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Unveiling Value Gems with an Extra Something

Dive in to encounter a couple of surprises today – Primitivo with a little extra sugar and sauvignon from Languedoc.

Today, the focus is on wine from two well-known grapes but in versions that provide a little bonus when compared to similar offerings.

One is a sauvignon from Languedoc where the warm climate encourages more ripeness (with all the good things that brings) than many European versions.

The other is a primitivo with enough residual sugar to complement rich foods especially well – and as a “double bonus” it has a very gentle price label.

Enjoy them both.

In the usual way, hyperlinks and pictures are used where possible to help you locate the bottle in question.

First, then, the red

2021 Castellore Primitivo (£5.49 at Aldi and 13.5% abv):

Once again Puglia provides a great value red from the primitivo grape – albeit one with hints of sweetness that, consequently, add density and richness.

I spoke recently about the suitability of primitivo to Puglia – when discussing Lidl’s Peuceta option.

Sunshine moisture-retaining soil and cooling coastal breezes all combine to help produce sound, well-priced versions. 

This one is full and rich with little tannin but more residual sugar than usual, which serves to add that extra density.

It also features layered elderberry, bramble and prune flavours coupled with hints of chocolate, baking spice and savoury herbs.

Next that Languedoc sauvignon

2021 Villa Blanche Sauvignon Blanc (£6.99 – instead of £8.99 until 11 April – at Waitrose and 12%): 

As a crude rule of thumb, New Zealand sauvignon corners the market in assertiveness while European versions are likely to be more herbal, minerally and subtle.

However, this sauvignon’s warm Languedoc homeland adds an extra dimension to

classic European subtlety and herbal influences.

With an unusual pineapple fragrance, it delivers textured green apple, kiwi fruit and peach flavours accompanied by lemongrass and other herb influences.

The entire package is wrapped in sharp citrus acidity that, nevertheless, leaves the wine’s broadly subdued nature little changed.


Sainsbury’s seems to have started a “Buy 6” promotion this weekend and I believe Eddie will be adding his thoughts about it via a comment to this post. So keep a sharp look-out for what he has to say; it’s always well worth it!

See you again on Thursday when I pinpoint a selection of wines that I think will transform your Easter drinking.

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10 Responses

  1. Not wholly unexpected but following on behind Asda and Morrisons current Easter deals comes Sainsbury’s with its 25% off, buy 6 bottles that finishes at midnight Saturday 8th April. It includes a double dip on many higher priced bottles they specifically point to that are reduced to £10, and therefore become £7.50!

    So much here we can stock up on at a time when they will likely never be cheaper. But care needed if buying so many and squirrelling them away and forgetting you have them, especially cheaper white and rosé. Best to consume at least within a couple of months, to have them at their freshest best.

    Then perhaps look for wine we might not ordinarily choose because it falls outside a budget we might have set ourselves. Certainly we are spoiled for choice with this current offer so here are a few of my favourites that might already be yours too.

    One such red, the strangely named and paper-wrapped Feuerheerds Anchor is a Douro from Portugal usually £11, down to £10 and then £7.50. Mixed reception in the on-line reviews, especially about the different vintages, but everybody seems to have something to say instead of the usual terse one liners! I think it’s best decanted, a strong food wine so get out the Piri Piri spices or herby lamb. If you are an ”explorer” it’s a very interesting bottle to investigate https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/all-red-wine/feuerheerds-anchor-wine-reserva-douro-doc-750ml,

    And then a Malbec old favourite of mine the Argentinian DV Catena from the top shelf for the Easter Sunday roast lamb joint. £12 down to £10 and again £7.50. https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/all-red-wine/dv-catena-malbec-75cl There’s a DV Catena Chardonnay too, at the same money!

    If you can find it this Italian Primitivo has been £12 down to £9 for a few weeks, so now £6.75. For this money it’s stunning, unusually sweet, massive black fruit, and quite a mouthful! https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/la-masseria-del-borgo-primitivo-manduria-75cl

    Such value at £5.63 for quality rosé that I like a lot for being so very French, perfumed, dry, aromatic and the less usual grape, Négrette in a Cabernet Franc and Syrah cuvée from Fronton, an enigmatic south-west appellation and rare on British supermarket shelves.

    Here is a quality bottle of Italian white, Gavi Di Gavi again £12 to £10 to £7.50. Sainsbury’s Gavi Di Gavi, Taste the Difference 75cl | Sainsbury’s (sainsburys.co.uk

    …. and a couple of Chardonnays ….
    From the same stable as their Marzimeno … https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/all-wine-/sainsburys-chardonnay-trentino-taste-the-difference-75cl £8.50/£7.50/£5.62

    … and the southern end of Burgundy here … https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/sainsburys-macon-villages–taste-the-difference-75cl £10/£8/£6

    Usual small print conditions apply.

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I agree that the Sainsbury’s Fronton Négrette rosé is delicious. I’ve also enjoyed sampling Sainsbury’s offerings made with local grapes from two other lesser-known SW France appellations – Jurançon and Gaillac.

  3. Good to hear from you Rebecca and I am pleased to see both you and Eddie giving some love to Fronton Négrette. It is an excellent rosé but goes under the radar far too often.
    I am with you too on South West France. It is good to experience colombard revealing just how good it can be and petit manseng going mainstream – all down to first rate growers in that region like (especially) Plaimont.

  4. Yes Rebecca the Jurancon Sec is very nice. Have you tried the Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Gaillac Rouge as well? It’s an £8 bottle down to £6.50 right now so in a buy-6 deal it will be £4.88. I describe it as ‘rustic’ much in the same way the Malbecs of Cahors can be, though way more tamed than how they used to be 40 years ago when we first started holidaying in the south west. Great quaffing wine that work with cassoulet, strong cheeses and sliced meats and salami.

  5. Thanks all for the above recommends.
    Heading off to local Sainsbury’s in the morning for some spring / summer stock.
    Regards Richard

  6. Before it might be too late, I bought a bottle of this and opened it last evening. While the Fronton Negrette rose mentioned previously is lovely this red Fronton as part of their discovery range #19 … £9 and therefore £6.75 if we buy-6, is for me the find of the season on Sainsbury’s shelves. I might get back in tomorrow and see what is left and take the lot. Fine wine dining for weeks assured …

  7. Hi Eddy, I bought a bottle of the red Fronton a couple of weeks ago. Don’t go into Sainsbury’s very often, but when I do always buy anything from their Discovery selection. I stuck this bottle in my cellar and gave it a drinking window of 2023 – 2024. Does that sound about right?
    My problem is that I’m finding interesting wines at a rate higher than my consumption!

  8. Good call Eddie. Like other South West France appellations, Fronton is an easy wine to walk past but both red and rosé seem well worth seeking out. Well done Sainsbury’s buyers for sourcing them.

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