Bodegas Salentein, Numina 2010 Uco Valley (Independents, €22.99 )
Made with a blend of Malbec (65 per cent ), Cabernet Sauvignon (14 per cent ), Merlot (eight per cent ), Petit Verdot (eight per cent ), Cabernet Franc (five per cent ) in Argentina’s Uco Valley, this is a fine example of what Argentina is capable of, and one of numerous wines from that part of the world that are increasingly making up some of the space on our wine shelves. On the nose, it is a cornucopia of intense blackcurrant, blackberries, blueberries with a little cassis, vanilla and sweet spice. On the palate, it has got all of the above fruit with some stone cherry fruit, violets, and damson in what is a full-bodied, well-structured, wine with gentle tannins, all combining to offer a very satisfying and long, elegant, finish. In essence, a super wine that is perfect with barbecued steak or farmhouse cheese.
Laurenz V Friendly Grüner Veltliner Kamptal 2011 (Independents, €18.99 )
From Austria’s Niederösterreich Kamptal region - where its Grüner Veltliner (100 per cent ) grapes ripen in granite, gneiss, mica-slate as well as loess soils (where it works so well ) – the ‘V’ in the title refers to the five generations of the family who have run this vineyard. On the nose, it has lots of apple, peach, and citrusy aromas along with a nutty honeyed spiciness and a smidgeon of white pepper and floral distinctiveness. On the palate, the fruit is soft and juicy with lots of citrusy and tropical flavours, a slight fizz and a fine acidity running through it to a long finish. Overall, a fine example of Austria’s star turn that is excellent with spicy Asian food or a smoky ham.