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Never undervalue the girl (guy) next door

Anyone seeking kindly priced Kiwi pinot noir, two contrasting sauvignons and a superb summer red at under £6.50 will find this re-launched page is exactly the place for them.

While the Co-op is indeed good with food, its wine range often hits the spot too as illustrated here by the enjoyable and well-made fare in the Co-op promotion that started last week.

In fact, the hit rate of wine I can commend (usually about 1:3 even from carefully selected samples) is higher from the Co-op than from several other supermarkets.

This is a re-launch of last Saturday’s post that hit technical problems; the promotions it features expire on 21 July but my judgements on the wines themselves should hold good until late August at least.

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

Classic Loire Sauvignon

Tangerine and sherbet
Tangerine and sherbet

While Pouilly and Sancerre on the upper reaches of the Loire steal most sauvignon headlines, some great value versions (like this) can be unearthed further downstream.

Fresh and rich, 2014 Calvet Touraine Sauvignon Blanc (£6.49 – instead of £7.49) gives you textured gooseberry and sherbet flavours with sweet pea aromas and firm tangerine acidity at a very good price indeed.


 Or how about sombrero sauvignon?

Peaches and green apple
Peaches and green apple

Spain’s Rueda region is not obvious sauvignon territory but this works pretty well – and the latitude actually provides an extra dimension.

That southern location adds touches of peach and sweetish, ripe edge to 2013 La Casa Sauvignon Blanc (£5.99 – instead of £6.99) yet only marginally subdues the wine’s characteristic green apple prickle of acidity.


 Fairtrade wine without compromising tastiness

Medium bodied with cherry fruit
Medium bodied with cherry fruit

Argentina’s Famatina Valley – to the north of Mendoza – brings us this agreeable Fairtrade merlot which, in my view, is currently drinking better than its cabernet stable-mate.

The bright and medium bodied 2014 Fairtrade Merlot Argentina (£5.99 – instead of £6.99) delivers cherry and damson fruit with suggestions of vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon but very limited tannin to dim its underlying acidity.

 Brilliantly priced pinot noir

Raspberry and nutmeg
Raspberry and nutmeg

New Zealand pinot noir is seldom cheap but often repays digging that bit deeper – yet this is a terrific price for something from one of the country’s established but very reliable producers.

Enjoy, then, the classic raspberry and slightly nutty 2013 Villa Maria Pinot Noir (£8.99 – instead of £10.99) with its nutmeg based earthiness and assertive red cherry centred acidity.

A “hot” heatwave red from Italy

Picture shows earlier vintage
Picture shows earlier vintage

To me this is the star of the collection with the fresh, soft, fruit-driven style that parts of Italy do so well; given just 15 minutes (no more) in the fridge, this is perfect summer drinking.

The dark and juicy 2013 Ricossa Barbera D’Asti (£6.49 – instead of £7.49) has bright, intense, jammy blackberry fruit which is skilfully integrated with aromatic but savoury spices.

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