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Can’t Tip £5 Wines Every Week, but …

Today, a mixed bag for you with two terrific value bottles leading the charge and – at £7 – a well balanced Valentine tipple following them.

While Cava superstars continue to provide impressive and gloriously distinctive wines, not all current inexpensive options excite.

So, hats off to Codorniu for an excellent version at a great price.

Before that, we consider two wines that punch well above their price point and one similar factor may be helping them both.

One is Vin de France wine where, among other aspects, strict geographic criteria are relaxed.

Similarly, its red companion is “South Eastern Australia” wine.

That classification allows grapes from almost all Australian wine regions to be blended to optimise the price/quality balance.

Who knows whether that is the crucial factor but I cannot help feeling it must help.

Before you ask, by the way, Western Australia is the exception.

Once again, pictures and (where helpful) hyperlinks are included to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

Great results from the Workshop

2021 Workshop Cabernet Sauvignon (£4.99 at Morrisons – £5.07 in Scotland – and 13.5% abv):

Neatly demonstrating the potential depth and richness of Australian cabernet, this uncomplicated red is a snip at £5 given today’s economic climate.

Dark with Ribena-style aromas and balanced tannin, it displays textured blackcurrant, mulberry and black cherry flavours .

These then integrate harmoniously with the wine’s suggestions of mint, cocoa and toffee and its firm acidity.

Light in style – but also in price.

2020 Le Manoir de Baron Viognier (£4.99 at Asda and 13%)

Here is great example of the modern, flexible and affordable wine that the Vin de France classification was created to promote.

It takes the classic viognier grape and produces a “lite” version but makes it one that also gives you change from a fiver.

Creamy and soft, the result delivers enjoyable peach, melon and nectarine flavours with just the right background sense of ripeness.

OK, short of classic texture and aromatics it may be, but its almost give away price does reflect that.  

Top Tip Extra

For tomorrow!

Codorníu Cava Brut (£7 at Sainsbury’s):

Given MidWeek Wines main demographic, I am not expecting tomorrow to be a day of expansive gestures and opulent Valentine Day spending for most subscribers.

However, if you do need something to add a little sparkle to the day, this great value cava may be the very thing.

The ascendancy of prosecco has rather left cava trailing in its wake – and the appearance of several “less than wonderful” offerings has done nothing to help its cause.

Get the basics right, though, and it can still be excellent fare (aided of course by secondary fermentation being in bottle not tank) – and here is a great example of my point.

With pleasing small bubbles as part of its lively opening, this one is neatly centred around apricot, apple and quince flavours.

By way of support, the wine has a texture that contains a gentle savoury gravel style backdrop but counterbalances it with pithy grapefruit acidity.

Join me again on Thursday when the focus switches to my Sunday Best and Friday Treat features but – as today – fortune has been on our side with prices.

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John Shearer

Also Coop Finca las moras barrel select malbec
@£5.07 excellent value

Brian Elliott

Hi John… That is indeed a pleasing wine and, where it is available at that price, it is a snip. Co-op’s regional structure does mean that promotions can vary between stores and the wine is usually around £7 a bottle. Thanks very much for the tip.

Eddie Walker

Got the Cava while shopping at Sainsbury’s this morning Brian. Looking forward to having it. Not usually big on bubbles myself but my wife enjoys the style and I will have a glass. Noticed that some of the discounted bottles were still on the shelf including the excellent Morellino di Scansano that is usually £10 but down to £7.50, that I think is great value.

That Asda Viognier looks to be a deal at that price. Best as ever …

Brian Elliott

Hope the Cava hits the spot for you Eddie (and, especially, for your wife). I think you will appreciate the Viognier too – although Condrieu it is not – and neither should we expect it to be at that price.

Tom Lewis

Some good cavas here too, Brian – pick well and they can really overdeliver for the price:

Brian Elliott

Yes nice options there Tom. The keys words though are “pick well”! Quality does vary appreciable especially at the bargain basement levels.

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