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the wine anorak's
wines of
  the year 2002
bargain wines

The good news... there's still plenty of good cheap wine around. Here's my guide to some of the best affordable bottles. All of these come in at less than £7.

First of all, probably the star bargain red of 2002, the highly successful Goats du Roam from Fairview. Lots of interest, cheap, and widely avialable

Fairview Goats do Roam 2001, South Africa
I’ve previously recommended the 2000 vintage of this brilliantly successful red blend, and the 2001 is equally good. A vivid red/purple colour, attractive ripe, sweet raspberry fruit dominates, but there’s also some savoury, meaty complexity. Good acidity and not at all confected, this has to be one of the very best reds available at this price point. Very good+ (£4.99 Tesco, Majestic, Oddbins and others)

The South of France is a happy hunting ground for bargain hunters, and this wine is very satisfying for five pounds. A useful house red?

Laurent Miquel Syrah Mourvèdre 2000, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France
This deep-coloured wine has an attractive nose of meaty, spicy berry fruit. The palate is savoury with plummy fruit and an attractive damson-like bitterness. With a chunky structure, this is satisfying stuff for the price: the sort of thing the South of France does so well. Very good+ (£4.99 Sainsbury)

Our house white comes from Spain. Lovely, crisp and fresh.

Torres Vina Sol 2001, Penedès, Spain
Made from the Parellada grape, this food-friendly white wine is a brilliant example of commercial wine making. The fresh, lemony nose has an attractive aromatic floral twist. It's almost Sauvignon-like. The palate is crisp and slightly spritzy, with nice taut fruit. High acidity provides a lovely foil for Chinese food, believe it or not. Try to get the most recent vintage (2001) if possible; it's fresher and zippier than the 2000. Very good+ (Majestic, Tesco £4.49)

A slightly surprise inclusion next. Portugal is best known as a red wine country, but the indigenous white grapes can make lovely wines when handled properly. 

DFJ Segada Branco 2001 Ribatejo, Portugal
Portuguese whites have a pretty low profile, but this is a lovely example from the Fernão Pires grape, at a bargain basement price. It is a full flavoured fruity white with a slightly smoky edge to the apple and lemon fruit. Lots of nutty savoury character here and even a touch of minerality. In a modern style but full of flavour. Very good/excellent (£3.99 CWS Group, Oddbins) 

Sticking with the Iberian peninsula, Rueda is probably one of Spain's most interesting white wine regions. Local grape Verdejo makes lovely fresh, Sauvignon-like wines.

 Tres Olmos Verdejo  Bodegas Gaciarevalo 2001, Rueda, Spain
From a family run Bodega with 40 ha in the middle of Rueda, one of Spain's leading white wine regions. This shows a wonderfully bright aromatic nose with appealing lemony fruit. With a pronounced herbal edge there's lots of fruit here and good acidity. Brilliant for the price. Very good/excellent (£5.95 Berry Bros)

Argentina makes an appearance for the penultimate choice.

Valentin Bianchi Elsa Barbera 2000, Mendoza, Argentina
This vibrant, juicy red is a wonderful find. Really lovely forward liquoricey berry fruit on the nose. The palate has lots of bright savoury-edged berry fruit with good acidity. Completely more-ish, this is brilliant for the price. Very good/excellent (£5.45 Berry Bros & Rudd)

Finally, a real star of a wine, tasting like a decent-ish Cote Rotie from vineyards just outside of the appellation.

Domaine Mouton Syrah 2000, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
I just had to include an excellent pair from Domaine Mouton. First, this wine: an authentic Northern Rhône Syrah at a bargain price. Lovely, smoky, meaty nose with a core of bright raspberry fruit. The palate is rich, meaty and savoury with attractive Syrah character and good acidity. A bit stern for some, but I love the style. Very good/excellent (currently £5.00 in the La Vigneronne bin-end sale; was £6.50 but I'd still recommend it even at the higher price)

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