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Bring on the sunshine: The best wines for spring barbecues and summer picnics


2011 Jacob's Creek Reserve Barossa Riesling, Barossa Valley, Australia

Big brother to the Jacob's Creek's Riesling, this Australian dry white wine has an equally inviting floral aromatic character but with a shade more intensity of lime-zesty fruit than its sibling. It is both moreish and refreshingly dry at the same time. £7, down from £9.98, Asda

2011 Dreissigacker Estate Riesling, Rheinhessen, Germany

Jochen Dreissigacker makes some of the Rheinhessen's most tongue-tingling dry riesling and his estate white is the proof of the pudding. Delicately smoky and citrus-fresh with the full-flavoured, full-bodied weight of the German grape variety. £13.95-£14.95, Valvona & Crolla, Edinburgh (01315 566066), Roberson (020-7371 2121)

2012 Côte Roannaise Vieilles Vignes, Loire Valley, France

If you like the nubile virtues of uncomplicated Beaujolais, you should love this cheeky number from the Loire also made from the gamay grape, all cherry aromas and bright, juicy cherryish quaffing with a peppery twist to add to the spring in its youthful step. £8.50, The Wine Society (thewinesociety.com)

2010 Joya del Limarí Sauvignon Blanc, Limarí Valley, Chile

From Chile's Pacific breeze-cooled Limarí Valley, this is a vivid example of the Loire Valley's scented sauvignon blanc, capturing fragrant elderflower and green pepper and delivering ripe gooseberry-fool richness with a vivacious twist. £9.99, Marks & Spencer

2010 Domaine Billaud-Simon, France

Subtle and yet classically poised, this, as they say, is what premier cru Chablis is all about, toned intensity of ripe chardonnay flavour supported by a crème fraîche savouriness, unoaked to allow the clarity of fruit to have its own eloquent say. Around £19.95, Planet of the Grapes (020-7405 4912), Imbibros, Godalming (01483 861164), Thind Wine, Sevenoaks (01732 452164)

2010 Arco, Alentejo, Portugal

A blend of Portugal's touriga nacional and the Rhône's syrah, the expressive strawberry-fruit concentration here is supported by a soft and supple texture backed up by light spicy oak and finishing with the damsony twist of freshness needed to wash down char-gilled meats from the barbecue. £8.99, Waitrose

2012 Tormentoso, Paarl, South Africa

There's no torment, pardon the expression, in drinking this delightful Cape chenin blanc; its crisp apple-scented fruit qualities capture the refreshing character of the vouvray grape, bringing a delicate honeyed richness to the peachy fruit. This is the perfect patio sipper and fish-friendly dry white. £10.50, Great Western Wine, Bath (01225 322810)

2011 Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Chardonnay Victoria, Australia

New-wave Australian chardonnay at its voluptuous best, this is crafted with a delicate veneer of light vanilla-toasted oak coating a ripe peachy-fruit quality. Around £21.95, Dunell's, Jersey (01534 736418), The Wine Library (020-7481 0415)

2010 Côtes du Rhône, Sainte-Agathe, Domaine Georges Vernay, Rhône, France

Polished smoky-oak aromas, spicy and pepper-infused, raspberry-syrah fruitiness linger on the palate thanks to the glossy texture of this fine red from the master of Condreu, a firm grip of tannins and balancing freshness combining in an elegantly cool climate northern Rhônesque style. £18.95, Berry Bros & Rudd (0800 2802440)

2011 Pascal Bouchard Bourgogne Chardonnay Côtes d'Auxerre, France

From near to Chablis, you might be surprised if you didn't find a close resemblance between this mouthwatering unoaked chardonnay and the elegantly bone-dry finish of Chablis itself, so no surprises here then, except for the price. £9.99 or £7.99 if you buy 2 bottles, Majestic

2011 Crozes Hermitage Blanc, Les Marelles, Domaine Gilles Robin, France

This is a classic, and classy, white Rhône blend of the marsanne and roussanne grapes, the floral scents supported by ripe apple and stonefruit flavours with a peppery spice and a streak of refreshing acidity on the finish. £18.95/£16.95 case, Lea & Sandeman (020-7244 0522)

2011 'Marginal', Terre des Chardons Costières de Nîmes, France

From the southern end of the Rhône Valley, this is a fabulous blend of mainly syrah with a smattering of grenache bringing a smoky-spicy scented quality to the textured mulberry-fruit freshness, waves of a heady pepper and spice-infused perfume wafting from the glass. £15.80, Jascots (020-8965 2000)