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An Attractive Drop (in Price too)

A pair of great value, discounted wines from Australia feature today with a bit of background about prices there.

Reading though a piece in an Australian newspaper, I was interested by an assertion about Australia’s inland regions — where most bulk wine is produced.

There, it reported, “prices for wine grapes have fallen 54 per cent over the past three years”.

Several factors converged to create the drop in sales volumes that, apparently,  precipitated this situation:

  • Greater health awareness.
  • Younger people not drinking.
  • More competition from other beverages.
  • China introducing massive tariffs that stifled demand there.

It will not last forever as vine reducing programmes are already under way – and the trade war with China is over.

Meanwhile, though, a few bargains are available here and today’s post picks out a couple of them.

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

First, a red

2022 Extra Special Barossa Valley Shiraz (£8 – instead of £9 until 22 May – at Asda and 14.5% abv):

Rare to find sound Barossa shiraz at £8, so well done Asda buyers for sourcing this one.

Smooth and scented, it has vivid plum and cherry flavours supported by traces of clove and vanilla.

Complementing those components come firm tannin, energetic acidity and just a gentle edge of sweetness.

NB: Find item on Asda website by scrolling down from hyperlinked result.

And an even more astonishingly priced white

2023 Chapter & Verse Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (down to £5.19 at Aldi and 11%):

Check the price hasn’t changed, but just over a fiver is a bit of a steal for this straight forward white blend from South Eastern Australia.

Clean with a savoury twist, it revolves around bright mango, grapefruit and cooked apple flavours.

These are attractively combined with mild lime and lemon acidity, soft herbal touches and a suspicion of honey – all within a light (11% remember) texture.

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19 Responses

  1. the Chapter & Verse Rose at Aldi’s is
    wine of the week at £3.99 it drinks
    great normally £5.19

  2. As Micky pointed out, it was the rose, not the Sauv/Semillion that was reduced.
    That offer has now finished. However, starting today at Aldi, their new “Wine of the Week” is the “Chapter and Verse” Australian Cab Sauvignon, at just £3.49
    Strangely for a Cab Sauv, it is only 11%. Not sure what that means for the flavour intensity, but will be better for the liver at least. Could be a basic light red for the BBQ.
    Aldi now seem to be only doing “wine of the week” ahead of Easter, Xmas, and Bank Holidays etc. They are good value though, with sometimes a wine reduced from £6.50 to £3.99. Always starts on a Monday, and usually sells out by Thursday

  3. So it was. I was obviously a bit trigger happy to pass on “good tidings”. Apologies for any artificially raised hopes.

  4. I can support the comments re the Chapter & Verse collection which I think all represent good value. I think they all come in at 11% ABV which helps the tax position, I guess.
    Also at Aldi this week, Loire Serenity Rose down from 7.99 to 3.99 and El Prado Chilean Sauvignon Blanc also down from 7.99 to 3.99. I’m afraid I can’t vouch for either….yet!

  5. I bought plenty of the El Prado Sauv Blanc last time it was on offer ( Dec 2023? ). It is not by any stretch a £7.99 wine, but does represent good value at £3.99.
    Aldi do have a habit of introducing own brand wines at a high price, then heavily discounting them as their wine of the week. I usually buy one on the Monday, taste test it Monday night, and if it’s any good I go back on Tuesday and pick up several before it sells out

  6. There is no doubt that the Chinese embargo of Australian wines had a massive and lasting impact ,with still a lot of wine unsold.Recently an Aussie wine maker asked the TWS for help and their wines that normally sell at over £17 were sold by TWS for about £10.They sold out completely in two days,but probably kept the business afloat.
    The Chinese middle class enjoyed Aussie wines as they had a certain foreign cachet and Chinese wines were truly awful.I had a very interesting time trying to buy a bottle of wine in Shanghai.I entered a gigantic boot shaped glitzy shopping mall ,with no customers, but dozens of shop assistants, who all stood to attention when I walked in.
    The wine section only had Chinese wine- no thanks- but I spotted a box of Chilean Cab Sav behind the counter, picked a bottle up and placed it on the counter top.The assistant signed a piece of paper and pointed to someone else 20 yards away.That
    person stamped the piece of paper and directed me to another assistant who took my yuans ,stamped the paper and directed me back to the original assistant and bottle.Unsurprisingly there is no official unemployment!
    Lovers of full bodied ,full on Aussie reds might like the reliable Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz- Cabernet which is on offer at Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, with £2 off , and at a decent price of about £9.50.

