wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


Some lovely wines from UK supermarket Waitrose  
My selection of 43 of the best 

UK retailer Waitrose probably has the best wine range of all the supermarkets (the only competitor would be Marks & Spencer, but they tend to own-brand everything or insist on exclusives). Here’s a selection of some of the highlights of their range taken from recent press tastings. I’ve indicated in brackets how many of their stores stock each of the wines. In addition, all the wines are available from Waitrose Wine Direct (www.waitrosewine.com).

Matassa Cuvée Romanissa 2005 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes, France
70% Grenache, 15% Carignan, 15% Mouvèdre and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, planted on schist/slate slopes, wild yeast ferment, spends 20 months mostly in demi-muids, with some barriques, too.  13.5% alcohol. Vibrant, spicy and intense with lovely freshness to the dense red berry fruits. Complex and taut wound, with good structure. Lovely stuff with a bright future ahead of it. 91/100 (£17.99 Waitrose, 13 branches) 04/09

Domaine Boisson L’Exigence 2007 Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne, France
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre from old vines planted on clay and limestone soils. 14.5% alcohol. Deep coloured. Bold, lush, sweet blackberry fruit nose. Rich, dense, smooth, spicy and lush on the palate, but still well defined. 91/100 (£14.99 Waitrose, 6 branches) 04/09

Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2007 Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
Nine different Pinot Noir clones, destemmed, wild yeast ferment, 50% new oak. 14% alcohol. Lovely focused dark cherry fruit nose is pure, perfumed and a bit meaty. The palate is dense yet elegant with expressive dark cherry fruit. Lovely. 92/100 (£20.49 Waitrose, 13 branches) 04/09

Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir 2007 Central Otago, New Zealand
A mix of gravel/schist and clay soils. 40% new French oak. 14% alcohol. Really lively and bright with lovely elegant spicy berry and cherry fruit. Quite supple. Not big but elegant, with lovely smooth texture. 92/100 (£20.99 Waitrose, 114 branches) 04/09

Villa Maria Reserve Merlot 2006 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
88% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Hand harvested and matured in French oak (40% new). 14% alcohol. Gravelly, intense, concentrated and sophisticated, with lots of density and expressive plum and blackcurrant fruit. Serious stuff. 92/100 (£17 Waitrose, 111 branches) 04/09

Craggy Range Sophia 2005 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
A Bordeaux blend aged for 19 months is new French oak. 14% alcohol. Dense colour. Concentrated sweet lush blackcurrant and blackberry fruit here with some earthy complexity and spicy structure. Smooth and quite delicious; sweet and pure. 93/100 (£25 Waitrose, 15 branches) 10/08

Mac Forbes Coldstream Pinot Noir 2006 Yarra valley, Australia
Half is fermented with wild yeasts, on skins for eight days, then goes to French oak (one-third new) for a year, before bottling without fining or filtration. 13.5% alcohol. Pale colour. Beautifully elegant and expressive with lovely spicy complexity to the cherry fruit, as well as a hint of herbiness. Just lovely: a light expression of Pinot. 92/100 (£22.50 Waitrose, 6 branches) 04/09

Moss Wood Amy’s 2007 Margaret River, Australia
A blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot, 14% Malbec and 2% Merlot. Beautiful. Dense, gravely, sophisticated with lovely pure, bright blackcurrant fruit and hints of earth and minerality. Brilliant wine. 92/100 (£13.99 Waitrose, 14 branches) 04/09

Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2007 New South Wales, Australia
From five vineyards in the Hilltops region at 400–500 m altitude. Nice dense, spicy, meaty tannic fruit. A wonderfully expressive wine with good density and expressive, fresh dark fruits. Delicious and quite serious. 92/100 (£15.99 Waitrose, 6 branches) 04/09

Querciabella 2006 Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
Biodynamic, matured in French oak barriques (10% new), 13.5% alcohol. Lovely fresh, vibrant, dark fruit nose with dark cherry, plum and spice notes. The palate shows real elegance to the bright berry and plum fruit with some spicy tannins. 91/100 (£16.99 Waitrose, 42 branches) 04/09

