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25% Reductions on a Massive Wine Range

From this morning Waitrose & Partners will be offering 25% off all wine and champagne priced £5 and over, when you purchase six or more bottles.

Obviously conditions apply (such as the exclusion of Scottish stores) so do check the small print on the company website and remember that the offer ends on 16 July 2019.

Today’s post recommends a group of excellent wines that this promotion may bring within your radar.

This post also contains tasty Best of the Rest options, Sunset Corner wines reaching the end of their promotion period and a Top Tip suggesting alternatives to big name wine.

Where pictures are available, use them to help locate the wine quickly.

So, what’s recommended?

To allow you guys to cut to the chase as quickly as possible, I have adopted a different approach this time.

I have selected a dozen and a half wines that I consider of high quality, yet relatively expensive for MidWeek Wines fare – but which this discount may put within reach.

For less expensive wines take a look at the lead item in a previous Waitrose post but, obviously, ignore any price reductions quoted there as they will be time expired.

For pictures and detailed descriptions, I have used a hyperlink to the Waitrose website – although that site (like most others) is constantly being updated and revised.

The price quoted in the text here, though, is the list price before any discount is applied.

Offers like this do sell through quickly and are seldom available in all stores so Waitrose Cellar is often the best (but not infallible) source.

Star purchases are boxed and given a yellow background.

Do add a comment about whether this format works for you so I can decide whether to use it again.

Reds

2017 Borgodei Trulli Salice Salentino Puglia has a cinnamon and mint background and is normally priced at £8.99.

2017 De Martino 347 Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley has figgy graphite depth and is normally priced at £9.99.

2017 Cave de Saint-Desirat Saint- Joseph has dense mulberry fruit and is normally priced at £15.99.

2015 Joseph Drouhin Rully has mint and cherry flavours and is normally priced at £16.99.

2016 Blason du Rhone Gigondas has blackberry with chocolate and cinnamon touches and is normally priced at £22.49.

2014 Muga Seleccion Especial Rioja Reserva has ripe cherry fruit and is normally priced at £24.99.

2016 Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir Central Otago has juicy yet earthy raspberry fruit and is normally priced at £25.99.

Whites

2018 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough has a herb and green pepper background and is normally priced at £9.50.

2018 Markus Huber Gruner Veltliner Traisental has delicate greengage fruit and had an original list price of £10.79.

2018 Zenato Villa Flora Lugana Veneto has smooth fruit with a touch of pear and is normally priced at £11.99.

2017 Paul Cluver Riesling has mellow depth with hints of something savoury and is normally priced at £12.99.

2017 Domaine Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer has textured lychee flavours and is normally priced at £14.99.

2018 Domaine Masson-Blondelet Pouilly Fumé has soft peach influenced depth and had an original list price of £15.99.

2015 Pegasus Bay Riesling has lime and apple depth and is normally priced at £16.99.

2018 Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis has mineral enhanced lemon fruit and is normally priced at £17.99.

2016 Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese has sweet apple and orange fruit and is normally priced at £19.99.

Bubbles

Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne has biscuit depth and balanced acidity and is normally priced at £22.99.

BEST OF THE REST

Burgundy Lite

While the (usually) lighter and fresher wines of Macon seldom reach the heights attained in the main white Burgundy area, good ones often (and inexpensively) give a real sense of what quality chardonnay can be like.

Here is a great value example – 2018 Macon Villages (£5.99 at Lidl and 12.5% abv) which has fresh white peach and ripe apple fruit, pink grapefruit acidity and suggestions of toffee and toast but a much lighter texture than those aristocratic versions up the road.

Your starter for ten

Tesco has ten or so malbecs on offer at the moment but this typical Mendoza example not only meets the variety’s job description especially well but also currently has £2 off its list price. 

Smooth, long and soft, 2018 Tesco Finest Argentinian Malbec (£6 – instead of £8 until 29 July – at Tesco and 13%) delivers raspberry and damson fruit with good acidity, a black pepper and dark chocolate background sweetened by touches of cinnamon but only modest tannin.

Best of the Rest Bonus Time

When pinot noir is not available, it can be quite tricky to select a grape variety for rosé that provides the right colour and substance yet avoids undue bitterness but this organic version strikes exactly the right note with Nero d’Avola from Sicily.

Light and floral with crab apple and red currant fruit, 2018 Purato Rosé Terre Siciliane (from £8.99 at, amongst others, Budgens and Londis and 12.5%) has modest acidity and  touches of mandarin oranges and pomegranate within its spicy background but avoid over chilling it.

Incidentally, that excellent publication The Buyer has a really helpful web post about rosé wine that is well worth a look. It is aimed at the trade but its content is of interest to wine drinkers too.

SUNSET CORNER

The latest promotion at the Co-op comes to an end next week (16 July) so here are details of some of the wines it contains in case you want to stock up before the price reductions disappear.

