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Two Great Value Wines Meet Heavenly Champagne

Two classy Friday Night treats are joined today by a beautiful rosé champagne for times that are more than a little bit special.

Sorry guys, hit a snag with the original plan for a Beaujolais piece this week.

Nil Desperandum, though, there remain plenty of Friday Night Treats about.

So here are a couple to excite your taste buds without frightening the life out of your wallets.

Joining them is a star studded rosé champagne that combines delicacy and elegance.

The usual pictures and hyperlinks are in place where possible.

First another trip to SW France

2022 Connoisseur Cheval Marin (from £9.45 at Wickham Wines and 11.5% abv):

I regularly praise the wines of South West France and here is one from an impressive family operation there.

It uses the region’s clever colombard, sauvignon blanc and gros manseng blend to create dazzling white wine with modest alcohol.

Perfumed and herbal, the result has gloriously fresh grapefruit acidity to support its apple, melon and greengage flavours.

Those constituents are neatly rounded out by hints of lemongrass and apricot.

Heading a little east

2022 Le Professeur Marselan (£9.99 at House of Townend and 14.5%):

Marselan is a cross between cabernet sauvignon and grenache that was developed in France about 60 years ago.

While older marselans can display their parent grapes’ typical flavours and richness, young versions like this often provide lighter, youthful, summer drinking.

These lighter options usually work better gently chilled – even though the wine’s alcohol level is high.

Dark in colour but light in body, this example from Languedoc delivers juicy blackcurrant and red plum flavours

Further complexity is added by suggestions of fudge and cinnamon and by good acidity.

For Red Letter Day Special Treat

Champagne de Saint-Gall Premier Cru Rosé (£34.99 at Noble Grape and 12.5%):

Here is a lovely chardonnay-led champagne from a producer with a strong reputation for its skill with that variety.

With their (generally accepted) superior vineyards and often strict grape selection, Premier Cru champagnes normally offer something extra and that is certainly the case here.

Delicate yet with a creamy texture, it brings us a cocktail of flavours that includes raspberries, strawberries and cooked apple.

Secondary components include a vaguely nutty finish, background traces of yeast and restrained but nicely fresh acidity.

NB: I believe this champagne is also sold by Carruthers & Kent in Newcastle.

Main Retailer Notes

While Wickham and House of Townend appear regularly on this site, Noble Grape may be less familiar.

It combines bricks and clicks by having retail premises in South Wales and an online service – and supports both with a regular Wine Blog.

For more details visit their “About Us” page on the internet.

News from Eddie

“Sainsbury’s announce a 25% off deal when we buy 6 or more bottles running from June 28th until midnight, Sunday 2nd July, so folks will have to be quick.

It is favourable to customers because many bottles are already on discount until July 4th, so it’s possible to get a double dip.

Here are a few that catch my eye, some of which have cropped-up recently as recommendations.

My favourite would be the Primitivo Manduria if you like a bold Italian red with some sweetness of fruit.

It’s ultra elegant and an amazing offer when it’s £6.75!!

Chilling it a little in warmer weather takes nothing away from its character and it works straight from the bottle!

Lovely wine of its type, redolent of Amarone.

Another option is that camino-del-angel chardonnay mentioned on Monday which could come down as low as £4.31.

Plus a negrette rosé that has been great in previous vintages and which drops under a fiver on a double dip.

And what about this four and a half star Jurancon white that could be yours for £5.25.”

Drop by on Monday for the latest Top Tips – where Languedoc features again but, this time, is partnered by wine from Chile.

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14 Responses

  1. Thanks for this information Brian and Eddie. I’ll be happy to pick up some bargains from Sainsbury’s, particularly its good SW France range. Have previously enjoyed the Gaillac Rouge and Blanc from outside Toulouse as well.

  2. Hello Rebecca . Away from Sainsbury’s if you particularly enjoy SW France and its smaller, often quirky apellations, a new bottle on shelf at Morrisons is a Calvet Carcassonne. Lable information doesn’t say much but I think it to be single varietal Carignan much the same as the excellent Aldi offering used to be that unfortunately disappeared. Rustic without being rough it offers something in the way of a really authentic tasting French red varietal that they drink all the time over there but we rarely get here maybe because its a marketing problem with something not exactly mainstream in nature.It’s £6.50.

  3. You are right on two counts Rebecca. First, Sainsbury’s does seem to have a good handle on what’s hot in SW France and, secondly, it is indeed not all about white wines from that region (good as they are). That red Gaillac is an interesting wine, especially for summer, and is often on promotion.

  4. Yes, thank you Carl. It seems to be a short notice response to the Sainsbury’s promotion and only applies to Clubcard holders – it appears to run until 3 July.

  5. More on Tesco this weekend …Not a lot of time because it ends on Monday July 3rd but Tesco have a very short 25% off buy-6 bottle event. The main criteria for the best wine discounts at Tesco is to have their Clubcard to get your 25% off an already reduced price, as with this Spanish favourite, Mucho Mas. On a double dip it is usually £8 but down to £6.50 with the Clubcard, buy a 6 bottle deal and it comes in at £4.88!!

    This Melini Chianti isn’t on a clubcard drop but discounted from £9 to £6.75 when included in a 6 bottle purchase. It’s enhanced provenance is that it’s a ”Governo”, that is to say Governo all’Uso Toscano and comes from the rediscovery of a historical, local vinification method using the wine of grapes dried in a special drying room. The result is a rich, smooth, full bodied wine with flavours of juicy black fruits, a hint of savoury spices and a long finish. It is seriously delicious and one of the best cheapest Chiantis I know.

  6. At 25% discount the lovely balanced Italian Lugana 2022 ( Number 20) £12 normally, in Sainsbury’s impressive discovery collection ,is a very good buy and is an accomplished aperitif wine.Made near Lake Garda from Trebbiano Di Lugana grapes by top producer Sartori ,this white wine is a real discovery ! Goes really well with whipped goat’s cheese and pistachio nuts.

  7. Hello Rebecca.
    You really cannot go wrong with any Jean Claude Mas wine from the Languedoc.Probably some of the best value under £10 wines around.

  8. Thank you Eddie! Scored 12x bottles of Trivento Golden Reserve at £15 reduced to £12 then 25% off = £9, saving a whacking £72 from list price.. also 11 bottles (all they had!) of the excellent Stellenbosch Chenin blanc, £9 reduced to £7.50 and then 25% off that .. saving, um, quite a lot! 🙂

  9. Ah yes Jerry … the Stellenbosch CB at around £5.60 is the real deal. It always amazes me that they will do this and give us such quality at a reduced rate. I have no insider knowledge as to why these offers are so regularly available with wine but given we are probably all struggling with the inflated prices of food in every supermarket … and goodness knows as a regular Sainsbury’s shopper I can quote chapter and verse on 50% to 60% jumps in only a year or so on some stuff … not just the ongoing quoted rate of inflation … wine it seems is not affected to anywhere near the same degree!?!?

  10. As you say, Paul, lovely wine and so much better than the plain trebbiano grape variety offers, which can be seriously dull. I think I am right in saying that Trebbiano di Lugana is in fact verdicchio – which could explain the superior quality.

  11. Wow …. a combined saving so big that it defies quantification or, perhaps, burnt out your calculator (or needed more fingers and toes than you had available). Hats off then to Eddie who masterminds all those discount alerts.

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