Remelluri Rioja Reserva 2004 Spain
90% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, 40 year old vines, 85% French oak, 15% American, 13.5% alcohol. Taut, dense, spicy nose is intense and brooding. The palate has a lovely minerally core with sweet but balanced dark fruits and nice structure. A really serious effort. 93/100 (£18.99 Waitrose, 5 branches) 04/09

Muga Reserva Selección Especial 2004 Rioja, Spain
70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo, 10% Graciano. 36 months in new oak barriques. 14% alcohol. Very deep coloured. This is concentrated, sweet, dense and spicy with lovely structured red berry and plum fruit bolstered by some sophisticated oak. A rich, dense, savoury style. 91/100 (£18.19 Waitrose, 111 branches) 10/08

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or Pommard 1er Cru Les Jarollières 2006 Burgundy, France
30% new oak. Nicely aromatic with sweet, forward cherry fruit and some spice. Dense yet elegant palate with lovely smooth spicy fruit (dark cherries, berries, sweet plum) and a hint of oak. 92/100 (£45 Waitrose, 6 branches) 10/08

Joseph Drouhin Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Feusselottes 2005 Burgundy, France
New French oak for 14 months, 13% alcohol. Smooth, sweet, pure, elegant nose is quite dense. Concentrated palate shows nice spicy structure and red and black cherry fruit with style and elegance. 92/100 (£42 Waitrose, 12 branches) 10/08

Furst Centgrafenberg Spätburgunder Trocken 2006 Franken, Germany
Pale coloured. Very sweet, aromatic nose showing light, sweet, smooth cherry fruit with a subtle green leafy edge. Expressive. The palate is sweet, soft and smooth with sappy cherry fruit and a light, elegant personality. 92/100 (£19.50 Waitrose, 3 branches) 10/08

Château Musar 2001 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
13.5% alcohol. Faded red colour; slightly cloudy. Beautiful lifted aromatic nose: spicy, dense, sweetly spiced, tarry, floral even. The palate is earthy and spicy with warm fruit and a long spicy finish. Just lovely, although quite unusual, as is Musar’s style. 92/100 (£17.99 Waitrose 192 branches) 10/08

Orovela Saperavi 2005 Georgia
Altitude 450–600 metres, yield 45 hl/ha, 80% American oak, 20% French, 12.5% alcohol. Very deep coloured. Nice pure aromatic blackberry and plum fruit nose. The palate is spicy, dense and structured with lovely expessive fresh red berry fruits and good acidity. A really nice wine. 90/100 (£16.99 Waitrose, 6 branches) 10/08

Rudd Estate Crossroads Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Oakville, Napa, California
19 months in French oak. Dense blackcurranty nose with a slightly meaty, medicinal edge. Rich, concentrated palate with lots of oak and real density. A big, intense, blockbuster style, but pretty well done if this is your thing. 92/100 (£45 Waitrose, 15 branches) 10/08

Domaine Henry Pellé Les Blanchais 2007 Menetou-Salon Morogues, Loire, France
Hand picked from a single vineyard, a portion fermented in barrel, 13.5% alcohol. Concentrated, fresh, rounded and minerally with lovely presence: a bold, intense Sauvignon, currently tight-wound and firm. Lovely, and should develop nicely. 90/100 (£15.99 Waotrose, 5 branches) 10/08

Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2008 Loire, France
Soils: 45% Jurassic limestone, 45% Eocene flint, 10% Cretaceous marl. Organic/biodynamic viticulture. Refined, crisp, slightly green herbal nose. The palate is fresh and intense with good concentration and a nice herby edge. Very stylish and refined. 90/100 (£15.99 Waitrose, 185 branches) 04/09

Domaine Du Closel Château des Vaults Clos de Papillon Savennières, Loire, France
Chenin Blanc from a 4 hectare Clos with volcanic slate soils. 14.5% alcohol. Complex, smooth, pure nose with taut mineral and herb notes as well as some straw. Concentrated, intense palate has real depth of toast, herbs and minerals, with a long finish. Serious. 92/100 (£25 Waitrose, 3 branches) 10/08

Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Vinzelles 2007 Burgundy, France
1.3 hectare limestone-soil vineyard, 13% alcohol. Broad, intense toasty nose is really sophisticated. Super-elegant, fresh palate with lovely expressive, pure fruit and well integrated oak. Lovely. 92/100 (£11.99 Waitrose, 116 branches) 10/08

Lupé-Cholet Nuits St Georges Les Terrasses du Château 2006 Burgundy, France
13.5% alcohol. A rare white Nuits St Georges from a single vineyard. Sophisticated and expressive with well integrated oak and toasty richness. Very stylish. 91/100 (£30 Waitrose, 6 branches) 10/08

Joseph Drouhin Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières 2006 Burgundy, France
13.5% alcohol. Concentrated and intense with lovely toasty, bready, figgy richness as well as some lemony freshness on the finish. Satisfying stuff. 93/100 (£35 Waitrose, 109 branches) 10/08

Domaine Gérard Thomas et Filles Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Sous Roche Dumay 2007 Burgundy, France
A steep NE-facing vineyard, fermented in 20% new oak. 13% alcohol. Complex, nutty, toasty and refined. Concentrated and dense with nice fruitiness and taut nutty intensity. Very stylish. 91/100 (£17.99 Waitrose, 199 branches) 04/09

Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet 2007 Burgundy, France
30% new oak, 13% alcohol. Fresh, refined, toasty nose with citrussy brightness. Lively expressive palate showing citrus notes, herbs and some stylish toasty new oak. Concentrated and fresh: lovely. 92/100 (£29 Waitrose, 36 branches) 04/09

Domaine Alan Chavy Puligny-Montrachet Les Clavoillons 2004 Burgundy, France
13.5% alcohol. Old vines. Intense, herby, slightly cabbagey nose is bold and full. The palate is dense and rich with nice herbiness. Bold, rich and broad. 91/100 (£30 Waitrose, 5 branches) 04/09

Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner Berg Vogelsang 2007 Kamptal, Austria
Mica schist sols, harvested mid-October, 12.5% alcohol. Very expressive with bright, slightly peppery herb-tinged fruit. Some nice sweet richness to the fruit, balanced nicely by further citrussy notes. Lovely. 90/100 (£12.99 Waitrose, 37 branches) 10/08

Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Achleiten Smaragd 2007 Wachau, Austria
Hand harvested early November from terraced schistous-soiled vineyards, 14% alcohol, 4.4 g/litre residual sugar. Beautiful stuff: tastes sweet but this is because of the broad, melony richness of the fruit. Tasty and full with a nice broad texture. 90/100 (£14.99 Waitrose, 2 branches) 10/08

Rabl Riesling Schenkenbichl 2007 Kamptal, Austria
Gneiss soils, wild yeast ferment after 6 h skin contact, 13.5% alcohol, 4.3 g/litre residual sugar. Lovely aromatic nose shows rich citrussy fruit. Brilliant texture and density on the palate with rounded fruit showing a citrussy edge. Lovely stuff. 92/100 (£17.99 Waitrose, 3 branches) 10/08

Georg Mosbacher Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2007 Pfalz, Germany
13% alcohol, 6 g/litre residual sugar. Sandstone and limestone soils. Taut, spicy herb and apple nose. Rounded, mouth-filling palate with lovely lemony, honeyed fruit. Rounded and expressive. 90/100 (£14.99 Waitrose, 6 branches) 10/08

Karl H. Johner Pinot Gris Spätlese 2006 Baden, Germany
13.5% alcohol, 11.6 g/litre residual sugar. Deep yellow colour. Taut, complex savoury herby nose. The palate is off dry with sweet, broad, grapey, herby character and some melon notes. A striking wine with a long finish. 92/100 (£23.50 Waitrose, 6 branches) 10/08