  • Inycon Growers Pinot Grigio Grecanico/Selection Red (Merlot) is down from£7.25 to £5.25.
  • Hardy's Voyage Chardonnay Pinot Grigio/Shiraz-Mourvedre is down from£7.25 to £5.25.
  • Hereford Tempranillo is down from£7 to £5.
  • Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is down from£9.50 to £7.50.
  • Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja is down from£8.85 to £6.85.
  • Scalini Prosecco NV is down from£8.50 to £7.
  • La Grange St Martin Côtes du Rhône is down from£7.75 to £6.75.
  • La Vieille Ferme Rosé is down from£7.75 to £6.75.

Remember though that all these wines are “subject to availability” and prices may vary. These details are for information and, unlike commendations elsewhere on this site, are not necessarily endorsements for the products.

TOP TIP

Tip: Try a few alternatives to some of the best known names.

Concluding the exercise we started last week here are kindly priced, easily available substitutes for high reputation reds and for a sweetie.

I believe that they will get you close to the characteristics of well known wines without the risk of spending money on something you may not enjoy.

Instead of Burgundy try …….

Wine enthusiasts often rave over the heights to which pinot noir grapes can ascend in the Burgundy region of France which is ideally suited to its erratic and almost temperamental vines.

Along with quality heights, sadly, Burgundy also scales price heights and even relatively modest bottles can be prohibitively expensive for ordinary drinkers.

Happily, though, other parts of the world are now producing decent versions of the variety. House Pinot Noir (£4.40 at Sainsbury’s) from Romania inexpensively captures the essential allure of the variety without, obviously, matching the complexity and sophistication of top level Burgundy. 

Instead of Rioja, try …….

Among UK drinkers, Rioja is usually the first name that springs to mind when discussing quality Spanish reds. No wonder really, given its strictly enforced wine aging classifications and carefully blendings (usually) centred around the tempranillo grape.

Great value can be secured, however, by seeking out other versions of that grape variety but from less obviously prestigious areas.

This is where well made options like this one – from about half way between Madrid and Malaga – 2017 Rosa Roja Valdepeñas Gran Selection (£6.50 at SPAR) come into play.   

Instead of Chȃteauneuf du Pape try …….

Another familiar name to British drinkers is the hugely attractive village of Chȃteauneuf du Pape in the heart of the Southern Rhȏne wine region.

Like most wines from thereabouts, anything bearing that name is usually a blend often using grapes that are now so well known that their initials (GSM) are sufficient identification – grenache, syrah and mourvedre.

Those grapes often appear in wine with lower classifications – and, hence, more modest price tags – that (with careful selection) can offer the type of terrific value for money you find with 2017 Cȏtes du Rhone Villages (£7.99 at Waitrose).

Instead of Sauternes, try …….

Anxious perhaps to distance ourselves from our parents’ generation, many modern drinkers have turned away from sweet wines.

That is a crying shame as there are beautifully rich versions out there that work perfectly with the right food but go largely ignored – although, admittedly, that does  keep the price down!

The Sauternes wine region of Bordeaux is often regarded as the pinnacle of these so-called dessert wines but 2014 The Best Botrytis Semillon (£7.25 for a half bottle at Morrisons) uses one of the same grapes as Sauternes (and given a concentrated sugar content in the same way) but made by the De Bortoli family in Australia.  


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Comments

4 Comments

Richard Wyndham

I like your strategy for 25% Waitrose offer. That is what I do – earmark those wines that are beyond what I wish to pay, and get them when on offer. So using the offer to “buy up” rather then just save on grocery bill!
So will be getting some of the Albert Bichot Moulin-à-Vent (untried), Petit Chablis, perhaps a Barolo or another cru Beaujolais or try new vintage of Chapel Down Bacchus and pad out with our house red, Cuvée Chasseur Rouge.

Brian Elliott

Thanks Richard. We seem to be at one about how to use 25% off promotions and am pleased to be able to assist in the process. Helping folk experience good example of some of the more distinctive wines normally at higher prices points is indeed one of the website’s goals.
Any thoughts about the different format this time?

Dave Cronin

Hi Brian, Mixed feelings about the new format, on the plus we get to see more recommendations but the reason I and perhaps a lot of your readers come to your site is for the personal write ups you give each wine, I would much rather read your written opinion than the standard info you get on the link to the retailers website. The link can always be put in your summary of each bottle. Where the new format would be useful is perhaps when the 25% offers come along so you can recommend a lot more, I like the yellow box (star buys).
Must agree with you on the Rieslings you highlighted , the Paul Cluver, Pegasus Bay and the Willi Haag are lovely examples and I for one will be heading to Waitrose and craftly sneaking a few bottles into our trolley when my wife’s back is turned.

Brian Elliott

Thanks for your thoughts about the format. Be very keen to see any other views.
As for rieslings, there are excellent examples about for lovers of the variety like me and (obviously) you. We are in good company though, Jancis is a fan too.


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