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Jane Clare: Enjoy a truly vintage summer with a tipple in the great outdoors

Our intrepid wine lover seeks out some top picks to enjoy in the sun as the bank holiday weekend approaches...

Jane Clare
Jane Clare

Summer doesn't seem summer without a chilled glass of wine outside in the fresh air with dashes indoors to avoid the showers.

But what's this? Not many dashes inside this year. But luckily lots of chilled wines in the sun. Sparkly ones too and there's several offers around at the moment as we hurtle towards another Bank Holiday.

Don't overlook the Co-op's Aubert et Fils NV Champagne which is £13.99 (reduced from £29.99 until August 27). This is a blend of the classic champagne grapes chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier and at the price isn't bad with its crispy red fruits and some buttery toastiness.

Keep an eye out too for Hardy's Crest Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV and Hardy's Crest Sparkling Rosé NV , both reduced from £9.99 to the neatly rounded £6.66 at Tesco until September 3. At Waitrose, a likeable, refreshing sparkling rosé, New Zealand's Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée Rosé NV is reduced from £13.99 to £10.99 until September 10.

Back at the Co-op, and to enjoy with a Bank Holiday Sunday roast, the fine wine Château Sénéjac Cru Bourgeois 2008/09 , is down to £12.99 (normally £16.99) until August 27. It has blackcurrant and cherries on the nose with musky, smoky, leafy, cedary, autumn woodlands. To taste, biting black cherries  with just-so-you-notice tannins.

There are more sweet cherries and spice in Diane de Belgrave Haut-Médoc 2008 (£15.25, Oddbins) this classic bordeaux blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon, with cabernet franc has hints of petit verdot adding complexity.

Another bordeaux, Château Saint-Genès Entre-Deux-Mers 2011 ( £9.99, Laithwaites) is a blend of the white bordeaux grapes sauvignon blanc and sémillon but with the addition of the lesser-known sauvignon gris. It is dry and crisp, with citrus seams of  lemon and grapefruit.

Also in my glass: remember that in the Loire and Bordeaux the French knew how to create great wines out of sauvignon blanc way before the New World winemakers started making signature wines of their own.

One such New World brand is Villa Maria, whose new vintage Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2013 is now in the shops complete with a bottle label makeover. (RRP £10.99 at several stores and independents including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda.)

It really is delicious. Gooseberries and limes combine with passion fruit both on the nose and to taste.

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