2007 Achaval Ferrer Malbec, Mendoza
Very different from Cahors, but not as different as the flashier, riper, more obviously oaky Argentine Malbecs. There are violets and black fruit on the nose, dense, ripe but not overripe fruit on the palate and an undertow of minerally graphite. The tannins are obvious, but plush and velvety, and there’s some acidity to remind us that this is made from the same grape as in Cahors. Very good wine. 13.5% abv.
£12.49, Corney & Barrow.
2007 Domaine Leflaive Mâcon-Verzé
You could buy three bottles of bog-standard Mâcon or one bottle of this. You pays your money and takes... but if you go for this, you’ll be getting Côte d’Or quality and style – creamy, buttery flavours and textures pinioned by the magical perfume and freshness of quinces and a fine streak of minerality. 13.0% abv.
£17.49, Corney & Barrow.
2008 Majestic Peaks Pinot Noir, Central Otago
Central Otago pinot noir has been dropping in price as all the new vineyards come into production, but even so this is a drop further than most, especially at the two-bottle price. It’s not a complex wine, but is an opportunity to get a flavour of the pure, crystalline style of New Zealand’s fashionable South Island region. It smells of a raspberry jam-filled Victoria sponge and tastes of raspberry shortcake; it’s fresh, supple and at the lighter end of medium bodied. 13.5% abv.
£9.99 or £7.99 when you buy two or more, Majestic.