Mid Week Wines Logo

A £7 superhero not to be missed.

Range over Europe and the Southern hemisphere for brilliantly priced wine and an illustration of the difference between value and price.

The next round of Tesco promotions started earlier this week and here are a couple of highlights (with a homily about value as against price) – but today’s other commendations focus on Tesco’s initiative with “Everyday Low Prices” among its Finest* range.

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

First let’s get down to fizzi-ness

Premier Cru Champagne
Premier Cru Champagne

Regular MidWeekers will know that I rate Tesco’s Finest* Premier Cru Champagne with its toast and biscuit backdrop that is cleverly balanced with the wine’s lively lemon centred backbone.

So, with its £18 list price reduced to £14 until tomorrow – but only rising to £16 from then until 1 March – snap it up. However, there is a point here about promotions – as mentioned in my New Year post.

Tesco’s respectable Finest* Rosé champagne is also reduced (from £20 to £15) for most of February. Its lower price and bigger discount suggests this is the better buy but in fact the Premier Cru is better value – in my opinion.

Nothing fundamentally wrong with the rosé, it’s just that for an extra £1 you get a nine out of ten wine instead of a seven out of ten one.

Obituaries for oak are premature

Trivento Chardonnay
Trivento Chardonnay

I am also pleased to see a reappearance of a well made Argentinean white that underlines why we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater in the current disaffection with oaked wines.

A mere three months in oak gives 2013 Trivento Chardonnay Reserve (£6 instead of £8 until 1 March) just the most delicate of vanilla influences which subtly accentuate – rather than obscure – its peachy fruit and green apple acidity.

Meanwhile over the Andes

Tapiwey Sauvingon Blanc
Tapiwey Sauvingon Blanc

Those longer-term Finest* range price reductions I mentioned allow us to see just how well the Casablanca Valley’s longer growing season suits sauvignon blanc; versions from other parts of Chile can be patchy.

The crisp and mildly herbal 2015 Finest Tapiwey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (£5.50) has tingling pink grapefruit-based acidity that nicely supplements its green pepper, lime and orange flavours and the whiff of slatey savouriness that lies behind them.

Switching continent and wine colour

South African Shiraz
South African Shiraz

Despite its robustness, shiraz is surprisingly climate sensitive – seriously over-ripening in excessive heat, but South Africa’s Swartland seems to have exactly the right temperatures.

There is a lovely soft and creamy, medium bodied texture to that region’s 2015 Finest* South African Shiraz (£5.50) with its bright and lively blackberry and red cherry fruit and the ancillary touches of mint, nutmeg and chocolate that culminate in a well judged twist of tannin.

Finally to that Superhero

Shows an earlier vintage
Shows an earlier vintage

Ask Spaniards for their country’s top red and many opt for Ribera del Duero rather than Rioja, and this remarkably good entry point version helps to show why.

Full and impressively complex, 2010 Finest* Reserva Ribera del Duero Tempranillo (£7) delivers ripe and dense black cherry fruit with suggestions of eucalyptus, vanilla and dried herbs and predictably chewy tannins.



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