There are some really great wines in the £10-£30 price category. Seize the 2009 red Bordeaux and 2010 northern Rhônes I have already recommended, generally for future drinking, and take advantage while other luscious 2009 reds are still available. Note that European examples can be cheaper than New World ones. Check for more stockists of the wines below, all of which could already be enjoyed, even if most will keep.

White wines

Howard’s Folly Alvarinho 2010 Vinho Verde

The famous Albariño of Rias Baixas made in northern Portugal by Australian David Baverstock for a Hong Kong businessman. Complicated enough for you? Attractively clean and fresh – with so much more ripe fruit than the Vinho Verde of old. Good stuff! 13%, £10.95, The Wine Society

Frédéric Mabileau, Les Rouillères Chenin Blanc 2011 Anjou

Lovely pure, fresh, appley aromas. Lots of tension and mid-Loire terroir. Finishes dry. This sparkling-fresh wine just has so much energy. 13%, £10.95, The Wine Society

Hatzidakis Assyrtiko 2011 Santorini

The signature grape of the volcanic Greek island of Santorini vinified with brio. Utterly captivating and reviving. Not heavy. Great value. 14.5%, £10.99, 37 Waitrose stores and

Horst Sauer, Escherndorfer Lump Riesling Kabinett trocken 2009 Franken

In that funny squat Mateus-like flask from southern Germany. Explosive fruit that ends dry and mineral. Real structure to this wine. Well sculpted. Super-clean and bracing, with a hint of grapefruit. 12%, £12.28, Justerini & Brooks

Pewsey Vale Riesling 2010 Eden Valley

This consistent South Australian beauty tastes as though it’s made from really old, comfortable vines. Light toastiness with lime marmalade. Delicate, lifted, sophisticated palate. Dry finish; really appetising. But wonderfully persistent. Lots of fruit but not lots of sweetness. 12.5%, £12.49, Noel Young

Dom Chavy-Chouet, Les Femelottes 2010 Bourgogne

Very cool and refreshing on the nose. Not concentrated but very nicely balanced and with real Côte d’Or white burgundy build. Raciness and a dry finish. Delicate and appetising. 12%, £13.95, Roberson

Marcel Deiss, Pinot d’Alsace 2010 Alsace

Reverberant gingerbread on the nose – really interesting, racy stuff from this master of terroir. Not an ounce of flab. 13%, £13.95, Roberson, also Lea & Sandeman

Rieflé, Côte de Rouffach Gewurztraminer 2009 Alsace

Very exotic, unusual array of aromas – more dried citrus peel than I am used to in this varietal. Lovely appetising dry finish after a hint of dried rose petals. Perhaps too perfumed to drink with food, but really distinctive and much livelier than most Gewurzes. 13%, £14.95, Roberson

Ch des Vaults, La Jalousie 2010 Savennières

Very firm and dense, just off-dry Loire Chenin Blanc. A magnificent wine you could drink any time this decade – preferably with carefully chosen white fish. 14%, £14.99, 37 Waitrose stores and

Zilliken, Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett 2011 Saar

Lovely open fruit and great delicacy and precision. Racy, and so fluid and easy to like. Thoroughly decent, classical apéritif – heartening evidence of just how good 2011 Kabinett can be. 8%, £16, The Wine Society

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Reserve Pinot Blanc 2009 Alsace

Seventy per cent Auxerrois. Floral, just off-dry and pungent – a very lively, bumptious mouthful. Essence of Alsace! Admirable persistence. 14%, £16.28, Justerini & Brooks

Toolangi Chardonnay 2008 Yarra Valley

Very lively and really sophisticated. More rewarding than many white burgundies. Really charming. 13.5%, £19.50, Berry Bros & Rudd

Bergström, Old Stones Chardonnay 2009 Willamette Valley

A mineral, lip-smacking treasure from Oregon. Tastes much more of vineyard than of winemaking, unlike so many American Chardonnays. 13.9%, £24.95, Roberson

Red wines

Villa Maria, Private Bin Syrah 2009 Hawkes Bay

Screwcapped and with a dreadfully dull label, but it’s dark and savoury with both leather and fruit aromas. Lots of fun. At the lower price, it’s great value. 13%, £12.49 (20% off all NZ wines £9.99), Majestic

Mendel, Lunta Malbec 2010 Mendoza

From Lunlunta vines planted in 1928! Big, glamorous and very well judged. Pure hedonism without too much alcohol. Some minerality. 14%, £12.99 (buy 2 bottles at £9.99 each), Majestic

Tierras Coloradas Old Vine Carignan 2010, Montsant

From Celler Masroig. Impressive freshness as well as ripeness from close to the much more expensive Priorat zone in the hills above Tarragona. 14%, £10.95, 21 Waitrose stores

Cuvée Balthazar Syrah 2010 IGP Pays d’Oc

Intensely rich, blended by winemaker-for-hire Pierrick Harang from the Hérault and the hills of the Minervois. Like Syrah on steroids, but there is no excess of alcohol or oak. 13.5%, £10.99, 21 Waitrose stores and

Catena Malbec 2010 Mendoza

Such sophistication and class! A contrast to more souped-up examples. Lovely fluidity and freshness. Fully ripe, glossy fruit but not artificially sweet, nor aggressively potent. 13.5%, £11.86, 269 Waitrose stores and; £12.99, Majestic

Moss Wood Amy’s Blend 2010 Margaret River

This Western Australian was so much more impressive than a similar Bordeaux blend, Ch Cambon La Pelouse 2007 at £17.99, tasted alongside it. Subtle, with nothing forced, but already hugely enjoyable and complex. 14.4%, £14.24, 225 Waitrose stores and

Joseph Drouhin 2009 Chorey-les-Beaune

Drouhin always has a light touch and no shortage of fruit. Works really well with the force of the vintage. Warm, mushroomy, ready. 13%, £15.95, Nickolls & Perks, Berry Bros & Rudd; £15.99, 225 Waitrose stores

Chamonix, Troika 2009 Franschhoek

Juicy and fine. Real energy in this refined South African. Good balance. No excess alcohol but not quite bone dry. Silly heavy bottle. Complex for the money. 14%, £18.25, Berry Bros & Rudd

Felsina Berardenga 2008 Chianti Classico

Mmm. Sumptuous. Take me to that Florentine trattoria … Great vitality, typicity and balance. Already drinking very well. Some Tuscan 2008s are looking very good. May be found on some Tesco shelves at £20.29. 13%, £22.65, Noel Young

Contino Reserva 2006 Rioja

Lots of pure fruit and just the merest sprinkling of dust. Very savoury and well balanced. This is proper wine. 14%, £23, Wine Society, and some Tesco Fine Wine stores

Terre Nere, Feudo di Mezzo 2008 Etna

Shaded, evolved ruby. Masses of ripe, minerally fruit and more than a hint of Pimms (cucumber peel, the bitterness of quinine). A really interesting wine from Sicily’s most fashionable wine region. 13.5%, £24.28, Justerini & Brooks

Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir 2008 Tasmania

From Bicheno on the east coast of the island. Subtle colour suggests this should be compared with burgundy rather than Australian Pinot. Subtle nose, with generous reward of fruit – ripe but not sweet. Lovely wine with real complexity. Lightly spicy. Dry finish. A food wine if ever there was one. 14.2%, £24.28, Justerini & Brooks

Wine online

For picks under £10 see

More tasting notes on Purple pages of

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