On the Wine Shelf...

Marques de Alarcon Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Tempranillo/Syrah 2011 Spain (M&S, €7 )

Most of the big retailers now have a budget shelf that is bringing the price of a bottle of wine continuously down a notch or two, and this particular pick is part of the Marks & Spencer range. As a reasonable example of what you look for in a wine suitable for summer drinking at an affordable price, this is made from a blend of Tempranillo and Syrah grapes grown on the central Spanish plain of La Mancha. With a decent amount of blackberry fruit on the nose with hints of smoke and crimson, it has enough mulberry, plum, and blackberry fruit on the palate to satisfy the harshest of critics at this price. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity, it also has a decent length. In essence, the perfect tipple to go with a spicy summer pizza or a light tomato pasta.

Crego e Monaguillo Monterrei DO Godello 2012 Spain (Wines Direct, €12.38 )

Made for the most part from Godello (85 per cent ) with the addition of Treixadura (Portugal’s Trajadura ) making up the rest of the blend (15 per cent ) from grapes grown in one of Spain’s newer designations, Monterrei, close to the border with Portugal in southern Galicia, this is a real gem of a wine that could easily be missed. On the nose, there are lots of juicy-rich fruits such as apricot and peaches and the hint of white flowers, while the palate is a lot more substantial and full-bodied with a creamy elegance that you would expect in a wine that is a little bit more expensive. Added to a generous depth, fresh acidity and a satisfying finish, it is the perfect accompaniment to a rich summer salad or creamy chicken dish.

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