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25% Off a Classy Threesome

Here are three wines that epitomise what this site is all about - well made, agreeable wine punching well above its price point.

The latest Waitrose promotions started on Wednesday and contain the retailer’s usual eclectic mix from near and far – including three classic “midweek wines” that will satisfy taste buds yet knock over £6 off their combined list prices; don’t forget that Waitrose Cellar is available for anyone some distance from a physical store.

Although the discounts shown here end on 15 March, the judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least another three months from this post.

Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.

Here is the first – a crisp white

 Fairtrade Chenin Blanc
Fairtrade Chenin Blanc

Unusually, the best value component of the selection is among the whites – a text book example of how far South African chenin blanc has been transformed since the bland uninspiring versions of twenty years ago.

Floral and creamily textured, 2015 Waitrose Fairtrade South African Chenin Blanc (£4.99 instead of £6.39) has the traditional red apple, banana and honey touches but combines them with crisp, lemon based acidity and a suggestion of all-spice; note though that some branches still have the 2014 vintage.

Ripe yet fresh pinot grigio

Forte Alto Pinot Grigio
Forte Alto Pinot Grigio

As I have said before, the hills of Northern Italy are capable of squaring the seemingly impossible circle – pinot grigio with ripe tropical fruit yet freshness and acidity too.

Seek out, then, the balanced and nutty 2014 Forte Alto Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti (£5.99 instead of £8.99) with tasty mango and white peach fruit but also with attractive bursts of tongue tingling lime centred acidity.

California at an everyday price

Blackburn & James Shiraz
Blackburn & James Shiraz

My choice among the reds is Californian – but from the inland Lodi region where more kindly priced wines can be unearthed.

A good example at a great price is the rich and mellow 2013 Blackburn & James Shiraz (£6.74 instead of £8.99) which underpins its lively plum and blackberry fruit with surprisingly soft tannins, chocolate, cinnamon and minty depth and a concluding crack of black pepper.

Best of the rest

Among the other wines on promotion, here are four well worth a second look:

  • 2014 Dourthe La Grand Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc (£6.74 instead of £8.99)
  • 2014 Cune Barrel-Fermented Rioja, (£7.86 instead of £10.49)
  • 2011 Guigal Cotes du Rhone (£8.99 instead of £11.49)
  • Taittinger Brut Reserve NV (£27.74 instead of £36.99

 

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Brian,
    Not tried the three you mention but like the sound of the Blackburn & James Shiraz.
    Best of the rest, love white Rioja, people should drink more of it and Cune is a good start.
    Drank the Taitinger Brut Reserve a couple of weeks ago celebrating the in-laws wedding anniversary, one of my favourite Champagnes

  2. Hi Brian,
    i’ve bought all three but have only tried the Blackburn and James to date – it was very good indeed – another will be purchased. I note that in the Waitrose magazine this week, Philip Schofield is promoting the Pinot Grigio – you are keeping good company Brian

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