  7. Hi Brian

    You well understand I know, that I’m a fan of Sainsbury’s for wine. That they do regular discounting to shelf prices in quite an extensive way that allows us some of our favourite purchases at preferential money they will also maintain these prices when offering their repeated 25% of buy 6 bottle deals, and the customer then gets a double-dip! Often some very good savings to be made on £10 plus bottles that can drop to as little as £6!!

    Sainsbury’s have a 25% off Bank Holiday Weekend promotion starting May 22nd until May 28th . But here’s the thing that makes it less than ”usual”. It seems it only applies to orders made online for either delivery or click-collect. Slots have to be booked and prepaid online. Not sure why that is the case but it looks that way from the promo’ information I’ve just received. I will keep watching that space to see what follows ….

    Also in trying to put together my order just now I’m not seeing the discounting that I’d expect. Maybe tomorrow, the actual 22nd, things will regularise and the discount I would normally expect will be given.

    Top of my list will be this new Teroldego Rotaliano from the Alto-Adige that should be £5.81 that is pitching well below the typical price for this wine. Fingers crossed. The Stellenrust Chenin Blanc is already down from £10 to £8 so we can have that for £6. Luvly jubbly …

  8. Thanks for the endorsement of the Chapter & Verse wines – and for the heads up on the others. I am sure a MidWeeker somewhere will be happy to shar their thoughts on them.

  9. Sounds like a great plan Dave. It is exactly the approach I advocate for “Buy Six” promotions. Toe in the water first, then plunge in if all measures up.

  10. With such a large land mass covering several latitudes and the wine-making expertise the Chinese are bringing in, success can only be a matter of time. As you say, though, there is a bit to go yet.

  11. Thanks for calling attention to that promotion Eddie. As you suggest, the Sainsbury’s list is an impressive one and the “double dip option” on promotions really helps budgets to stretch.

  12. Just an update on the price of the Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet is on now on offer for double dip and can be bought from Sainsbury’s for a very good value £7.15 from an original £11.50.

  13. MidWeekers Paul and Eddie commented in a previous edition about the Sainsbury’s TTD 2022 Fronton being disappointing, perhaps past its best. Warning bells sounded as I recall buying a bottle, but couldn’t remember drinking it. My faithful Cellar Tracker App revealed that I had 2 bottles, bought separately last year. I brought one into the dining room a couple of days ago and opened it last night.
    As is my normal practice I decanted half into a screw top half bottle, for later consumption, and we drank the remainder.
    It tasted OK to us, dark fruits, a bit punchy for only 13%, and tannins were still very evident. We enjoyed it, and relieved!
    HOWEVER, the last pouring revealed it had thrown a pretty hefty sediment. The last half glass was undrinkable. So this wine definitely needs standing upright for a few days and then careful decanting. If this is not done it will not be a pleasant drinking experience.
    Interesting that I had 2 bottles. I think this was because the Discovery Series wines are not always available, so when I see one on the shelves I snatch it. On this occasion I obviously forget I had bought one a few months previously.
    For quite a while now I no longer stock up an individual wine, no matter how much of a bargain – because there are so many interesting wines out there, and so many of these recommended by trusted resources. My wine cellar was expanding faster than my consumption. And I don’t want to drink a 4th bottle of a known excellent bargain, when I am keen to open yet another new discovery! Sometimes an unpredictable wine journey, but not boring!

  14. Great detective work,Richard, or should it be Sherlock?I must remember to stay more upright when imbibing in future!
    Also many thanks for you signalling to me the delights of Beaujolais Blanc and also to Brian for the excellent and interesting service I have had from Wickhams wine retailer.

  15. Richard ..Paul … Brian .. all ….
    Yes, that’s the same point I made in an earlier ee about over-purchasing against slower usage at the same time as wanting to stock up on newer stuff out there! I am left with bottles on the shelf and some don’t pass muster when I get round to them months and in some cases even a year or two later, too late!!

    I think that because this is a hobby I can be more sanguine about disappointment because I use it as a learning/teaching process. And to be truthful not many bottles are ”lost”. Importantly with a more extensive cellar than the average punter there are always lots of bottles there to be chosen. We never go without.

    BUT …. and for sure with wine hobbyists there is always this issue of temptation when comes along, that’s a fine deal and a new wine to have.

