Top notes: Our expert selects the perfect bottles to bring a taste of spring to the mouth

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Reds

Mercurey Vieilles Vignes Domaine Jean-Pierre Charton 2010

Brighter weather demands lighter wines – it is mostly Burgundy as opposed to Bordeaux time – and all the virtues of the former are present here: the restrained, silky elegance of Pinot Noir, the subtle, fresh flavours of cherries and wild berries, underpinned with a little oak. A light, sophisticated wine to be enjoyed with a rare tuna steak or a roast chicken. £17.08, goedhuis.com

Azamor 2007

A big red from southern Portugal, this is an unusual blend of Syrah and Merlot, together with native grapes such as Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, which deliver a rich, smooth, powerful wine, with a spicy edge from barrel-ageing. Definitely one for chillier spring days, after a long country walk, to accompany anything involving linguica sausage – a Portuguese cousin to chorizo – or maybe roast lamb on Easter Day. £13.95, harrods.com; £9.99, aitken wines.com (minimum order six bottles)

Torres Ibericos Rioja Crianza 2007/8

Not all Rioja has to be barrel-aged and oaky; it can be medium-bodied and bursting with vibrant, crunchy, red-berry flavours as here, even after a few years in the bottle, illustrating the amazing versatility of the Tempranillo grape. But there is deceptive depth here, with a long finish, making it perfect for all kinds of tapas or a big paella. £9.99, Waitrose

Anakana Indo Carmenère Cachapoal Valley 2010

Spring may herald the start of the barbecue season and Chile's Carmenère is a lovely grape to accompany outdoor cooking. Full-bodied, packed with ripe, juicy black-fruit flavours, it is as straightforward as a piece of grilled chicken or lamb, maybe with a little spicy relish. This one has flavours of tobacco, coffee and leather to give added depth and complexity. £8.99 (as part of a minimum purchase of six mixed bottles), majestic.co.uk

Whites

Accuro Torrontes 2009

Aromatic and fragrant on the nose, lusciously full-bodied on the palate, with lovely citrus flavours and pleasingly dry and crisp on the finish, this is a finely wrought example of Argentina's native white grape from a company specialising in the country's boutique wines. Good with any prime white fish, particularly if accompanied by sharp Asian flavours of lime and chilli. £13, ruta40.com

Turonia Albariño Rias Baixas Quinta Couselo 2010

Grown in the warm and wet Atlantic-facing Galician region of north-west Spain, the Albariño grape delivers medium-bodied, zippy, fresh, lemony wines such as this (as well as being responsible for Vinho Verde in Portugal), with an unmistakable salty tang and enough character about it to handle robust shellfish dishes, including the extraordinary percebes molluscs native to the area. £12.92, goedhuis.com

Sipon Furmint 2010

The undiscovered vinous treasures which might be found in countries such as Slovenia are hinted at in this delicious white made from the same local grape, Furmint, used for Hungary's famous Tokaji sweet wine, but which here is rendered in a completely different type of wine – an elegant assembly of spring-blossom aromas and crisp, dry, refreshing tastes of orchard fruits and hints of citrus. £9.95, thewinesociety.com

Tesco Finest Darling Sauvignon Blanc

This stunning South African Sauvignon Blanc can give those Kiwis from Marlborough a real challenge in the value stakes. Huge tropical-fruit mouth-filling flavours, balanced with refreshing gooseberry astringency, make this ideal for spring. Good for parties and one of the few wines that perfectly match English asparagus, which comes into season next month. £7.59, Tesco

Sparkling

Champagne André Roger Brut Traditional Grand Cru NV

An absolutely top-notch Grand Cru champagne from this relatively small producer, still in the same family hands and made from mainly Pinot grapes with a small amount of Chardonnay. This is a big, rich and powerful fizz, with a generously fruity nose and a really mouth-filling taste of yeast and apricots, with an interestingly spicy finish. A traditional champagne for a traditional smoked-salmon starter. £35.55, jascots.co.uk

1+1=3 Cava Brut Rosé Seleccio

Oddly named, but there is nothing odd about this cava from Penedés near Barcelona, made from the local Trepat grape, with additional Garnacha and Pinot Noir. Packed with boisterous aromas and tastes of strawberry, raspberry and cherry, this is terrific as an aperitif when the days get warmer and also a good wine for sweeter dishes, particularly those involving chocolate. £11.99, champagnewarehouse.com

Rosé

Gascogne Rosé Cuvée Spéciale 2010

Let us hope for some warm spring days for eating outdoors and this refreshing, moreish, crisp, spicily finished and decently priced rosé, from the esteemed Plaimont co-operative in south-west France, would be the perfect versatile accompaniment to everything from salads to mezze-style foods. £5.99, M&S

Dessert wine

Els Pyreneus Maury Grenat 2009

This sort of sweet, lightly fortified vin doux naturel red is much more commonplace in France as either an aperitif or to accompany fruit-based puddings of all kinds. From the town of Maury, close to the Pyrenees, the Grenache grapes deliver intense flavours of dark cherries, plums and cassis. But this is relatively light and elegant on the palate and so perfect for spring consumption. £11.66, nezzar.com

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Automotive Service Advisor - Franchised Main Dealer

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable