Although the wine pendulum is currently swinging back to favour Europe, the Southern Hemisphere can still dazzle and delight us on both price and quality.
Here are four excellent examples from the current Co-op promotion – that started this week – to prove the point.
These specific promotions expire on 30 June but my judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least three months from the date of the post.
Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.
Tropical fruit with zing
Although South Australia claims most wine headlines, New South Wales makes impressive wine too.
The clean but ripe 2014 Craigmoor Estate Chardonnay (£5.99 instead of £6.99) from the cooler and higher Mudgee vineyards provides pineapple and other tropical fruit flavours but packs them round neatly with zingy lemon centred acidity.
South African Cabernet to impress
While the (decidedly variable) pinotage is South Africa’s trademark red, the country makes impressive cabernet sauvignon too.
So, look out for the rounded blackberry and plum influences of 2013 Paarl Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (also down £1 to £5.99) with its gentle tannins, raspberry acidity and touches of mint, chocolate and nutmeg that give it style and complexity.
Yet more non-Kiwi sauvignon
If reports of less New Zealand Sauvignon this year have frightened you into seeking alternatives, here is a potential candidate.
Chile's fresh and aromatic 2014 Montes Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (£6.79 instead of £8.79) has similar grapefruit acidity and gooseberry components to Marlborough versions but supplements it with attractive orange centred substance too.
Finally to a sun bathing grape
My last wine is also from Chile but leaves the coastal influences of Casablanca for the hotter inland region of Maipo – and features the heat loving carignan grape.
Warm and ripe, 2013 Montgras Special Selection Carignan Syrah (£7.79 – down from £9.79) also displays bright, juicy cherry and raspberry fruit with sharp acidity and appealing cinnamon hints but pleasingly soft tannins.
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