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More Top Tips – under £6.50 this time.

French sauvignon for easy summertime drinking and an appealing table wine from Port country for you to enjoy.

Given alcohol duty and other upward pressures, £8 has become a “sweet spot” for presentable everyday wine – and even then you need to be selective.

In effect, though, it has replaced the £5.99 price point we became used to not so long ago.

So, it is pleasing to feature a pair of wines that actually start with a “6” in today’s post.

That is unlikely to be repeated too often so let’s make hay while the sun shines, guys.

Yes, I know cheaper wines are on sale but those appearing here are always wines I feel comfortable recommending (admittedly, sometimes with a caveat).

Value remains more important than price and I will continue, stubbornly, to resist any “race to the bottom”

Adopting my traditional format, images and, where possible, hyperlinks accompany the assessments of the wines.

Revisiting an old friend

2021 Animus Douro (£6.49 at Aldi and 13% abv):

Not quite as sensational as those earlier vintages, this still provides an enjoyable, great value Portuguese red table wine.

Given the Douro Valley’s expertise with port – and the sweetness that involves – it is mildly surprising to find pronounced savouriness here.

Nevertheless, there is certainly slate-centred minerality at work as a background to this wine’s medium bodied raspberry and damson flavours.

The picture is completed by the good acidity, firm tannin and the traces of mint, baking spice and chocolate that accompany those fruit centred constituents.

And a great summertime option

No mistaking the typical sauvignon aromas with which this light, balanced “in the garden” wine opens.

Perhaps because there is trebbiano in the blend, those sauvignon influences do taper off as – on the palate – saline or other savoury elements emerge.

However, sauvignon does subsequently make its presence felt with grassy, green apple flavours and fresh lemon acidity.

Perhaps, since this is French wine, I should have used that country’s usual name for trebbiano (ugni blanc).

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2 Glasses of wine