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08 May 2016

'Off the beaten track' wines of the moment

Henners Brut Reserve 2010 - East Sussex, England (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir; 12% abv) - Classy fizz: buy my English sparkling wine guide to find out more (which will be updated soon-ish following extensive tasting in London recently: fizz and still wines including a couple of new English vineyard names). £34.99 Virgin Wines, c. £180 for 6 Henners online shop...

Golden Valley Graševina 2014 Vlado Krauthaker - Slavonija, Croatia (13% abv) - Unusual aromatic dry white made from the sometimes rather dull Graševina variety, aka Welsch Riesling / Italico / Laski Rizling, with attractive mix of sweet peach and sultana vs fresh apple notes. £9 Marks & Spencer.

Tbilvino Qvevris 2013 - Kakheti, Georgia (grape = Rkatsiteli, 12.5% abv) - Way more unusual still, this traditional style amphora-aged white has towards orange/brown colour, wild exotic fruit and nutty straw-like notes, with rounded savoury finish. Plenty of quirky flavours for the money: £9 M&S.

Pisano 'Cisplatino' Tannat 2014 - Progreso, Uruguay (13% abv) - Nice fruity spicy version of the sometimes tough-edged Tannat variety with lightly oaked backdrop. £9 Marks & Spencer.

Château Ksara Clos St Alphonse 2012 - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon; 13.5% abv) - Enticing maturing red with liquorice notes and meaty edges with a little lingering dry grip on the finish. £10 Marks & Spencer.

Palataia Pinot Noir Gerd Stepp 2014 - Pfalz, Germany (13.5% abv) - Stylish German red made by a former M&S buyer/winemaker, this oozes elegant Pinot charm with sweet/savoury berry fruits yet fairly weighty rounded mouth-feel and subtle oak. £10.50

Trius Vidal Ice Wine 2014 - Niagara Peninsula, Canada (variety = Vidal, 11% abv) - Sublime super-sweetie made from frozen grapes with a fresh light touch, despite its lush sweet dried apricot and grapefruit marmalade palate. Aldi Ireland €19.99 on offer, half-bottle.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.