & Spencer

A bottle of Casa Lluch Verdil , 2010 Valencia

Casa Lluch Verdil , 2010 Valencia

Really distinctive white made from rare Verdil grapes grown at high altitude to produce a smoky, tense wine with broad lemon and lime fruit. 13%, £8 Oddbins

Luis Felipe Edwards, LFE Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2011 Casablanca Valley

Sweet in a vaguely butterscotch way but also fresh, thanks to cool drift up this Chilean valley off the Pacific. Concentrated, an easy drink to like. Some of the fruit was aged in barrique so the price is excellent. Very persistent indeed. 14%, £8.74 Majestic

A bottle of Jordan, Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc, 2011 Stellenbosch

Jordan, Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc, 2011 Stellenbosch

Very lively and flirtatious. More transparent and racy than many South African Chenins. Although there is some light green apple and honey flavour, there is no sweetness. Admirable grip on the palate. 14%, £8.75 The Wine Society

Dom de la Perrière, La Petite Perrière Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Vin de France

This wine from Sancerre is so full and ripe that it’s almost unrecognisable as a French Sauvignon Blanc, but still a good-value blackcurrant-leaf-flavoured drink. 12.5%, £8.95 Roberson

Barbadillo, Tesco , Finest Manzanilla

Barbadillo specialises in this lightest, palest, driest, most appetising style of sherry. The sample I tasted was tingling fresh and superlative value. Saves paying Ryanair to fly you to Jerez! 15%, £5.99 for 50cl Tesco

A bottle of Stefan Ehlen Riesling Feinherb, 2008 Mosel

Stefan Ehlen Riesling Feinherb, 2008 Mosel

Pretty awful label but a great buy that has off-dry pungent slate flavour. Could be a comfortable apéritif or a good accompaniment to some Asian dishes. 11% , £9.90 The Sampler

Valdesil Montenovo Godello, 2010 Valdeorras

Forget Albariño. Godello is the hot new north-west Spanish grape variety with great class. This is far from the finest example, but it still knocked spots off Majestic’s Mâconnais whites at the same price. Cool but firm and with obvious inherent nobility. 12.5%, £9.99 (two bottles at £7.99 each) Majestic

A bottle of Royal Tokaji, Dry, Furmint, 2010 Tokaj

Royal Tokaji, Dry, Furmint, 2010 Tokaj

This dry version of Hungary’s most famous wine is not quite ready yet (the 2009 is drinking beautifully now) but is a particularly good price. Buy to drink from November? 13.5%, £9.99 (two bottles at £8.49 each) Majestic

McWilliam’s, Isabelle Mount Pleasant Chardonnay, 2011 Tumbarumba

Still very youthful, new wave Australian challenge to white burgundy from an irresistibly named high-altitude wine region in New South Wales. Real potential for development. 13%, £9.99 Waitrose

Bootstraps Chardonnay 2010, Eden Valley

Australian wine scientist Peter Leske has fashioned this very restrained, racy, authentic wine for a label owned by Scottish importer Alliance Wine. It should keep well under its screwcap. 14.5%, £9.99 Sainsbury’s

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Red wines

A bottle of Bootstraps Chardonnay 2010, Eden Valley

El Guia Tinto 2011 , Campo de Borja

This northern Spanish region is the most wonderful source of rich red wine value, thanks to its stocks of low-yielding Garnacha bushvines. The Borsao bodega is responsible for this ridiculously underpriced wine, a new addition to Waitrose that has far more fruit and exuberant appeal than its previous basic Spanish red. 13.5%, £3.99 Waitrose from next month

Pasquier Desvignes, House Beaujolais NV

New blend, new supplier in a relatively smart, screwcapped bottle. Light, fresh, frank. Simple, but not too industrial. 12%, £4.49 Sainsbury’s

Terso Rosso NV Puglia

A sweetish blend of 50% Nero di Troia, 30% Primitivo and 20% Montepulciano from the heel of Italy with a velvety texture. A barbecue wine? 12.5%, £4.79 Waitrose

La Grille Pinot Noir 2010 , Vin de France

This must be one of the cheapest Pinot Noirs anywhere, barring soupy counterparts from Romania. Wine broker Charles Sydney put this together and bemoans the fact that the new appellation regulations for St-Pourçain in the northern foothills of the Massif Central demand at least 40% Gamay grapes in the blend, so this strawberry-like 100% Pinot has to be sold as a geographically vague Vin de France. 12.5%, £6.99 (two bottles at £5.99 each) Majestic

Cellier des Dauphins, Tesco Finest Plan de Dieu 2011, Côtes du Rhône-Villages

Probably the best value of the southern Rhône package negotiated with a big supplier. A far better buy than the thin Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 at £16.99, and arguably twice as satisfying as the basic Tesco Simply Côtes du Rhône 2011 at the thumbscrewed price of £3.79. Drink this spicy blend of Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre any time over the next two or three years. 14%, £6.99 Tesco

A bottle of Bodega Pirineos Tesco, Finest Somontano 2010

Bodega Pirineos Tesco, Finest Somontano 2010

From the Aragonese foothills of the Pyrenees, this novel blend showcases the perfumed local Moristel grape with Garnacha (called Grenache in France) and Syrah. Very aromatic with good structure and a dry finish. This is real wine at a bargain price, presumably because Somontano has no great reputation. 13.5%, £6.99 Tesco

Dominio Lasierpe, Taste the Difference Navarra Red 2010

Another northern Spanish bargain blend, in this case 54% Garnacha, 30% Graciano and 16% Tempranillo unadorned by oak. The result is fresh, polished and cool. I’m not sure I can detect the Graciano, but it’s a nice idea to include a grape variety that was until recently on the verge of extinction. Appetising. 13.5%, £6.99 Sainsbury’s

A bottle of Porta Velha, Valle Pradinhos 2009, Trás-os-Montes

Porta Velha, Valle Pradinhos 2009, Trás-os-Montes

Just one of many bargains currently available from Portugal, in this case a juicy, delicate blend of Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela and Portugal’s Touriga Nacional grapes, grown on a vinously revived noble estate in the mountainous north-east of the country. 13.5%, £7.75 The Wine Society

Robert Sérol, Vieilles Vignes, 2011 Côte Roannaise

Quintessential French country wine made from Gamay grapes. Lively and full of fruit with a rather stylish label, a silky texture and great persistence. Juicier than the average Beaujolais, it’s good enough to be the Troisgros house wine. 12%, £7.95 The Wine Society

A bottle of Vidal Fleury 2010, Côtes du Rhône

Vidal Fleury 2010, Côtes du Rhône

Rich nose. Vibrant, well-integrated and serious wine that is too dry to drink without food but it is proper artisan stuff from Guigal’s sister company. Should last another three years. 14%, £9.99 Majestic

Dom des Garrigues 2011 Lirac

Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre blend that is much more appetising and succulent than the more expensive Abeille bottling. Very juicy and spicy for current drinking. Good value at the two-bottle price. 13.5%, £9.99 (two bottles at £7.99 each) Majestic

More tasting notes on Purple Pages of JancisRobinson.com

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