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Riding the Easter Discounts

Traditionally, Easter is when the wine trade emerges from its hibernation to start a new year.

The current plethora of “25% off” and other High Street deals is certainly an indication of things a-stirring – although, obviously, a double Bank Holiday weekend is another factor.

Never one to miss a trend, Top Tips picks up those promotions in today’s selections.

The main post opens with a traditional Southern France red but one with something less sought after these days – minerality.

Although a precise definition of “minerality” is elusive, its presence can provide at least four benefits:

  • It can be a good counterbalance to sweetness or fruitiness in the wine.
  • Minerality or savouriness often adds interesting complexity.
  • Its presence can be an indication of the geology of the vineyard concerned (granite and schist is common in this specific case).
  • Finally, wines with distinctive minerality often complement food in unique ways.

That red wine’s companion white advances the debate about oak in wine featured in my recent subscribers’ newsletter.

The balance mentioned there is illustrated well in this southern hemisphere chardonnay.

Both wines currently attract useful discounts with a special offer used in Scotland for the Waitrose option.

As is normal here, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on shelf or web page.

First that recommendation for lovers of minerality

2021 La Quaintrelle Lesquerde (£6 – instead of £10 as part of its “3 for £18” promotion until 2 April – at Morrisons and 13% abv):

Here is a typical, rustic red from France’s Roussillon region but one with more assertive mineral elements than is usual these days.

If you love that stylish savoury foundation (and, I know, not everyone does) then this is for you – especially with the current 40% discount.

Full, with fruit aromas, it features chocolate influenced prune and mulberry flavours.

That spine is supported by good acidity, firm tannin and hints of herbs, baking spice and juniper but also with the pronounced granite backdrop I hinted at earlier.

 Well balanced oak

2022 Chateau Tanunda Chardonnay (£9.99 but, until 2 April, £7.49 in Scotland at Waitrose or part of that retailer’s “25% off when you buy 6” deals elsewhere – and 12.5% abv): 

Use one of these discounts to snap up this beautifully poised Aussie chardonnay that offers almost textbook balance between oak, fruit and acidity.

Fresh and quite lightly textured, it brings us attractive peach and honeydew melon flavours.

These are accompanied by lively acidity, a certain creaminess and, as I say, well-judged oak elements that introduce a trace of vanilla.

Updates and Corrections.

A couple of revisions to last Thursday’s “subscriber only” post about Lidl’s latest Wine Tour.

  • The Ribera I mentioned may appear on the shelves as “270 Alta Expression Ribeira del Duero”.
  • Its price is £8.99 not £7.99 as I said.
  • And the Encostas Avesso is £8.99 or £7.99 with a Lidl Plus Card.

Many thanks to the MidWeekers who pointed all this out and apologies to anyone misled.


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Comments

10 Comments

Ian

Thanks for clearing up the error in pricing on the Ribera .. I had an altercation with our local store manager

Brian Elliott

Sorry about that Ian (apparently prices changed from the original listing I received). I hope you did not finish up with a fist fight!

Eddie Walker

Another Monday morning, another schoolday Brian! Thank you.

That Côtes du Roussillon sounds interesting and a hefty discount of £4 a bottle if we buy 3! The ”minerality” element in a red wine seems a lot more difficult to call than for instance what we might find more obvious in some New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. I’ve always enjoyed the flinty edge of such whites but I understand some fruit can become subdued by it.

As you rightly say a plethora of High Street deals just now focussed mainly on a bulk buy of 6 bottles for 25% off. I decided to stock up yesterday, get in quick, and take a longer drive out to a bigger Sainsbury’s than my regular store close by. It was worth it; way better stocked!

Unsurprisingly the Mucho Mas Tinto was already depleted, the one remaining bottle I took at £5.25. Certainly very popular and the other end of the spectrum to the 2021 La Quaintrelle Lesquerde at Morrisons.

If we are judicious in our choices the discounts can work in more ways than one. The obvious being, whatever we buy it will cheaper here in a ”bulk” purchase.

