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What’s Hot in 5 Different Retailers

Reds from the Co-op and Sainsbury’s, white from M&S with three chardonnay options provides something for almost everyone with super value for money as the mani common factor.

Rather than a single retailer focus, today’s post takes a look round the High Street – and a little beyond – with the emphasis on whites; after all it is (allegedly) summertime.

As ever, click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelfalthough the alcohol percentage has had to be omitted this time.

Pinot Grigio with acidity

M&S Pinot Grigio Terre Siciliane Wine1 Aug 6Harvesting before the ripening process has converted too much acidity into sugar can be very tricky in hot regions – especially with pinot grigio – so full marks to this Sicilian version which has brilliantly retained its freshness and verve.

The green apple and lime acidity in 2014 Pinot Grigio Terre Siciliane (£5.50 – instead of £7.50 until 5 September – at M&S) gives real vibrancy to its textured and clove influenced mango and orange fruit.

Well priced tasty chardonnay

M&S Koha Gisborne ChardonnayBefore we leave M&S, have a look at something from New Zealand’s most easterly wine region – the now slightly unfashionable Gisborne – which can still produce tasty wines from its signature chardonnay grape.

Take advantage of the current promotion, then, to sample the new 2015 Koha Gisborne Chardonnay (£6.50 – instead of £8.50 until 5 September – at M&S) with its delicate white peach and lemon fruit and gentle hints of butter.

Same again everyone

SPAR Australian Chardonnay Wine2 Aug 13. JPEGStaying in that part of the world – and with that grape variety – but switching to a convenience store, here is a good value and nicely balanced antidote to all those blockbuster chardonnays of yesteryear.

By contrast, there is lightness and only minimal use of oak in 2015 SPAR Australian Reserve Chardonnay (£5.50 instead of £6.19 until 17 August at SPAR) but its smooth, perfumed, peach fruit is impressive as is the zesty lemon acidity that supports it.

And a third

NISA Barefoot Chardonnay Wine2 July 16Completing a world tour of modern chardonnay, here is a Californian, branded (yes, branded) version that provides us with well made wine at a keen price – by American standards!

Enjoy then the apple and lemon fruit with slowly evolving acidity in Barefoot Chardonnay (£6.99 at NISA stores – and Tesco sell it too) with its touches of honey, vanilla and savoury spices.

 And so to the reds

Co-op Vanderburg Shiraz Pinotage Wine1 Aug 13Let’s complete our tour of the New World in South Africa with an attractive blend that combines the reliable shiraz with pinotage – not always everyone’s choice but, here, showing rather well.

2015 Vanderburg Shiraz Pinotage (£5.99 at the Co-op) brings us medium bodied, floral, red wine with cherry and plum fruit, suggestions of menthol and clove, firm acidity but only limited tannin.

Back home in Europe

Sainsbury's_Taste_the_Difference_LanguedocFinally, let’s return where we started, in Europe, but with yet another example of Languedoc’s accomplished winemaking that, this time, creates essentially a Rhone blend but adds in 20% carignan too.

Soft and herbal, 2015 Taste the Difference Languedoc Rouge (£6 – instead of £7 until 30 August – at Sainsbury’s) contains raspberry and cherry fruit, gentle oak influences, firm acidity and just the right degree of tannic twist.


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