    So today I go to Sainsbury’s for a click-and-collect order of a dozen bottles with 25% off including the one I particularly want to try, their new TTD Teroldego Rotaliano part of their Discovery Collection. £7.75 on the shelf that in itself looks to be a value bottle it comes in at £5.80 on the deal. Three bottles because they are there NOW, when I know my usual store is not good on restocking when they sell out, as they might when Fiona Beckett has already given them a name-check in The Guardian already. One will be opened tonight with some pasta.

    Others in the order include Stellenrust Chenin Blanc £6, the double-dip Altano Rewilding Edition Douro £11.50 down to £6.75 and although it’s still a hefty £7.50, down from £10, the excellent Roches de Provence rosé is worth every penny even of its full price.

  16. I thought the TTD Discovery Teroldego was really excellent, as was the interesting Discovery No 31 Chilean Semillon. Also the Miquel Albariño and TTD Sicilian Nero d’Avola.
    The Altano Rewilding Edition Douro has a nice lean style which I personally find very attractive – a real bargain double dip.
    The TtD Discovery SA Cinsault didn’t shine for me, for some reason. But the two examples I tried earlier this week when the Wine Society visited Ipswich, for a “Taste the New List Walkaround” event, did:
    Cinsault, Le Paradou, Chateau Pesquie 2022 @ £9.95, or a couple of rungs up …
    The Wine Society’s Generation Series South African Red, Coastal Region 2023 @ £12.95 – a great example of Cinsault, which I would heartily recommend!
    BTW Eddie have you tried the TTD Pinot Noir from Miquel, in your quest for good sub £10 PN? I meant to pick up a bottle, but forgot. I’m reluctant to go back, cos I know I will buy 5 other wines to get the 25% off!

  17. Cinsault TWS #Bin15 Ollieux-Romaniis Vin de France ,£12.95 ,lightly chilled ,is another great silky example.It was so good I bought two.It is now available with a new label.I have just ordered TWS ‘s French Pinot Noir at £8.50, which has been recently praised by David Williams in the Guardian.I feel a report coming on soon.

  18. Yes Richard, just opened the Sainsbury’s TTD Teroldego Rotaliano to let it breath and tasted it. It’s a stunner for that money I paid today. Wish I’d gotten more than 3 bottles but it’s there for the future I’m sure.

    I noted when I went to collect that the 25% off buy 6 was instore so whyever they have been saying it only applied to online orders I find massively ambiguous.

    I haven’t tried the TTD Miquel Pinot. Must have a look. What I did think was TWS Spatburgunder bio Ruppertsberg 2022 was not the wine that the 2021 was. I did wonder if it needed more time in the bottle or a later bottling of the vintage might deliver what the previous year had.

    I just put this together ……

    I have little doubt that Brian will have his finger on the pulse of the Asda announcement about relaunching their Atlas Wine Series range and saying a lot more soon!

    In a somewhat vanilla world where ”exciting” supermarket initiatives only quietly reside, it seems like a bit of something here to get our lips around.

    I’ll not cut and paste much from the press release I found except this bit …

    … director of beverages at Asda’s IPL International Procurement and Logistics division, Clive Donaldson said the range, which was launched in 2013 had been ahead of its time, and though a brilliant idea, had had “a few flaws” that the team have learned from for the new range.

    How refreshing to hear some honesty for a change from a corporate source in admitting not all they did first time around got complete approval and the identified flaws have been addressed.

    Back in the day I too thought it was a brilliant idea. But I can see how 10 years ago yes, it probably was a bit ahead of its time! I went through the entire card with relish to see what was being offered and although there was a couple of duffers in there, that unfortunately may have put some off the overall concept and appeal of the entire range.

    I was sad to see it diminished but to one bottle, the remarkably cheap, fresh and lovely Romanian Fetească regală that is so much of a positive addition to summer outdoor dining to make it a real treat. Perhaps the new bottles will offer similar pleasure.

    But the new bottles look tantalising and I have my order in already for the Greek Sauvignon Blanc-Rhoditis a Greek indigenous variety complemented with 15% of Sauvignon Blanc. Plus some of these others too.

    There’s Carricante from Sicily, a full-bodied Monastrell Rosado from Jumilla, an Ile-De Beauté Corsican Rosé, that’s a Provencal style rose that includes local grape varieties to provide interesting aromatics.

    Last but not least the Mencia known as Jaen in Portugal is a light, red-berried Dao.

    Roll on later in the year for the bigger reds coming on stream. I remember the French Cinsault first time around that I liked a lot.

    Prices are naturally up a bit on what they used to retail for but will drop back dramatically on a 25% off buy 6 deal.

    Here is the link to the full article for anyone interested.


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