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My 8 top tips from Tesco’s new deals.

A new Tesco promotion began yesterday and neatly partners a great champagne with six dependable wines to herald springtime but which all cost less than £6

There are some keenly priced yet well made wines in the Tesco promotions that started yesterday. Most of those featured here are available at under £6 – and that is not something I can say often.

These promotions end on 12 May (unless an earlier date is shown) but the judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least three months from the time of the post.

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

Kiwis do good chardonnay too

Light, bright NZ Chardonnay
Light, bright NZ Chardonnay

Proving New Zealand whites are more than a one trick (sauvignon) pony, here is chardonnay from Gisborne – on the eastern edge of the North Island.

However, 2013 Wairau Cove Chardonnay (£5.49 instead of £10.99 but this offer ends early – on 5 May) is no heavy weight, southern hemisphere blockbuster; rather it delivers light, fresh, apple, citrus and tropical fruit salad flavours with herbal and nutty undertones and a creamy yet vaguely savoury texture.

South West France does it again

Terrific house wine for summer
Terrific house wine for summer

Another classy, great value white from a region (and producer) that consistently does the basic things brilliantly – as well as creating some unusual but imaginative wines further up the price chain.

Behind the Granny Smith apple crispness and fresh, citrus acidity of 2012 Finest* Saint Mont (down £1.50 to £5.49) there is nicely textured peach centred depth that makes the whole thing taste and feel more complex.

….. and with reds as well

Full but balanced everyday red
Full but balanced everyday red

The same region also does clever things with its indigenous black grapes as illustrated here by the winemaker’s use of the cabernets (franc and sauvignon) to soften and enhance the local, powerful and chewy tannat.

Consequently, the long and full 2012 Madiran Reserve Les Tuguets (£5.99 instead of £11.99) gives you an excellent, intense, cherry and mulberry influenced red with balanced tannins, a polished cinnamon finish and appealing raspberry centred acidity.

Nicely balanced Rioja

Rioja to tick so many boxes.
Rioja to tick boxes aplenty.

Crianza has at least two years ageing (one of them in oak) but not as long as Reserva (three and one) or Gran Reserva (five and two).

Here though that year of barrel time has bestowed a toasty, chocolate and vanilla layer on 2011 El Pinsapo Rioja Crianza (£5.99 instead of £10.99 until 8 May) without dimming its colour or its lively plum and cherry fruit.


Great tasting prestigious fizz

Quality bubbly at a great price
Quality bubbly at a great price

There is no own label *Finest champagne in the promotion this time but there is an excellent price reduction on Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne (down £10 to £26.99).

This is really classy stuff with busy bubbles and typical chardonnay structure; it adds a whisper of brioche to the principal floral and citrus influences but skilfully brings it all together as a sophisticated and balanced champagne.

Best of the Rest

Here are a few other impressive elements of this latest promotion that I would commend as great value for money:

  • 2014 Finest* Cotes de Gascogne (down from £7.99 to two for £10 – or £5 a bottle in Scotland) – Fresh apple and pear based fruit.
  • Or follow the link for an earlier assessment of wine where the discount has been extended, as in  2012 Finest* Tingleup Riesling (down £2 to £7.99), and,
  • 2013 Finest* Teroldego (£5.99 instead of £7.99)  – these are the third and fourth items on the linked page
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