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top wines of July 2013

Armit Wines

My favourite wines tasted in July, in four price brackets.

under a fiver

Waitrose, Ripe and Juicy Spanish Rosé 2012, Spain
Serious wine at under a fiver does not exist, but fun and tasty wine can still be found. One of the cheapest rosés in my 2013 summer rosé round-up, this comes from Bodegas Borsao in Campo de Borja and is 100% Garnacha. The nose seems ripe, sweet and creamy with strawberry sundae aromas and a palate showing a nicely dry, watermelon freshness as well as a fair amount of creamy berries. Stylish and cheap, and dry in the finish. 85/100. 4.99, Waitrose.

under a tenner

Contero, Brachetto d'Acqui 2012, Italy
A real favourite of mine is Moscato d'Asti, the low alcohol, light, frothy and sweet wine from Piedmont in northwest Italy. Here we have a rarely seen cousin of Moscato d'Asti, made in a very similar style but as a red wine. Brachetto is the name of the grape, and Acqui is the region it comes from. The wine overflows with cherry and summer berry aromas, with hints of chocolate and flowers adding complexity. On the palate the mousse is rich and rolling, and this has a sumptuous quality with the full sweetness playing against that dark berry fruit, and as with all of the best wines of this style, terrific acidity that really freshens the finish. Delightful stuff, only 5.5% alchohol, and a very good price at The Wine Society - cheapest I can see it elsewhere is a full £4 more. Watch the video for food matching ideas. 90/100. £9.95, The Wine Society. See all stockists on wine-searcher.

under twenty

Odfjell Vineyards, Orzada Carignan 2008, Chile
In a vertical tasting of this Old Vine Carignan from Chile I really loved the 2011 (92-points) but as it is not showing as available in the UK as yet, I nominate this excellent 2008 vintage. From Maule, and the single Tres Esquinas vineyard, the vines are 100-year-old, unirrigated bush vines worked by horses. This has lovely depth, the oak is there but nicely intergrated with the serious, meaty depth of the wine allied to a more juicy freshness of the fruit. This just has more edge than some of the earlier vintages with more vital, spicy juiciness and lovely balance and length. 91/100. From £13.75, see all UK stockists on wine-searcher.

sky's the limit

Nyetimber, Blanc de Blancs 2007, England
Sussex's finest is one of the really global names of the still feldgling English sparkling wine industry, and this vintage appeared to me to be up with the very best. All Chardonnay, this has a really authentic, Champagne-like nose with the yeasty autolytic aromas, touches of baked brioche and nutty but ripe English apples. The palate shows a sherbety, lively mousse, with loads of crunch and freshness, lovely balance and a long finish. Very classy indeed. 93/100. From £28.95, see all UK stockists on wine-searcher.