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A vibrant white and a rich, tasty red

My top wine picks this week both hail from Chile – a fruity and energetic Chardonnay and a rich, smooth Carmenere. Scroll down and you'll find details of more great value supermarket wine buys.

2020 Taste the Difference Chilean Chardonnay (£6.50 – instead of £8 until 21 September – at Sainsbury’s)

This Chardonnay has an impressively extensive fruit flavour range but, exceptionally, manages to enhance even that with energetic acidic freshness.

Punching well above its price, it provides a vibrant cocktail of peach, tangerine, apple and melon flavours supported by attractive concluding sweetness and the merest tickle of oak.

2019 Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial Carmenere (from £7.49 at Majestic)

Despite early confusion with Merlot, Carmenere has become Chile’s signature red, providing tasty, distinctive wines – albeit costing a penny or two more in this case.

So, staying with Chile, this dark and smooth wine brings us rich plum and fig flavours complemented by gentle acidity and limited tannin along with hints of green pepper, star anise and caramel, all built into a vaguely mineral texture.

Current offers and promotions

At Co-op

A new promotion kicked off last week at the Co-op. This red is well worth a look if it's on offer in your local store:

  • Co-op Irresistible Chilean Carmenere (Down to £6 until 28 September at participating stores)

At Marks and Spencer

The promotion continues at M&S this week and is expected to run until the end of September. This white – an impressive version in previous vintages – is among the offers:

  • Picpoul les Figuerettes (Drops to £8 until 27 September)

At other retailers

Promotions also continue for another week at Sainsbury's and at Morrisons and Waitrose. Follow the links to my previous posts for details and my highlights.

In our next post on Thursday, we compare three whites that use the same grape but occupy different price points and then do the same with three reds.


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Comments

4 Comments

Eddie Walker

Hello Brian. Shopped at Sainsbbury’s this morning and got the chardonnay. Just had a couple of large glasses. Very nice .. no complaints. Don’t drink a lot of this grape but I’ll have this again. Cheers …

Brian Elliott

Hi Eddie …. The high quality of this harvest with South American chardonnay has really surprised me and there will be an increasing number of bargains to be found thereabouts in the next few months I guess.

Eddie Walker

Just to say Brian, it was excellent at £6.50 … my wife is now a big fan when whites/chardonnay are not usually her biggest preference. That offer finishes Tuesday 21st but the 25% off buy-6 starts the day after , Wednesday 22nd … so it can be £6. I’ll put several on the shelf at that money. Cheers!

Brian Elliott

I am really pleased to hear that we have a convert to well made chardonnay at sensible prices. What is on offer seems to have stabilised now. At first, we had intrusive oak and excess alcohol to contend with, then the pendulum swung right back the other way, now we seem to have oak used a condiment (smoothing and making wine more complex) but not an active ingredient. Now, get the climate right (as seems to have happened with 2020 South American chardonnay) and we have great wine that wins wide approval – including, it appears, from Mrs Eddie!


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