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Jurg Widmer Probst reviews the world’s best affordable reds

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10th Apr 2019 Drinks

Jurg Widmer Probst reviews the world’s best affordable reds
Of course, 'affordable' is always relative term – what one person thinks is a reasonable price to pay for a bottle of red might seem way out of budget for someone else. The approach we've taken here is to stick to those wines that are generally available for under £100 – but these are ones that we also think represent the best value and the best potential return on investment for the price. 
So, with all that in mind, here are just a few of the reds that we recommend to wine lovers who don't want to break the bank, but who still want a high quality tasting experience.
2015 Bodegas Tridente Mencia Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, Spain
That Vino de la Tierra mark is one to look out for if you're looking for an affordable Spanish red – it denotes a slightly higher quality than those marked Vino de la Mesa. This 2015 vintage from the Bodegas Tridente team is made from Mencia grapes from the north west of Spain. It has a rich and intense taste that goes beautifully with meat – we recommend pairing it with lamb for the perfect combination.
2015 Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Quartage, Barossa Valley, Australia
No surprises that we have included a wine from the Barossa Valley in Australia in our list – it is one of the most important regions in terms of wine production in the country and is well renowned for its delicious Shiraz wines. This one is actually made from a Bordeaux Blend of grapes, and we picked it out for its rich and intense fruitiness – it is one of those beefy reds that you can taste the sunshine in – and that goes very well with red meats. 
2012 Baricci Colombaio di Montosoli Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy
Ah, Tuscany. One of the most beautiful regions of Italy, this wine is made from Sangiovese grapes which cover the hillsides there. This wine from Baricci Colombaio Montosoli is a real classic – another one with a powerful, full taste that is just perfect when paired with beef or other rich, red meats. It's not one of the cheaper 'affordable' reds, but it is worth every penny in our opinion.
2014 Giuseppe Cortese Rabaja, Barbaresco DOCG, Italy
The 2014 vintage of this lovely Piedmont wine will only improve with age – this is one we definitely recommend laying down for a few years if you can resist the temptation to drink it. Wines based on the Nebbiolo grape like this one are more acidic tasting and give off a very distinctive scent that is rich and complex. It's a real joy to taste this wine from Guiseppe Cortese, and it is one that we'd recommend pairing with some fresh spring lamb.
2015 De Toren Fusion V, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Another Bordeaux Blend wine now, but this time from South Africa. This is another mid-range wine in terms of price, but one that we think gives you a lot for the money. The 2015 vintage we tried has a lovely bold flavour and we think the De Toren team have a real winner on their hands here. It is bold - but we'd suggest you don't overpower it by pairing it with meat that is too strongly flavoured. 
2013 Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy
Back to Piedmont now and another delicious wine that uses the Nebbiolo grape from the region. We are big fans of this one – it has a subtle, savoury quality that combines beautifully with lamb – and is also complex and interesting enough to be enjoyed on its own.
2016 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan, France
Our final pick is this lovely French red. It's a bit pricier than some of the others but it is one where we think you are paying for that extra bit of quality. It is also another wine that we would strongly recommend laying down for a few years – it could take well over ten years before this one reaches its full potential.  
And it will be well worth the wait and the investment – in our view it is a perfect match for red meats like venison and is a great example of just what can be achieved with the Bordeaux Blend grape variety. 
Jurg Widmer Probst          

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