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2 Great Value Wines from Renowned Producers

A delightfully smooth Spanish red and intense South African white are today's great value featured recomendations.

Today’s selections are from two of the larger and well-established names in their respective countries.

Kleine Zalze was created in its current form almost 30 years ago and is situated close to South Africa’s celebrated Stellenbosch wine region.

Grapes have been grown on the site for over 300 years.

However, it is the current owners that have structured the wines produced there into a hierarchy of impressively high-quality brands.

In Spain, the Campo Viejo operation started in 1959 and is currently one of Rioja’s leading brands.

Now part of the Pernod Ricard organisation, it produces classic Rioja blends but also has a deserved reputation for the type of varietal featured here.

I think you will enjoy both wines but do note how prices are creeping up for all the reasons I warned about recently.

As is normal here, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on shelf or web page.

Garnacha goes it alone here.

2021 Campo Viejo Garnacha (£7.50 – instead of £8.75 until 5 September – at Sainsbury’s and 13.5% abv):

Blending garnacha (grenache in French) and tempranillo is, of course, an important part of the wines of Rioja.

However, excellent single-varietal versions of garnacha from there (like this one) are increasingly common now.

Dark with eucalyptus aromas and soft tannin, it is centred around velvet smooth cherry and damson flavours.

That foundation is neatly coupled with suggestions of vanilla and aniseed and is given verve by firm orange peel acidity too.

Impressive Chenin Blanc.

2022 Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc (£7 – down from £7.75 until 5 September – at Morrisons and 13%):

The second and third words in this South African wine’s name do have significance.

Bush vine cultivation (rather than trellised) usually means fewer grape clusters and, therefore, more concentrated and intensely flavoured fruit.

True to form, this example does indeed have pronounced flavours – red apple and melon influences in this case.

These are accompanied by lemon and tangerine acidity, a smooth peach influenced texture and attractive honey aromas.

After today’s focus on wines on promotion, I take a broad look at a grape variety that is often misunderstood these days – chardonnay – when we meet again on Thursday.

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7 Responses

  1. Hi Brian ,Two excellent wine suggestions in your post.May I also mention Campo Viejo Winemakers Blend, made by three talented female winemakelrs and is a mix of Tempranillo ,Garncha and Bobal ? Also on offer at Sainsbury’s at £7 ,down from £8.50 until 5th September.I enjoyed the cherry/ blueberry flavours.
    Your point of creeping increases in prices is well made.The extra duty slapped on alcohol means wine in the 11.5 -14.5% ABV range amounts to 44p a bottle,but not many people know that once you add 20% VAT on the new price ,that means the tax increase is 53 p a bottle.
    Fortified wines such as sherry and port are hit even harder.

  2. Thanks Paul – I also enjoyed that Winemakers Blend so that’s a good suggestion – and good to see bobal used (a seriously underestimated grape). Price creep is inevitable now I fear but am I alone on feeling a bit aggrieved that alcohol duty is applied before VAT is calculated? A tax on a tax feels a bit of a low blow.

  3. Price increases due to the changes in duty and tax are hurting a little yet I have noticed that the increases at many of the major supermarkets exceed these, taking their extra profits, again!

    No doubt many of them will have “heavily discounted” offers to tempt us which, in reality, will simply be knocking off their own excess profits.

    The main discounters (Lidl, Aldi etc) don’t seem to have followed this trend so far so, if you know which of their wines are good picks, they still offer decent value for money for those of us watching the pennies.

    Good recommendations again Brian. That Campo Viejo Garnacha was available for six quid from Morrisons when they were running their 25% discount. Well worth the money at that price.

  4. Not had a Campo Viejo for a while now, but I’ve always enjoyed the range, particularly the Garnacha , the Reserva and Gran Reserva, with my preference being the Reserva, followed closely by the Garnacha. Not tried the Winemakers blends yet, but I’m a big fan of Bobal so will grab a bottle soon.
    Zalze again always reliable, as with this Chenin that I’ve had many times.
    Don’t think anyone would be disappointed with your selections today.

  5. Quite correct, and even more so when one takes into account the fact that duty is paid when the wine enters the country or is taken out of a bonded warehouse, not when it is sold. Nearly everything now on the shelves will have already been in stock in the retailer’s warehouses before 1st August, and will therefore have paid duty at the previous rate, so they really are taking the **** increasing prices now. Supermarket wine buyers will certainly have ensured good stock levels of duty paid wine in advance of the increase. Over the next few months as new stock is brought into the country retailers will have paid the higher rates, but now they are just profiteering.

  6. Price increases on the high street being as they are folks should consider getting involved with whatever loyalty card arrangement thats out there to apply to their wine purchases. This tax/vat latest imposition can often be offset at Tesco with their Clubcard and the Nectar points app for Sainsburys regularly offers points for wine I’ve previously purchased as much as 60p discount in some cases. But now I see the Lidl app, that regularly gives me a free £3 ice cream or £1.99 fresh bread loaf is offering a 6 bottle purchase of two specific wines that are substantial
    welcome reductions … if … and I stress if … you would regularly have what is on offer anyway. This is a new move by Lidl so I’m intetested to see how it progresses .

  7. Lidl pretty well sold out of these offers within 2 days at my local one.

    Six bottles of a very reasonable NZ Sauvignon Blanc for £30 and six of their Cimarosa South African Shiraz for £20 were a snip. I was in the store at 08.15 on the morning of the offer. They might not be the finest examples of their genre but in terms of value for money they couldn’t be beat.

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