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A grand brand to keep at hand

As the latest Tesco promotion seems heavily inclined towards brands, I have tasted through a number of their branded wines and am hugely impressed by one red in particular.

Reflecting their latest strategy, Tesco has reduced the ongoing prices for a number of their Finest* range but now leans quite heavily on branded wines for promotions.

Consequently today’s post takes a look at well known – and some less familiar – brands to highlight what I consider to be the best of the bunch.

Apart from the Oxford Landing, the discounts shown end on 8 December but the judgements on the wines themselves should hold good until at least Christmas.

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

Well- made, ripe chardonnay can still delight

Trivento Chardonnay
Trivento Chardonnay

Argentina shows us that with careful maturation (just three months in oak here) there is still much to love about substantial, tropical fruit influenced chardonnay.


Enjoy, then, the classic peach centred fruit in 2013 Trivento Chardonnay Reserve (£6 instead of £9) especially as it is counterbalanced by Granny Smith apple acidity and contains only gentle suggestions of vanilla from its barrel time.

Great stuff for you Rhone rangers

 Calvet Cotes du Rhone
Calvet Cotes du Rhone

You can usually rely on the wine-makers in the Southern Rhone to fashion harmonious blends from the grape varieties that prosper in their hot climate.


Here, then, is the pleasingly soft and ripe 2014 Heritage de Calvet Cotes du Rhone Villages (£6 – instead of £7) with black cherry and plum fruit skilfully embellished with gentle tannins, coffee and vanilla influences and a subtle perception of sweetness.

Top of the Brands

Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon
Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon

Having tasted a range of the current crop of branded wines, my top marks from this promotion go to this well-made – and weighty – cabernet from South Australia.


Despite its soft and floral opening there is good depth to 2013 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet (£7 – instead of £8) with chocolate, blackberry and cassis fruit, firm acidity, a well judged tannin twist and touches of vanilla and baking spices to underpin it all.

New harvest wines

Oxford Landing Sauvignon
Oxford Landing Sauvignon

A few 2015 wines are beginning to arrive now and here are two out-riders that provide excellent omens for what is still to come; if it is the latest version you want, though, check the vintages carefully as quite a few 2014’s are still around.

Start out, then, with the grassy and aromatic 2015 Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc (£5 – instead of £7 until 1 December) which shows that – even at South Australia’s latitude – textured gooseberry and white peach based sauvignon is still possible with, in this case, lively spice, herb and minty components too.

Villa Maria Sauvignon
Villa Maria Sauvignon


Step up the price point a little (because New Zealand wines are never cheap) to try the crisp and vibrant 2015 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc (£7.50 – instead of £9.50) with lemon and lime acidity, fresh touches of green apple and rounded mango influenced texture that adds depth and complexity.

Finally, here for an encore

In addition, I have written before about Piccini Chianti Classico (£6 instead of £9) and still consider it to be a good value example of the style at this price.


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