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Discounts that Repay Investigation

Handily discounted Portuguese red and French Sauvignon are the stars on parade in this morning’s Top Tips.

Midweekers looking out for useful discounts will find today’s post very much to their liking.

Over £3.50 off an indulgent Portugues red is, undoubtedly, a good starting point.

It is a version that helps to illustrate why wine from that country is gaining traction over here.

 But red wine is not alone in stealing the spotlight!

Its partner white showcases the subtlety and restraint offered by Loire Valley sauvignon when compared to, say, new world versions.

And, better still, there is over £1 off the list price of this particular example – making it excellent value for money.

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

Another impressive Portuguese red

2021 La Bonita Lisboa (£7.35 – instead of £11.00 until 1 April – at M&S and 13.5% abv):

Portuguese reds have a loyal and strengthening following and this tasty example (helped by a significant current discount) illustrates why.

Smooth with pleasingly gentle tannin, it is built around soft mulberry and plum flavours.

Those are enlivened by nicely balanced acidity, traces of slate minerality and hints of vanilla, cocoa and violets.  

Back to its Homeland

2022 Extra Special Touraine Sauvignon Blanc (£7.75 – instead of £9 until 27 March – at Asda and 13%): 

While new world sauvignons can be intense, versions from the variety’s Loire Valley spiritual home (like this) tend more towards subtlety and restraint.

Price is sometimes the issue though but not with the current useful discount.

The wine itself opens with excellent clarity and sophisticated sauvignon aromas nicely supported by energetic lemon acidity.

Its main features, however, are gooseberry, apple and juicy nectarine flavours but herbal and grapefruit pith influences play a part too.

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26 Responses

    1. Yes, thanks for this alert. Aldi Wines of the Week are definitely worth investigating. The previous offer of Animus Douro Reserva was really excellent value. For anyone that misses out on the current offer, I noticed that Waitrose have Atlantique Sauvignon Blanc down from £8.99 to £5.99. Have always found this to be zesty but a touch restrained style. Have to hurry as the offer runs out tonight! But always of interest to scan the shelves (or web site) tomorrow to see their next tranche of offers.

  1. In praise of “boring” wines.

    Casa Ferreirinha Planalto Reserva ,Douro 2022 12.5% The Wine Society ( with free delivery).

    Now the wine snobs would dismiss this Portuguese white wine as boring,no character,thin,short finish, too everyday, too commercial.
    The locals in Oporto eating their Bachalhau à Bras or Francesinha would disagree,They want a near neutral,very easy going wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with many foods.
    An inoffensive,light, crisp “ high plains’ kind of wine, lowish in alcohol- that does not grab their guts- but appeals to their gentler more feminine side.A reliable and versatile wine.
    It is actually a skilful, complex blend of 20% Malvasia Fina,20% Viosinho,15% Arinto, 15% Codego, 15% Gouveio,10% Rabigato and 5% Moscatel.7 indigenous grapes.Grown at the same height as the top of Tal y Fan mountain in Snowdonia..Tell that to the wine snobs.
    It is not a wine that will set the heart racing; but it will not scare the wallet into lockdown either.
    A Plain Jane sort of wine, which for many occasions, is just what is needed.

  2. Hello Brian

    Thank you for the heads-up on this Portuguese red. I have an M&S voucher burning a hole’ and am due in a store later in the week so will give it a go.

    It’s not hard these days following-up on recommendations for Portuguese bottles. Most all seem to float a boat with me. I’d never been to the country before 2005, but when I did eventually get there so much in their wine, food and general culture especially sparked something in me, a devoted Europhile for 50 years! It’s a wonderful country not short on unique, approachable character.

    Eventually came the massively TV promoted Porta 6 followed by almost all of the big high street retailers offering some kind of clone from the area, Lisboa at Sainsbury’s and surprisingly from Iceland the excellent Rabo de Gallo, also from the central area near to Lisbon. Not forgetting the other exceptional value offering at Asda with Bodacious from Tejo, spoken about by yourself here on MWW recently.

    A well kept secret is Herdade de Gambia at Majestic. I was buying it several years ago when Majestic was being free and easy with cash voucher offers that was important because this wine wasn’t at the really cheap end of things. More discounting was needed.

    Sure as is now purchasing a 6 or 12 bottle order got a reduction from £11.99 to £9.99 but the competition was hot when the Rabo de Galo was only £5.50 back then. It’s also from just south of Lisbon, the Setubal Peninsula; Tejo close by. Seems to me the advantage around here is of hot climate yes, but tempered with coastal proximity that marries ripeness and freshness. I don’t get on as well with inland Alentejo that so often comes with massive alcohol and an overcooked flavour.
    Very much looking forward to the M&S bottle now.

  3. Hello Eddie,
    I hesitate to recommend it ,as it was sometime ago I tasted it:- my only note was “surprisingly drinkable on its own.”Adega de Redondo Real Lavrador Alentejano 2022 Red wine The Wine Society £6.50.Medium bodied 13% , no oak .Might be worth a try at that price!
    After a very hot long drive the wife and I ended up at lunchtime in the village of Redondo.Small square with one tiny cafe and three outside tables.A waiter who looked like an orc from Lord of the Rings served us.I asked for the menu.Only one thing on the “menu”- Bitoque – a kind of pork bap.Fortunately my Portuguese is good enough to say the wife was very disappointed.Off he storms out of the square and returns 10 minutes later with the most magnificent salad.A great bloke and typical of Portuguese hospitality.

