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A Potential New Favourite Joins an Established Classic

Relish a well-priced but “Blueprint” chianti today and then venture into the unexpected with a German pinot blanc.

Almost certainly, many of you will have enjoyed a bottle of chianti or two.

It is classic Tuscan red wine that has become the wine world’s equivalent of a household name.

Exactly, then, a suitable candidate for inclusion in Waitrose’s Blueprint range of well-priced illustrations of “signature” wines.

And a great job they make of this one too, as my first recommendation testifies.

By contrast, its white companion is anything but a familiar option – pinot blanc from Germany.

Don’t let its relative obscurity fool you though!

Trust me, this is a tasty example of a varietal that is well worth exploring and will not disappoint.

Adopting my traditional format, images and, where possible, hyperlinks accompany the assessments of the wines.

First, as promised, to Tuscany

2020 Blueprint Chianti (£6.99 Waitrose):

Waitrose’s Blueprint range embraces a set of 20 or so wines as varied as Cream Sherry and White Burgundy.

The retailer explains that the range has been specifically compiled to offer typical and “great value examples of classic wine”.

That definition sums up this medium bodied, uncomplicated chianti well.

Its leather, smoky and broader savoury components sit comfortably beneath dominant bramble and sour cherry flavours.

Those elements are wrapped in a very attractive texture that includes moderate acidity and firm, but not intrusive, tannin.

Now for its less familiar partner.

2021 Taste the Difference Pinot Blanc (£6.00 – instead of £7.75 until 23 May – at Sainsbury’s): 

Pfalz (home to this wine) is Germany’s driest, sunniest area and is acclaimed for the quality of its excellent riesling.

However, that is not our focus today because the three pinots (black, grey and white) are now gaining considerable popularity there.

So, for this post, I have turned to the least well-known of that trio – pinot blanc.

Weighty with a lovely sensation of freshness, this example contains grassy apple, greengage and ripe pear flavours.

In a version that will probably amaze any who have never tried it, those components are supported by enticing aromas, a sharp prickle of acidity and appealing tropical fruit hints.

The next post (on Thursday) reveals my suggestions for a Friday Night treat to ease you into the weekend along with the latest Sunday Best option.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Brian. I got a bottle of the TTD Pinot Blanc when shopping this morning at Sainsbury’s. A great saving that for something I’m sure will entertain me. And of course you know what a fan I am of anything to do with Tuscany and Sangiovese and its lovely derivatives like Brunello. Seems over the years that many I’ve spoken to have not met with the same enthusiasm I have, and I can appreciate that it is a bit of a marmite grape!! Anyway, no Waitrose near to where I live but it seems on the online site they are saying it is temporarily unavailable. Hopefully when I’m next in ”the south” it will be back on the shelves and maybe on a deal too. Cheers for now …

  2. Hi Brian, Great call on the Sainsbury’s TtD Pinot Blanc. This grape seems to go “under the radar” – whenever I try a bottle I think I must drink these more often!
    Bought a bottle and opened it last night. Good weight, but balanced, in the style of, typically more expensive, Alsace Pinot Blancs. More interesting than an often bland Pinot Grigio, but not excessively floral. At offer price of £6 a great buy.
    Thanks, as always, to alerting MidWeekers to wines that they probably wouldn’t pick off the shelf!

  3. Pleased that you enjoyed it Richard and, as you say, it is not something that leaps off the shelf but well worth seeking out. It is the extra weight that gives it an edge for me.

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