But Sainsbury’s are very good at individual shelf price reductions as well that they leave in place during the 25% deal, so in the case for instance of their TTD Maremma Toscana normally £10.50 it’s £7.50 right now that reduces to an astonishing £5.62 when we buy 6!

Of course we have to like these wines in the first place to make it all right. Can’t just buy them because they are cheap. Goes without saying, but if we do then the ”double dips” are tremendous value.

Finally we are back to cherry-picking more expensive bottles we may ignore ordinarily but with discounting we get a chance to give them a try at competitive pricing.

I took a TTD Valpolicella Ripasso £12 to £10 so £7.50, a TTD Vino Nobile di Montepulciano £12.50 to £11 so £8.25 and a Dada Art 391 Argentinian Malbec that gets a lot of praise, £9 to £6.75. And an old fave Tuscan white, Vernaccia Di San Gimignano £8 to £6 as well as another very likeable bottle, Sainsbury’s TTD Chilean Chardonnay at £8.50 to £7.50 so £5.62.

Brian Elliott

Those Italian options you mention in the final third of the comment, look great buys with Vernaccia a particularly nice (but underrated) choice.

John

Hi Brian do you have any other recommendations that are included in the Morrisons 3 for £18 offer?

Also keep the reviews coming on mineral wines

Brian Elliott

None of these will, in my view, let you down:
• Morrisons The Best Marques De Los Rios Garnacha
• Morrisons The Best Shiraz
• Morrisons The Best Trentino Pinot Grigio
• Torres Vina Sol
• Morrisons The Best South African Sauvignon Blanc
• Calvet Igp Cite De Carcassonne (Eddie’s Top Tip)

Paul Davies

Re: Lidl Iberian Wine tour

The recommended 2023 Encostas de Caiz Avesso £8.49 is a good zesty white wine made with 100% Avesso grapes from the Amarente area. Avesso in Portuguese means “opposite” or “ the other way round” and refers to this grape’s traits of low acidity and potentially high alcohol, which is the opposite of most vinho verde grapes.Hence this wine has delicate acidity, but rather a hefty level of alcohol at 13%, especially for a vinho verde, with quite a long rounded finish and a faint touch of honey nut.On this narrow point only,I do differ from Brian and would say this wine is medium bodied.
I also like the Paco do bispo Palmela Setubal £6.99 – slightly underscored by the Lidl wine team- which is a well made, simple crisp apple and lemon ideal summer white wine, but it is no longer the bargain that it once was.
It is very unlikely that the producer is making excess profits
,as in the U.K., a bottle of wine selling at £5.50 has a producer value of only 21p.The price mainly reflects our very high levels of alcohol duty, tax and extra costs of being a third country.
We tend to turn cartwheels of joy at 25% off deals,but the Avesso wine above is sold in the Quintas de Caiz online shop at 5.15 Euros, that is £4.41.
On a more positive note, those who are very fleet of foot,have the Lidl app and have activated the Avesso wine coupon, can get a £1 off for the next couple of days.
However for me the star Iberian white wine, which is not on this tour, is the 2022 Coto de Ibedo Vino Blanco £8.99 which is a very good Spanish (Ribeiro) blend, previously recommended by Brian- there may be a few left on the store shelves.Previous vintage of this wine sold by Lidl (Spain) at- cough,splutter-3.99 Euros.
While in Lidl don’t forget Brian’s red wine recommendations: 2021 Azinhaga de Ouro Douro £6.79 and the 270 Alta Expressión Ribera del Duero 2021 £8.99.

Brian Elliott

Impressive background stuff and really good to know so thank you – and I will not challenge you to a duel over whether its texture is light or medium bodied. Either way it is a great illustration of how good Vinho Verde varietals can be.

Alf King

I bought one of the Encostas Avesso from Lidl as recommended and it was truly delicious – a complexity that I haven’t found in a Vinho Verde before. I popped down to my local Lidl this morning to get a couple more and, surprise, surprise, they had none left. I must act more speedily next time.

Brian Elliott

Glad you enjoyed the wine but a bit of a downer seeing initial supplies exhausted – perhaps they have been replenished by now.


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