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My Pick of the Brands

Use these clear cut recommendations to navigate your way through a list in which brands rule the roost – and to unearth a couple of other choice selections from elsewhere on the High Street.

A new Tesco promotion started yesterday and runs through to 13 March 2017.

Reflecting what appears to be company policy now, the list is dominated by branded wines – a fact which does demand a little extra care from wine enthusiasts.

Quality and value can vary considerably between (and, even, within) brands but I have selected what I consider to be the pick of those being discounted this time around.

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

Hang on for extra acidity

When it uses grapes from cooler regions, South African sauvignon can be impressively lively – especially when low nocturnal temperatures mean longer “hang times” for the grapes and, hence, heightened acidity.

A good example can be found in the aromatic 2016 Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc (£7.50 – instead of £8.50 – and 13.5% abv) where there is real vibrancy to the fresh grapefruit and lime acidity and behind the apple texture and peach centred ripeness it supplements.

A Rioja to really savour

Come back to Europe I suggest for a red (to Rioja in fact) and seek out this well made tempranillo which is a country mile ahead of the other discounted reds I sampled.

With depth and a firm twist of tannin 2014 Faustino VII (£6 – instead of £7.50 – and 13%) also bursts with bright red plum and black cherry fruit – ably supported by gentle acidity, a subtle sweet edge and touches of cinnamon, cocoa and black pepper.

Best of the Rest

Shrove Tuesday wine

Pancake Day is next week and choosing a suitable wine can be tricky because much depends on any filling or sauce used – but here is dessert wine from an excellent sherry producer that caters well for most options.

Muscat’s perfumed, honeyed touches allow Lustau Moscatel de Chipiona (£5.49 for 50cl – instead of £6.49 from today until 21 March – at Waitrose and 15%) to handle robust ingredients while the wine’s mandarin, red apple and ripe apricot fruit works agreeably with subtle dishes too.

And back to sauvignon

Anyone planning to give up meat for Lent (marginally better, surely, than giving up wine) and, thus, looking for wine to accompany fish would be well advised to seek out this surprisingly subtle Marlborough sauvignon.

2015 The Horologist Sauvignon Blanc (£6 – instead of £8.25 until 7 March – at Morrisons and 13.5%) is relatively light in texture but achieves that without inhibiting its herbal, melon and orange fruit in any way or its lively lime and grapefruit acidity.



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One Response

  1. Hi Brian
    It’s a real shame Tesco have gone down the branded route, I remember picking up some very good unusual bargains in our local store especially in the ‘Fine Wine’ section when they were discontinuing bottles, sadly the smaller local stores have got rid of their ‘Fine Wine’ sections concentrating on more run of the mill wines, not saying that there is anything wrong with some of the more popular branded wines, a lot of people buy them, they obviously still sell well but sadly not for me.

    The two brands you mention though are a regular buy for me though, I like all the Boschendal 1685 range but especially their Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz. Faustino always features in my collection although I’ve not tried the VII 2014 ( to be remedied soon) although I still have many Faustino’s in my rack including the terrific 2001 Gran Reserva.

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