  4. Starting Saturday 23rd Sainsburys start a new offer, buy 6 get 25% off on wine over £6. It’s where I work so it’s flat out for a week

  5. Many thanks for the recommendation, Paul. I really like your final sentence which is so closely aligned to what MidWeek Wines is about.

  6. Yes, interesting stuff indeed, Eddie. I recognise your concerns about reds with overcooked flavours and heavy alcohol, but do think that this is changing and more subtle medium bodied examples are starting to increase.

  7. Great story Paul and the type of thing that makes the world of wine and its peripherals so fascinating.

  8. It is really helpful to get alerts like this, Hugh, as the various PR machines do not always convey information about these promotions as promptly or as widely as I would like. Do keep shouting about them – but I hope you do not get knocked over in the weekend trolley dash.

  9. The Waitrose Loved and Found Trincadeira £8.99 is a great example of what you are suggesting Brian.I think Eddie would be pleasantly surprised.

  10. Tesco have 25% off buy 6 until March 25th!

    Would that I could buy Waitrose wines Paul but we don’t have those stores close by here.

    But TWS is free delivery and lots they have is not particularly expensive. Indeed I have had most of their cheaper end Portuguese stuff over the last year or two.

    As for subtle and medium bodied wines Brian, praise be eh, wherever they originate? My repeated references to Lisboa, Rabo de Galo, Bodacious and the like offers recommendations for stuff I’ve been enjoying for some time that fits the new model along with all manner of bottles suggested here by other correspondents who speak of the Animus stuff at Aldi especially that we’ve had for a few years now and still is very cheap against super quality. And I’m quite partial to the Dao cheap-end black label bottle at Asda !!

    The thing is at last we can have it. Portugal has caught on here and lots is arriving comparatively speaking. I say comparatively because as the abroad shoppers well know throughout every country in Europe, their SUPERMARKET shelves are stocked to the gunnels with choices we don’t have …. unless we have our own good wine merchant with more comprehensive stock. Even then with us having a limited wine culture and them with their own massively developed industries we still end up with a fraction of choice.

    Off now to M&S for that La Bonita Lisboa recommendation Brian. It sounds right up my street.

  11. As you mention the Waitrose Loved & Found range I tried the (new?) L&F Italian Susumaniello rosé this at £7.99 this week. Light pink in colour with a delicate floral taste,
    Susumaniello Is a fairly recently revived grape in Pugllia more typically used to make bold reds similar to the fairly ubiquitous Primitivos and Negroamaros. I’d be interested to see whether it gets any support this summer as an alternative to popular Côtes de Provence Rosé

  12. A PS that seems relevant …
    Lidl have a new Wine Tour from Thursday 21st featuring Spain and Portugal. Somewhat prescient considering today’s discussions because there’s this big, Portuguese red … Almocreve Alentejano Tinto Reserva …that might well fit the bill for some. More than that with our Lidl app for the next week we can get a £1 off, a competitive £6.49.

  13. Certainly be interested in any feedback on this since year-round rosé (as a food wine) is certainly gaining ground – and grapes like negromaro and tempranillo are starting to offer interesting rosé options.

  14. Yes I have tried that – quite full with mulberry, cherry liqueur and cocoa flavours yet a mineral backdrop too. To me, it does fall behind some other Wine Tour reds (as you will see in Thursday’s newsletter) but remains a sound, good value option.

  15. Hi Keith,
    Many MidWeekers, particularly the Curious sub-set, are big fans of the Loved & Found range, and the M&S and Sainsbury’s equivalents.
    Well good news – Aldi have just started their take on this , the “Unearthed” range.
    The Unearthed 2023 Chiaretto di Bardolino Rose, may appeal. It is 12%, 70% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, and very low residual sugar. I thought it an enjoyable food rose, and quite a classy bottle! £7.99.

  16. Hi Eddie, very recently I tasted, side by side, a couple of Aldi Portuguese reds:
    Mimo Moutinho Dao, 2021 @ £6.69 and 2021 Animus Douro Reserva @ £6.79. I very much enjoyed both – found the latter a touch more rich, and the former leaner – further evidence, if needed of the quality and value to be found in Portugal. The Mimo was only available from yesterday, and is 13%, and 35% Touriga National, 35% Tinto Roriz and 30% Alfrocheiro.

  17. The M&S Bonita is a thing of beauty. Unlike with some modern reds at relative-budget price, the oak is beautifully integrated in this nicely-balanced red. It’s our current favourite red-with-a-roast, whereas Mucho Mas remains our go-to midweek Mr Reliable!

  18. Hello Steve Shaw
    The Sainsbury’s 25% off buy 6 from next weekend coincides with a price reduction from £8.50 to £7 for the Mucho Mas Tinto. So we can have it for £5.25. Time to stock up maybe. I will be because it’s a favourite of my wife’s.
    Also just had a bottle of the Terre di Fiano that I’d forgotten how nice it was. It’s down to £6.

  19. Yes, Steve, I admired the balance and effortless merging of components and, given the current discount, what is there not to like.

  20. So true Brian … it’s a wee gem, and thank you again for the recommendation!

    We had half a bottle last evening and will finish tonight. So enjoyable but a great discount on top … and there was plenty of it on the shelves. Have a good weekend ….

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