Wine: Best Budget Buys

By Jo Burzynska
Pictures / Supplied

Durvillea Marlborough Pinot Gris 2015 $15
From the second label of Astrolabe, this ticks all the boxes for a really appealing pinot gris and with its dry, fresh profile of pear fruit and tangy citrus it has more character than many a more expensive example. (SWNZ.)

Riondo "Collezione" Extra Dry Prosecco $16.95
A pretty, pure and dry Italian fizz that is phenomenally well-priced with its creamy mousse and fresh palate of bright lemon, melon and acacia blossom.

Vidal Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015 $19.99
With its intensity and flinty complexity, this classy chardonnay can easily rub shoulders with examples at more than twice the price. It offers so much more than the uncomplicated quaffing of many wines at this level in its notes of fleshy white peach fruit, zesty grapefruit, herb and mineral. (SWNZ.)

Paper Road Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2013 $20
Low-priced pinot noirs can disappoint, but not this fabulous example from a single vineyard beneath the Tararua Ranges. Silky and savoury, with plum and raspberry fruit plus notes of sweet spice and game, it offers the best value for money of any I've tried over the past 12 months at this price.

Invivo Organic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $18.99-$20
Finding a sauvignon with textural complexity from time in oak and an organic one to boot in this price bracket is night on impossible. But Invivo has managed in this light, lifted and lemony example with its blackcurrant leaf, herb and floral aromatics, savoury undertone and succulent gooseberry fruit. (Certified Organic.)


Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2014 $19.99
There are lashings of velvety blackcurrant and blackberry fruit laced with notes of roasted spice and cocoa on this amazing value Bordeaux blend. (SWNZ.)

Bodegas La Purisima "Old Hands Joven Organic", Yecla Monastrell 2014 $18.99
If you're looking for rich ripe flavours, Spain is the source of some of the best value bottles in this style, such as this marvellous monastrell (aka mourvedre), which delivers plenty of supple and spiced juicy black plum and berry fruit around a savoury core. (Organic.)

Villa Maria "Cellar Selection" Gisborne Albarino 2015 $17.99
If you've not encountered the zesty pleasures of a local albarino before, at this price's there's little to lose and everything to gain, especially in this excellent example with its vibrant line of mineral and lemon fruit. (SWNZ.)

Santa Ana "Two Vineyards" Mendoza Malbec 2015 $16.70
Back again as a top bargain buy is this smooth, ripe and supple malbec form Argentina, with its plush plum and dark berry fruit, notes of dark chocolate, peppery spice and waft of violet florals.

Kairos "Wild Ferment" Waipara Dry Riesling 2011 $16.90-$19.95
An exceptionally intense riesling for the price, with its powerful notes of lime cordial and grapefruit zest, hints of white peach, herb, beeswax and steely mineral spine.

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