Wine: Ones to watch in 2014

Gusbourne Estate in sunny Appledore in Kent is one of England's fizz producers to watch. Picture: Contributed

Gusbourne Estate in sunny Appledore in Kent is one of England's fizz producers to watch. Picture: Contributed

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I have been scouring the world for the wineries that I think will be worth watching in 2014.

Here’s my pick of new young guns showing great promise, plus wineries at the top of their game.

NEW WORLD

NEW ZEALAND OSTLER VINEYARD

Ostler is in the newest Kiwi wine region, Waitaki Valley, which borders North Otago and Canterbury. On the limits of cool climate viticulture, vines were first planted here in 2001 and now this river valley is producing exciting pinot noir, riesling and pinot gris from Ostler Vineyard. My favourite is its fresh, concentrated, grapefruit and lime-flavoured Blue House Pinot Gris 2010, £18.50, Berry Bros & Rudd

SOUTH AFRICA MULLINEUX FAMILY WINES

It was no surprise to see Chris and Andrea Mullineux scoop Cape winery of the year in the 2014 John Platter Guide, but Mullineux is still a young winery, established in 2007. Based in the hot seat of Cape experimentation, Riebeek-Kastel in wild Swartland, this husband and wife team are now challenging the Rhône with their exciting minerally terroir specifics such as Granite Syrah and Schist Syrah. Try Mullineux Syrah, 2011, £20, www.sawinesonline.com; www.bbr.com

CHILE TABALI

Tabali first planted vines in the up-and-coming Limari region in 1993. All Tabali’s wines from Limari including chardonnay, viognier, syrah, pinot noir and muscat deliver on fruit concentration, approachability and excellent prices. The most exciting potential is with its syrah, with its tar and violet-scented Tabali Especial Reserva Syrah 2010, £9.75, 
www.thewinesociety.com

ARGENTINA ALEJANDRO SEJANOVICH

After 16 years working for Argentine winery Catena, Alejandro Sejanovich joined forces with another ex-Catena colleague Jeff Mausbach in 2011 to produce premium Mendoza malbecs in Altamira, a cooler higher part of Mendoza at over 1,000 metres. Definitely one to watch for those who love big powerful reds. This is a show-stopping, silky textured malbec: Zaha Malbec 2011, £22, www.thewinesociety.com

AUSTRALIA TAPANAPPA

An interesting eclectic trio of Aussie Brian Croser (ex-Petaluma), Bordeaux guru Jean Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch Bages and Champagne Bollinger joined forces to make premium single vineyard Australian wines several years ago under the Tapanappa label. Now their high altitude-grown pinot noir from the maritime location of Fleurieu Peninsula in south Australia is one of Australia’s best: Foggy Hill 2009 Tapanappa, £30, Tesco Online; £33, www.bbr.com

OLD WORLD

AUSTRIA CHRISTOPHE EDELBAUER

An exciting newcomer to the Kamptal scene, Christophe returned home from training in New Zealand, South Africa and Germany’s Palatinate with a passion for pinot noir. His new family winery in Langenlois has just been built in 2013 to incredible standards – and Christophe’s new wines are very interesting with a lush, delicate pinot noir, fresh, vibrant gruner veltliner and stunning Reserve riesling. This outfit is all very green and environmentally-friendly: no wine labels, just screen print designs: Christophe Edelbauer Pinot Noir 2011, £29, www.newcomerwines.com

ITALY CASCINA MARIO FONTANA

In the hilltop village of Perno, in the heart of barolo country, super-Mario Fontana is making superb and surprisingly affordable wines for the Langhe. A youngster amongst so many established names, it offers the perfect balance between old ideas learnt from his father and new ways. If you want to taste the most suave, pure barbera in Piedmont, try Barbera d’Alba 2011 Cascina Fontana, £18.50, www.bbr.com

FRANCE CHATEAU D’ANGLES

Eric Fabre worked for years as technical director at Bordeaux first growth, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, before moving his family to the Mediterranean coast in La Clape, near Narbonne to create superbly made excellent value Languedoc white, reds and rosé. My top choice is this well-priced syrah, grenache and mourvedre blend: Chateau d’Angles Classique Rouge 2009, £10.64-£12.50, Drinkmonger, Edinburgh & Pitlochry; Peckham’s, Glasgow & Edinburgh; Ocado; www.matthewclark.co.uk

SPAIN BODEGAS LOPEZ DE CRISTOBAL

This small family winery is tucked away near the town of Roa in Ribera del Duero valley. Gil Nunez, winemaker, makes superb, handcrafted, velvet smooth tempranillos which consistently beat more expensive competition in our Spanish tastings: Bagus 2005 Lopez de Cristobal, £24.99, Raeburn Fine Wines, Edinburgh

PORTUGAL JULIA KEMPER

In the remote region of Dao, it is a surprise to find a young female lawyer ploughing energy, enthusiasm and money into organic viticulture at old Quinta do Cruzeiro. You might not actually see Kemper treading the grapes, but her delicious foot-trodden organic reds show us a glimpse of new wave Portugal: Julia Kemper Touriga Nacional 2009, £24.99, Fine Wine Co, Musselburgh; Alliance Wine, Ayr

GERMANY DR HEGER

I visited this winery near Baden in southern Germany during the 2013 harvest and was very impressed with the whole Dr Heger range, from pinot blanc to pinot noir. This small quality-focused winery is run by Joachim Heger, son of the founder, who won the Gault Millau Weinguide Winemaker of the Year in 2013. Interesting wines from volcanic soils: Dr Heger Sonett dry Spatburgunder (pinot noir) 2010, £15.50 bt or £183 case, www.thewinebarn.co.uk

ENGLAND GUSBOURNE ESTATE

With £7m of investment, Gusbourne Estate in sunny Appledore in Kent is one of England’s fizz producers to watch this year with its carefully planned expansion of its chardonnay vineyards. The south-facing Kentish escarpment produces lively fizz with good depth: Gusbourne Brut Reserve, £24.99, Lockett Bros, N Berwick; Harvey Nichols; Oddbins

Join Rose’s French Wine Series on Wednesdays 12, 19 and 26 March and 2 April in Edinburgh, www.rosemurraybrown.com

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