One of this site’s most popular features are the “Discounter Discoveries” reviews where I look at the latest arrivals in Lidl in Aldi.
Today I do something similar with the current promotion at Morrisons.
Those deals differ from the more broadly used “25% off” multi-buy mechanic in three ways.
First the Morrisons deal becomes available when you only buy three – as opposed to six with most similar propositions.
Secondly, other such initiatives usually only run for a few days while this one started on 20 July and is not scheduled to expire until 2 October.
This allows you to buy a single bottle, try it and go back for more next week – or later – if it really works for you.
Finally, it is restricted to the premium own label range which, in the inter- supermarket battle for superlatives, is called “The Best”.
In truth, that range is a good one offering sound, good value wines that are often blended in collaboration with respected names in the sector (Ogier for the Chateauneuf featured today and Zuccardi for the malbec).
For those reasons, I have focused on the more expensive end of this range but do check that your chosen “Best” wine is part of the promotion before buying it – one or two are excluded.
You can, of course, mix “Best” bottles within the promotion and need not buy three or more of the same wine.
Although multi-buy offers are not available in Scotland, there are single bottle discounts there on several parts of the “Best” range.
To help identify the wines featured with greater precision, hyperlinks and pictures have again been used where possible.
An up and coming area
This is from the poster child of modern Argentinian winemaking, the Uco Valley, where elevation-driven cool nights help create acidic freshness.
Equally important, the poor soil there forces vines to produce more extensive root systems – and, hence, quality fruit.
Smooth and dark, 2020 The Best Gran Montaña Malbec Reserve (£8.75 at Morrisons or £6.56 per bottle in this promotion and 14% abv) is centred around soft raspberry and red plum flavours.
These are supported by modest tannin and good acidity together with chocolate, cinnamon and savoury sage elements.
Presentable Chateauneuf reduced below £15
For years Chateauneuf du Pape has represented the pinnacle of Southern Rhone red blends, frequently with three figure price labels.
However, not every inexpensive version hits the high notes well and better value is often available from other parts of the Rhone, but this is a nice, well-rounded example where its original £19 price is a fair one.
Complex with a long finish, 2019 The Best Chateauneuf du Pape (£19 at Morrisons or £14.25 per bottle in this promotion and 14.5%) provides nutty, prune, blackcurrant and fig flavours partnered by good acidity and firm tannin with suggestions of menthol, clove and mocha.
This one needs patience
Bordeaux’s 2019 vintage was a tricky one with a good final lap overcoming a wet and cold April to produce unexpectedly good wines, but are they ready yet?
Many are not, but with patience and – even then – decanting the underlying quality of this example does slowly emerge; don’t try to rush it though.
With firm tannin and a mineral backdrop, 2019 The Best Saint Emilion (£14 at Morrisons or £10.50 per bottle in this promotion and 13.5%) has cherry, loganberry and cola flavours that work with the wine’s enlivening acidity and its mint, almond, cedar and sweetish spice components.
My personal favourite red
As explained before, ripasso techniques pass basic Valpolicella red over the skins and lees left behind from the production of that region’s stellar Amarone wine.
The result is wine with added richness and sweetish hints yet which still costs much less than top level Amarone and – like this – can represent excellent value for money.
Full and delightfully textured, 2018 The Best Valpolicella Ripasso (£11 at Morrisons or £8.25 per bottle in this promotion and 13.5%) brings us ripe cranberry, blackcurrant and cherry flavours.
These are neatly coupled here with baking spice, cough syrup and savoury touches that integrate well and, together, lead to a long, rich finish.
Switching now to a white
Echoing my plea a couple of weeks back, never underestimate the quality of the sauvignon blanc found in France’s Loire Valley.
For sure, it may be a pound or so dearer but it is more subtle (and often more complex) that its kin from the southern hemisphere – as this example illustrates.
Soft but nicely rounded, 2021 The Best Pouilly Fumé (£14 at Morrisons or £10.50 per bottle in this promotion and 13%) provides grassy gooseberry, apple and peach flavours with fresh lime and grapefruit acidity that adds verve to its pleasingly gentle texture.
Friday Night Treat
Even in Argentina’s malbec capital (Mendoza), appreciable volumes of cabernet sauvignon are grown – and turned into excellent wines.
Without the coastal coolness of Chile, Argentinian cabernet is decidedly different yet still provides great value options like this well-rounded example.
Balanced and complex, 2020 Sottano Cabernet Sauvignon (£11 at WoodWinters and 14.5%) exhibits menthol, blackcurrant and plum flavours with fresh acidity, but firm tannin.
Hints of aniseed, coffee, black pepper and graphite minerality all combine to finish things off nicely.
The southern face of French chardonnay
Chardonnay and “fossilles” may make us think of Chablis but this is from vineyards over 700km away in Roussillon.
Despite its warm climate and proximity to the Pyrenees, Roussillon’s rivers (this is from the Tȇt valley) support a wide range of fruit and vegetables – including, obviously, chardonnay vines.
Textured with mineral hints, 2020 Colline aux Fossilles Chardonnay (£12 instore and online at M&S but also available from Ocado and 13%) features minty peach and pineapple flavours.
These are neatly supplemented by zesty lemon and grapefruit acidity with touches of vanilla and toffee built into its smooth buttery finish.
Leaving aside the Morrisons promotions already covered in detail, the discounts available in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s mentioned last week remain in progress.
The Sainsbury’s one is shown in more detail in this part of their website and ends on 20 September.
Meanwhile, the Waitrose equivalent (which includes a few multibuys this time) runs for a week beyond to end on 27 September. Fuller details can be found here.
First of the new ones
A fresh promotion started in the Co-op yesterday and, like the Waitrose deals, does not expire until 27 September.
Among its varied components are a Ramon Bilbao rosé (down to £7) and discounts on five of their premium (“Irresistible”) own label range.
And the other new one
A new promotion also began this week for Tesco Clubcard holders and is scheduled to continue until 26 September.
It seems to have a big focus on branded wines this time (Barefoot and Yellow Tail for example) but also contains reductions on 11 of its “Finest” range.
My next post (on Monday) contains terrific recommendations of Top Tips for you in the regular weekly feature of the same name.
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