Dr Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett 2007 Mosel, Germany
Steep slopes with red volcanic soil. 8% alcohol, 62 g/litre residual sugar. Focused fresh lemon and honey nose with some ripe pear richness on the palate. It’s quite rich and sweet, with lots of presence. 90/100 (£11.99 Waitrose, 191 branches) 10/08

Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Spätlese 2006 Nahe, Germany
South-facing vineyard with quartzite soil. 8% alcohol, 74 g/litre residual sugar. Brilliantly fresh, aromatic nose like undiluted lemon squash! Concentrated palate shows fresh, pure lemony fruit with mineral complexity. Sweet and intense, this is a remarkably pure wine. 93/100 (£20 Waitrose, 15 branches) 10/08

Dr Wagner Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Auslese 2003 Saar, Germany
Weathered slate soils, 8.5% alcohol, 71 g/litre residual sugar. Very fresh, expressive lime and herb nose. The palate is concentrated with nice sweet, pure, honeyed fruit and good acidity. 90/100 (£13 Waitrose, 3 branches) 10/08

Mas d'en Compte 2006 Priorat, Spain
50% old vine Garnacha Blanca, 20% Picapoll, 15% Pansal and 15% Macabeo from 'licorella' soils. Fermented in 3000 litre oak barrels. Very deep yellow/gold colour. Fantastic intense nose with complex sweet nuts, herbs, vanilla, spice and melon notes. The rich palate is bold but fresh with complex herb-tinged fruit character. Concentrated and bold with lots of flavour. Fantastic stuff. 94/100 (£17.99 Waitrose, 1 branch) 10/08

Fefinanes Albarino 2007 Rias Baixas, Spain
Made from grapes sourced from 66 growers in the Salnes Valley, hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel. Complex, expressive, herby and lemony. This is really delicious with beautiful fruit expression and lovely complexity. A stylish, elegant white. 92/100 (£14.99 Waitrose, 3 branches) 10/08

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2007 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Decomposed granite soils, 14% alcohol. Broad nutty and toasty on the nose with ripe, sweet fruit. Soft, smooth, complex palate with some vanilla notes and a touch of cream. Ripe with a nutty finish: a stylish Chardonnay. 91/100 (£10.99 Waitrose, 192 branches) 10/08

Deetlefs Familie Semillon 2006 Bredekloof, South Africa
88% Semillon and 12% Sauvignon, with a bit of botrytis. 14% alcohol. Intense rich herb, nut and vanilla nose is lively and complex. The palate is nutty, lemony and bold with lovely complexity and intensity, as well as some stylish oak. Fantastic stuff. 93/100 (£18.99 Waitrose, 6 branches) 04/09

Penfolds Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2006 New South Wales, Australia
From a new-ish region at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains that specializes in Chardonnay, this is a superb wine. 13.5% alcohol. Very lively toasty aromatics. The palate is dense yet fresh with lovely crisp lemony, nutty fruit showing pear, peach and oatmeal richness. Delicious. 92/100 (£17.99 Waitrose, 21 branches) 04/09

Craggy Range Old Renwick Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough, New Zealand
13% alcohol. Crisp, fresh, expressive and quite minerally with good acidity. Tasty stuff with real sophistication. 91/100 (£11.99 Waitrose, 192 branches) 10/08

Villa Maria Reserve Chardonnay 2006 Marlborough, New Zealand
Mostly clone 95 with some 1, 15 and Mendoza, too. Awatere and Wairau valleys, hand harvested, 14% alcohol. Complex, dense and toasty with lovely acidity. A big, bold Chardonnay with real impact. 91/100 (£10.15 Waitrose, 21 branches) 10/08

Domaine Albert Mann Senteurs de Vignes 2006 Alsace, France
An unusual blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Auxerrois. Organic, 12.5% alcohol, 8 g/l residual sugar. Powerful, rich, intense melony fruit dominates, with some ripe apple and citrus notes, too. Richly textured, deliciously balanced and quite special. 91/100 (£10.49 Waitrose, 5 branches) 04/09

Wines tasted as indicated  
Find these wines with

Back to top