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3 Fabulous Fizzes and a new way to get them

While the trio of sparklers will catch many eyes, you can also find here tasty Languedoc viognier, classy rosé and top Oz red to titillate taste buds and delight palates.

While the current Waitrose promotion has a range of tempting offers, it is the sparkling wines that arrested my attention but, first things first, let’s start by looking at wine at everyday price points.

Although the prices quoted expire on 31 May 2016, the wines will still be drinking well for a month or two beyond that.

As usual, click on any bottle for an enlarged image to help spot the wine on a crowded display, although some stores may be on earlier vintages

 Viognier prospering a tad further south

Waitrose Laurent Miquel Nocturnes ViognierLanguedoc is now producing good examples of the grape once regarded as the exclusive property of the Northern Rhone – viognier.

Consider, for example, the aromatic peach and ripe melon fruit of 2015 Laurent Miquel Vendages Nocturnes Viognier (£6.74 instead of £8.99 and 13% ) with its fresh acidity and light texture – but appreciable depth of flavour too.

What Eastern Europe does well

Hungary’s Hilltop winery is now that country’s biggest wine exporter with really modern facilities and impressive but great value wines in its portfolio.

Certainly the fresh and perfumed 2015  Hilltop Estate Pinot Grigio (£5.59 instead of £6.99 and 11.5%) gives you appealing peach, orange and acacia flavours with just enough offsetting acidity – and all at a great price.

Classy, dry, food-friendly rosé

Waitrose Calvet Sancerre RoséPerhaps because of its thin skins and prima donna personality, pinot noir – of all grape varieties – produces arguably the most delicate rose.

Judge that for yourself, however, with the nicely balanced strawberry and red cherry fruit in 2015 Calvet Sancerre Terre de Brune Rosé (£9.89 instead of £14.99 and 12.5%) with hints of sweeter spices but lively, crisp acidity too.

Rhone techniques head south

Waitrose Fire Flower Shiraz MourvèdreAfter three European wines, I turn to the Southern Hemisphere for the reds and first up is a South African take on Rhone winemaking with a shiraz mourvèdre blend that also contains a dash of viognier.

That viognier – a white grape variety of course – adds floral influences to underpin the bold cherry and loganberry fruit of 2015 Fire Flower Shiraz Mourvèdre (£5.49 instead of £8.49 and 14.5%) with hints of cinnamon, firm acidity and limited tannin.

£15 very well spent indeed

Shows an older vintage
Shows an older vintage

Spend a little more money and you can savour an excellent red, assembled from a selection of top vineyards right across South Australia.

Dense and structured 2013 Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz (£14.99 instead of £19.99 and 14.5%) also has bramble and raspberry fruit, suggestions of chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon with an appealing graphite edge but only modest tannins.

……. And now to put some quality sparkle into your life!

Finally then to three fizzes within this promotion – and the handy discounts they represent.

If variable availability is a problem for you, do not hesitate to use the very efficient Waitrose Cellar online service – especially now that the facility has introduced a delivery service that sends out single bottles of champagne and English sparking wine over £30.

First comes 2012 Leckford Estate Brut (£24.99 instead of £29.99 and 12%) – a chardonnay led blend from Hampshire with energetic bubbles, savoury, bready edges and apple centred acidity.

The non vintage Waitrose Blanc de Blanc Brut (£18.39 instead of £22.99 and 12.5%) goes a step further (being exclusively chardonnay) and delivers lively red apple and lemon fruit and a savoury biscuit edge.

Waitrose Duval-Leroy Fleur de ChampagneNext comes a 70:30 chardonnay: pinot noir blend from grand and premier crus vineyards in the form of the gentle and soft Duval-Leroy Fleur de  Premier Cru Champagne (£17.99 instead of £26.99 and 12.4%) – great value champagne with fresh lime acidity and touches of apple as well.


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