Friday, 19 October 2012

Sainsbury's Wine - Autumn/Winter Offers

Wednesday, 10 October 2012.

Having tasted 147 wines at the Sainsbury's Wine Winter Press Tasting, the following wines are those which I thought were interesting and represented good value. I have included the retail price for each of the wines, which are correct at time of writing. In addition, Sainsbury's are running their customary 25% off any 6 bottles offer between 19-28 October 2012 which would make some of these wines stunning value.

To keep things simple, no normal ratings for these wines, just a Recommended or Highly Recommended.

2011 Taste the Difference Sancerre
Recommended | £11.99

Under diam cork, this is a textbook Sancerre with lemony fruit, minerality and intensity on the palate. At 25% off, this will be just under a tenner and is good value stuff.

2011 Taste the Difference Pouilly Fume
Recommended | £11.99

Under diam cork, this is a riper style Pouilly Fume; some minerality but plenty of ripe fruit, hint of spritz on the palate. Lively, cheerful and very drinkable, quite un-Pouilly Fume like.

2011 Taste the Difference Riverblock Sauvignon Blanc
Highly Recommended | £9.99

Steely, mineral style of Marlborough Sauv Blanc; theres some of the green grassy notes, with gooseberry there too. Flavour intensity on the mid palate is notable, as is the texture; feels sophisticated, not just your average Sauv Blanc from Marlborough.

2010 Brancott Estate Renwick Sauvignon Gris
Recommended | £12.99

Quite aromatic, with some tropical and white fruits, hint of greenness; nice lemony and green pear flavours on the palate, pure and focused. An interesting alternative to the usual Sauv Blanc.

2011 Taste the Difference Fairtrade Chenin Blanc
Recommended | £8.99

Ripe citrus nose, good fruit on the palate; clean and pretty, decent finish too. Feels like a proper Chenin Blanc, very drinkable and fairtrade too - whats not to like? Good everyday drinking wine.

2010 Bellingham The Bernard Series Roussanne
Highly Recommended | £9.99

Very forward nose, the partial oak treatment very noticeable - savoury,  yeasty / biscuity nose, over ripe white fruits, touch alcoholic. Plenty of ripe white fruit on the palate, with some savoury touches; full bodied with a quite heavy texture. Big, serious wine - I'd buy this full priced.

2006 Taste the Difference Hunter Valley Semillon
Highly Recommended | £9.99 

Proper aged Semillon nose - plenty of savoury characters, nutty / sesame seeds; then toasted hazelnuts and sweet vanilla, also some biscuity notes. Palate is savoury and textured, fruit is ripe but is well integrated into the acidity and savoury characters; very balanced and showing lots of complexity. A wine lovers' wine - excellent stuff, I'd happily buy this full priced; should age well too. Made by the chaps at Mount Pleasant.

2012 Yalumba Y Series Viognier
Recommended | £8.99

Fat white fruit, over-ripe slightly rotten peaches; palate is large without being flabby, nice generous fruit. Could do with a touch more acidity but this is still a very reliable new world Viognier.   

2011 Taste the Differene Proseco Conegliano Brut Superiore DOCG
Recommended | £10.99 (75cl), £19.99 (1.5l magnum), £2.99 (20cl)

Sweet, fragrant nose with ripe apples and pears on the nose. Off dry on the palate, very appley; simple, refreshing but proper Prosecco flavours. Go on, buy a magnum ....

NV Jacob's Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir Brut
Recommended | £9.99

Citrus, with a bit of biscuity aromas. Palate is crisp, completely dry; its a clean refreshing drink, and certainly well made if not slightly commercial in style. Buy only when on offer.

2010 Taste the Difference Cotes du Rhone Villages
Recommended | £6.99

Lots of dark fruit, with woody, stalky notes and dark spices; quite heady. Palate is full of dark fruits, ripe and sweet, slight grip at the end; nice extraction, its a full bodied wine - needs food, perhaps a hearty stew? Good value too.

