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top wines of May 2011

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under a fiver

Tesco, Picpoul de Pinet 2010, France
A big hand to Tesco for stocking this delicious wine from the Languedoc, which steps outside the big brand-dominated, and let's face it, somewhat boring norm of the wines on their shelves. The Picpoul grape delivers a fabulously intense, fabulously fresh noseful brimming with apple and lemon zest, and a palate giving a tang of herbs and salts, of gravelly wet stones and that riveting, streaking freshness that races across the tongue. With 12.5% alcohol and bottled under a screwcap, this is, dry, delicious and a banker for seafood and shellfish. £7.29 normally, but sneaks in on a two for £10 deal until July 19th 2011. Full video review for this wine.

under a tenner

Domaine Saint Andrieu, Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé 2010, France
Not many rosés make it as one of my wines of the month, but this was arguably the pick of the bunch from over 20 that I have been tasting for an imminent rosé roundup feature. From the Var region, it is a blend of Grenache, Rolle and Syrah with 13% ABV. It has a very delicate salmon pink colour and lovely fruit: cherry and raspberry, with a delicious orange blossom and spice lift. Lovely palate too, the clean, dry flavours and watermelon freshness ending with lovely focus and length. £9.15, Haynes Hanson & Clark, see all UK stockists on wine-searcher

under twenty

Bruno de Conciliis, Aglianico Donnaluna 2009, Italy
Lovely nose on this wine from Campania, which is powerful, vinous and tobacco-streaked, with some leafy notes and a firm, glossy black fruit. It is unoaked allowing the delightful floral delicacy of the Aglianico to really sing before delicious liquorice and chocolate-rich fruit and tannins flood the palate. There's a real gloss of black fruit, but it stays edgy and structured with fabulous clarity and juicy length. Perfectly balanced and beautiful stuff. £12.99, Raeburn Fine Wines, see all UK stockists on wine-searcher

sky's the limit

Il Pollenza, Pius IX 2004, Italy
At £28 for 50cl this gorgeous dessert wine from the Marche region of Italy is expensive, but it is utterly beguiling. A late-harvest blend of Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, it is as delicious as it is unusual. The nose is flooded with walnut, honey and toffee and yet a beautifully fresh red apple character that shows real fruit at the core. Luscious and fully sweet, it has sultana richness but with extremely nice focus and length. Complex layers and a figgy complexity combine with freshness in a wine that could take on everything from sticky toffee pudding and pecan pie to quite delicate fruit tarts. £28.00, Jascots, see all UK stockists on wine-searcher