Villa Maria Lighter Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin 2016, Marlborough
Lighter (9.5% alcohol) but still quite rich and a little sweet. It does capture the flavours of modern-day Marlborough Sauvignon. My daughter served it at her first dinner party and it went down very well. €14.99, €11 on promotion.
Segredos de Sâo Miguel, VR Alentejo
Portugal makes some very good value inexpensive red wines; this has attractive cool nicely damson fruits and a tannin-free finish. His will certainly feature again.
Agustí Torelló Mata Reserva 2011 Cava
This is the best cava I have tasted in a long time. An excellent, elegant complex glass of fizz. Not trying to be Champagne, but with a unique character all of its own. €29 from Sheridans and Mitchell & Son online only.
Marsannay ‘en Clémengeots’ 2011 , Sylvain Pataille
Given to me by Pataille on a visit there a few years back. It took a while to open out, but lovely cool savoury dark fruits, good acidity and an excellent finish. A world away from the lush ripe wines of Vosne-Romanée, but excellent Marsannay.
Vidal Reserve Syrah 2013, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay
I raved about this wine a year ago, so I was interested to see how it has developed. The answer is very well. Lovely piquant savoury dark fruits with a very attractive slightly grainy texture. Available for €17.35 (Barry & FitzWilliam), which is fantastic value.
El Reventon 2010, Cebreros Jiminez-Landi, Vdt de Castilla y Léon
Brought by a friend to dinner, a brilliant single parcel wine, combining perfectly ripe elegant dark fruits with a fine backbone of acidity. One of the first wines made by Daniel Gomez Jiminez-Landi, a member of the Commando G gang, who make some stunning wines to the south of Madrid.
To finish, two beers to taste while watching the rugby. Could have dome with another bottle.