2009 Crozes Hermitage Les 3 Lys
Recommended | £9.99

Dark fruit on the nose with spice and sweet licorice, also some savoury / cured meat notes. Plenty of ripe extracted fruit on the palate, nice texture with balancing acidity, some depth too; feels balanced and very drinkable. IWC 2012 Gold medal winner.

2009 Taste the Difference St Emilion
Highly Recommended | £9.99

Dark plummy notes with sweet spice; also polished wood and touch of smoke. Dark plums and dark cherries on the palate; big and very plump, very ripe with some spice on the finish; tannins are there but not prominent. Feels sophisticated, in a bold, fruit forward kind of way.  

Two simple spanish wines, which can be recommended: the 2009 Liebre Tinto (£7.99) and the 2011 Pasico Old Vine Monastrell Shiraz (£5.99) both showing attractive ripe red fruit coulis, supple fruit on the palate. Neither are too complicated - they are well made, easy drinking wine.

2006 Sainsbury's DO Carinena Gran Reserva
Recommended | £5.99

Attractive red fruit with a sweet lick of oak on the nose, quite fragrant stuff. Palate is full of red fruits, sweet and vibrant; handled the oak treatment quite well, its soft and plump. Very drinkable stuff, good value too.

2007 Taste the Difference Rioja Reserva Cepa Alegro
Recommended | £9.99

The sweet oak and vanilla comes through alongside red fruit, feels very polished and sophisticated. Palate is filled with sweet red cherry and berries, soft fruity acidity; not the most complictaed, but its pretty and very drinkable.

2010 Bellingham The Bernard Series Syrah
Recommended | £10.99

Dark fruit on the nose, brooding depth; some spice and woody aromas, theres some burnt touches to this. Bags of fruit, its extracted and full blown in style; some savoury and licorice flavours too. Well made stuff, this wont disappoint.

2009 Mayu Syrah Reserva, Elqui Valey
Highly Recommended | £9.99 

Dark fruit, with hints of fresh mint leaves; theres savoury / cured meats aromas coming too, very attractive nose. Fruit is sweet, ripe and very big on the palate, quite grippy and chewy, this is a mouthful; maybe a touch over extracted but they carry off the style well. Big bold wine.

2010 Taste the Difference Barossa Shiraz 
Recommended | £9.49

Big, juicy blackcurrucant fruit on the nose, with cordial and a hint of mint; nose is lifted, doesnt feel overdone on the nose, quite pretty. On the palate, the fruit is overt but not overblown; fresh acidity running through it; well made stuff from the chaps at St Hallett, this is one very drinkable Oz Shiraz. Good value.

2010 Taste the Difference McLaren Vale Grenache
Recommended | £9.99      

Red fruit coulis notes on the nose, with red cherries and currants dominating. Palate is juicy, plenty of fruit with refreshing acidity and a hint of savoury notes; its a bit more than your basic fruity wine. Feels balanced and sophisticated; should go well with lighter meat based dishes.

And finally two dessert wines which, barring perhaps the Hunter Valley Semillon and the Roussanne mentioned above, represent the best value for money wines in the entire tasting. The labels may leave something to be desired but dont let them deter you, these are rather good wines.

NV House Dessert Wine
Highly Recommended | £3.99 (37.5cl)

A blend of Riesling, Rivaner and Silvaner; 9.5% alcohol. Attractive sweet fruit, with honey and acacia notes; theres tangerines and sweet clementines too, wonderful aromatics. Plenty of fruit on the palate; backed b fruity acidity; lots of sugar here, 120g/l to be precise, but all kept in check by the acidity; its like drinking clementine juice. Not the most complex wine but its drinking very nicely; with the offer its £3 a half bottle - unbeatable value!

NV Sainsbury's Muscat de St Jean de Minervois 
Highly Recommended | £4.99 (37.5 cl)  

100% Muscat Petit Grain, 15% alcohol. Tending towards sweeter apples and pears on the nose, with over ripe peaches too; its a more overtly sweet nose. Palate is fresh, good amount of acidity; palate is filled with sweet grapes and dried fruits. Well made, good value dessert wine.


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