A series of supermarket promotions are currently underway and I have chosen nine (from three retailers) that I consider tasty wines, typical of their style and which punch above their price points. Give some of them a taste drive and see what you think.
Although most of these promotions end in the middle of May, the judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least three months from the time of the post.
Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.
Inexpensive and just off-dry
Argentina’s Torrontes is a great grape for entry point white wine – it's a bit like viognier in texture but less dry.
So, do try 2014 Linda Mora Torrontes (£4.99 – instead of £5.99 until 19 May at the Co-op) with its light, floral opening, touches of honey, fresh citric edge and smooth peach centred depth.
Surprisingly good white rioja
Rioja's white grape (viura) can, frankly, make depressingly poor wine; here though it creates attractive and enjoyable – if undemanding – white wine.
2013 Vinedos Barrihuelo Rioja Blanco: Spain (down from £8 to two for £12 – or £6 a bottle in Scotland – until 19 May at Sainsbury’s) provides lively, fruit forward greengage flavours with fresh acidity but nicely softened by hints of ripe, tropical fruit.
Fresh, sharp and always reliable
Brent Marris of Marisco Vineyards regularly creates reliable – and often elegant – sauvignon. The Ned (a nearby hill) is one of his labels.
In the fresh and perfumed 2013 The Ned Sauvignon Blanc (£7.49 instead of £9.49 until 19 May at the Co-op) he adds substance and tangerine based acidity to the more orthodox, vibrant, lime centred components.
A bright, fruity and very different red
Anyone enjoying light bodied, fruit centred red wine should seriously consider 2014 Taste the Difference Marzemino (£5 – instead of £6.50 until 19 May at Sainsbury’s).
It uses juicy blackcurrant fruit to underpin the wine’s smooth, floral, red cherry flavours, tingling acidity, minimal tannin and clove dominated finish.
A totally unjustified villain
Pinotage is the grape variety wine critics most often condemn and it can indeed be mediocre and spoiled by burnt rubber aromas; not this time though.
2014 Signature South African Pinotage (£5.49 – instead of £6.99 until 7 June – at Morrisons) delivers fresh, cinnamon and mocha influenced cherry, plum and raspberry fruit with lively acidity but only limited tannin.
Yes – presentable claret for six quid
Get outside the mainstream Bordeaux regions and reasonably priced but well made red wine can still be sourced if you look carefully.
Enjoy, for instance, the savoury vanilla influenced 2012 La Patrie Cotes de Bordeaux Merlot (£6 – instead of £8.50 until 19 May at Sainsbury’s) with its fresh blackberry and black cherry flavours and well judged tannic twist.
What Southern France does so well
Very often the mourvedre grape is used to add structure to a blend but it can produce splendid, big, concentrated red wine all on its own.
2013 Les Jamelles Reserve Mourvedre (£6.25 instead of £7.25 until 19 May at the Co-op) is a good illustration with its smooth plum and cherry fruit that is soft, juicy and perfectly balanced.
Rather special “everyday” Rhone
Millions of bottles of basic Cotes du Rhone are produced each year but only sixteen areas are allowed to use the magic word “Cru” on the label; Vinsobres is one of them.
Savour then the rich, herby and intense 2013 Cru de Cotes du Rhone Vinsobres (£7.50 – instead of £12 until 19 May at Sainsbury’s) with its plum based fruit and gently tannic backdrop.
Star pinot noir at under £8
Finally, discover the classic – if slightly forceful – style of wallet friendly pinot noir that Chile can provide.
2013 Truly Irresistible Pinot Noir: Casablanca Valley (£7.99 at the Co-op) centres around spicy but earthy beetroot touches that neatly add complexity to the wine's smooth raspberry and black cherry fruit and invigorating acidity.
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