In creating MidWeek Wines my objective – as it would say in the tin, if there was one – is to highlight “extraordinary wines for ordinary evenings”. To me, that means unearthing enjoyable, well made wine that, crucially, costs recognisably less than its quality level justifies.
Here are some from the current Tesco promotions (that run until 23 June) which tick that box.
Rediscover great value riesling
Despite its current limited popularity, deftly made riesling with that typical fresh, lime based acidity ought to cost around £8.50 to £10 especially from a country with a high cost of living .
So, test out the soft, smooth, textured, apple and lemon centred flavours of 2014 Finest* Steillage Mosel Riesling for a mere £5.99 while this current promotion lasts.
A new approach with a neglected grape
Australia, and especially Hunter Valley, does a terrific job with the semillon grape but prices for top level versions often run well into double figures.
However, 2013 McGuigan Classic Semillon Blanc (reduced from £7.99 to “Two for £12” or £6 a bottle in Scotland) is great, well priced, wine with a new take on the variety that brings together soft, orange and lime fruit, depth and sherbet influenced freshness.
Sophisticated Italian reds
At their peak, the superstars of Italian red wine cost £20 and beyond. While this example lacks Champions League qualities, it certainly has many of the characteristics of significantly more expensive wines.
Medium bodied and soft, 2010 Piccini Memoro (£5.99 instead of £9.99) provides floral cherry flavours, enlivening acidity with appealing suggestions of cinnamon and sweeter spices.
…… and Champagne too ….
Only the top 15% or so of the villages producing champagne are designated premier cru villages; typically it will cost £30 a bottle or more.
However, Finest* Premier Cru Champagne Brut is down to £17.99 – instead of £19.99; better still it provides all the toastiness, lemon-centred freshness, substance and balance that makes premier cru …… well …. premier.
Here, too, are others that punch well above their price point.
America’s take on cabernet
California does cabernet sauvignon distinctively but rather well (look up the Judgment of Paris [wine] in Wikipedia) but tends to be expensive.
However, the smooth, dense and textured 2013 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (£6.49 on a half listed price offer) is a great value version with fresh raspberry and mulberry fruit, firm tannins – and undertones that display mint, vanilla and mocha touches.
Oak in skilful hands
Excess oak has turned big chardonnay into a no-no but get the balance right and the results can be brilliant as Chile’s mighty Concha Y Toro stable demonstrates here.
The sophisticated, orange centred 2012 Marques De Casa Concha Chardonnay (down £4 to £7.99) perfectly harmonises grapefruit acidity, savoury herbs and barrel derived nutty, herbal and vanilla influences.
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