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No promotions but value aplenty

Don't let the absence of fresh promotions this week put you off - here are wines from eight High Street suppliers that punch above their price point even without "money off" labels.

With no major promotions starting this week, I have gathered together details of wine –  mostly not on offer – that I have recommended in the press this month.

See, for example, a recent piece about maverick producers in Languedoc in the Scotsman.

If you follow @midweekwines on Twitter you will see that I re-tweet those articles most weeks.

As ever, click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf but do check the prices as these may have changed since publication.

Modern take on an old favourite

Sainsbury's Winemakers Vinho Verde Wine3 June11Winemaker’s Selection Vinho Verde (£5 at Sainsbury’s) 

Weather permitting, I consider this to be just perfect for summer afternoons in the sunshine. It has fresh but delicate apple fruit with a light (9% alcohol) and a gentle application of that classic Vinho Verde prickle – yet a mild saline edge to contrast with the lemon based acidity.

That trendy grape again

Aldi Exquisite Collection Rias Baixas Albarino Wine2 June 42015 Exquisite Collection Rias Baixas Albarino  (£5.99 at Aldi):

Seventy inches of rain annually makes Rias Baixas very different to other parts of Spain, as is its signature grape – the weather resistant albarino. Happily that variety also partners the area’s shellfish brilliantly and it has acquired an international following as a result. Find out why by sampling this zingy and aromatic version with sharp grapefruit acidity, touches of apple and ripe melon but suggestions of sweeter spices too.

White Rioja with real class

Sainsbury's Campo Viejo Rioja Blanco Best Buy White 12 June2015 Campo Viejo Viura-Tempranillo Blanco (£8 at Sainsbury’s):

Time was when white Rioja was much more miss than hit, but this version – adding the recently discovered white mutation of tempranillo to the traditional viura – is excellent. Enjoy its lively, perfumed grapefruit and apple fruit wrapped around with smooth, pear-centred texture and embellished by touches of custard cream and sweetish spices.

Great wine from unexpected places

M&S Thymiopoulos Malagousia Best Buy White 5 June2015 Thymiopoulos Malagousia (£9.00 at M&S):

This nicely textured white is made from an indigenous Greek grape, malagousia, that only narrowly escaped extinction. The wine’s flavours centre around red apple and pear fruit set against an attractive savoury backdrop. Despite only modest acidity, the wine exudes a delightful freshness that acquires additional complexity from some faintly spicy undercurrents.

Well made malbec for only a fiver

Morrisons La Bodega Malbec Wine3 June 42015 La Bodega Malbec (£5 at Morrisons):

Argentina’s malbec has seen a major popularity surge and now accounts for over a third of that country’s red wine vineyards. Here is an excellent example of why inexpensive versions win so many friends with its cherry and cranberry fruit, gentle tannin, bold acidity and concluding hints of cinnamon.

A gentle side of Southern France

2014 Wine Atlas Corbieres (£5.97 at Asda):

France’s hot, mountainous Corbieres region can produce distinctive, rugged reds but this warm and soft version is rather gentle. Admittedly, it has a graphite edge behind its plum and cherry fruit but that is neatly balanced by limited tannin, lively acidity and hints of vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper.

Staying there or thereabouts

Aldi Exquisite Collctn Cabernet de Cabernet Wine1 June 182015 Exquisite Collection Cabernet De Cabernet (£5.99 at Aldi):

Neither cabernet sauvignon nor (especially) cabernet franc are obvious grapes for Languedoc but here they merge beautifully to create soft, concentrated red wine with skilfully balanced acidity and tannin. Enjoy in particular its smoky mulberry and bramble fruit – with herbal, liquorice and black pepper touches in support.

A technique that adds real depth

2014 Signature Valpolicella Ripasso: (£7.50 at Morrisons)

The ripasso technique creates red wine somewhere between standard valpolicella and amarone. Consequently, it delivers – as here – some amarone depth but with a significantly lower price tag. Its fruit is cherry and plum centred with bold strawberry acidity, smooth texture and hints of clove all wrapped around by nicely restrained tannin.

Nosing ahead of prosecco

Codorniu Brut Cava (£6.50 – instead of £10 until 4 July – at Tesco):

For the first time for a while, cava outpointed prosecco when I was selecting a fizz to feature here. The reason is the light and squeaky clean mouth-feel of this excellent version from the massive Codorniu operation. There is zesty lime and pink grapefruit zippiness on display here that enlivens the floral, apple based fruit yet still allows the nutty, cream soda backbone to shine through.

What all the sherry fuss is about

Waitrose Palo Cortado Best Buy Second 12 JuneBodegas Cayetano del Pino Palo Cortado:  (£11.49 for a half bottle at Waitrose or £14.95 for 75cl at The Wine Society):

This week sees the end of the two week UK Sherry Festival and, to find participating retailers, visit www.sherry.wine . As an illustration of everything good about sherry, try this brilliant palo cortado with its core flavours of dried fruit, nuts and spice but nicely balanced by nippy acidity and strong orange influences.

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One Response

  1. Another selection of great wines and although not discounted, all still pretty much good value.

    I’ve tasted the Aldi Albarino, Campo Viejo white Rioja (at a tasting, thought it was pretty good), Morrisons Malbec, Wine Atlas Corbieres, Cordorniu Cava and the Pino Palo Cortado Sherry, all enjoyed.

    Regarding Sherry, if you’ve not tried the drier styles including Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso, they are great chilled with Tapas.

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