Finding good, non-French wines at good prices isn’t as hard as you might think. We’ll show you how with this world tour of little gems.
Less than €15
For less than €10, get acquainted with some Portuguese and Austrian specialities. Made from Alvarinho, a grape with exotic fruit notes, the vinho verde Grande Escolha from Casa do Valle is the ideal accompaniment for any aperitif. The Gruner Veltliner Vom Haus by Pfaffl is a fantastic introduction to a grape variety that gives concentrated, structured wines always underscored by a fine acidity. If you want to spend a little bit more, €15 at most, you can expand your horizons a bit further. The Valdobiadene Superiore Brut prosecco by Jeio Bisol, the Trocken Riesling by Fritz Haag and the Horizonte Rioja by Exopto are just a few good examples of what you can find.
At iDealwine, discovering even mature vintages at affordable prices doesn’t have to be difficult. Look to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to discover Château Kefraya, a national reference that makes use of French grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah) and owes its success to its current technical director Gabriel Rivero, who learnt the tricks of the trade at Château Sociando Mallet. In Italy, the Tuscan Lodai from Tenuta Fertuna, a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, is sure to charm you with its just balance between suppleness and freshness.
An introduction to fine wine
There are some icons that seem totally inaccessible. However, it’s still possible to discover their more introductory bottles. For example, Tenuta San Guido, one of the first ‘Super Tuscans’, makes Le Difese, a superb blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon that has a velvety texture and complex aromas of dark fruits and vanilla. The 2014, 2016 and 2017 vintages available at iDealwine are already delicious, or you can age them for a while in your cellar. Still on the Italian peninsula, you’ll find the remarkable IGT Veneto Bianco Secco from Giuseppe Quintarelli, a domain well-known for its legendary Amarone wines. A little further afield is the prestigious Port estate of Dirk Niepoort who creates lovely Douro wines. Redoma Branco, an explosive white with notes of citrus, and Conciso Tinto, a supple and delicate red, will be sure to convince you. Finally, Germany, that has always impressed with its masterful Riesling production, is here represented by Markus Molitor, a winemaker highly praised by international critics. His Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spatlese is a model of freshness and indulgence.
To create this selection, we reminisced on trips we’ve returned from, our suitcases bursting with new-found favourites. In Sicily, we particularly appreciated SP68, a fresh and complex blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avalo from the young and talented Arianna Occhipinti, as well as Nero Lupo, a natural wine from Azienda Agricola Cos. In Tuscany, we savoured the biodynamic and natural wines from Ampeleia, Elisabetta Foradori’s second domain, where vinification is carried out in amphora containers. In Spain, particularly at the heart of the Madrid region, Comando G presents La Bruja de Rozas, a pure Grenache that is fruity and mineral, surprising in its freshness. In South Africa, we’ve fallen for the Chardonnay by Glenelly, a domain managed by the former owner of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, a grand cru classé. And in New Zealand, we love Bannockburn, the precise, juicy and persistent Chardonnay from Felton Road in Central Otago.
Here is a link to our non-French wines priced at less than €30 – enjoy your new discoveries!