As the (rightly) revered Jancis Robinson pointed out recently, the large quantites of red grape varieties in, especially, France and Spain – coupled with the unforgiving nature of white wine production – make it easier to find inexpensive red wine than white.
Unsurprisingly then, it is red wines that dominate my entry point selections from the run of Tesco promotions that started last Tuesday.
These specific promotions expire on Bastille Day (14 July) but my judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least three months from the date of the post.
Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.
Argentina continues to provide great value
Few vine diseases afflict the Mendoza region – thus keeping yields there reasonably high – but its altitude keeps acidity levels high too; the combined effect for the drinker is plenty of fresh but kindly priced wine.
For a good example, try the mellow, mid-weight 2014 Trivento Malbec Reserve (£5.99 – instead of £8.99 during this promotion) with its lively damson fruit, all-spice influenced depth, raspberry acidity but limited tannin.
So, too, does Spain
The abundance of red grape vines across Iberia keeps supply ahead of demand – and prices reflect that, even in prestigious regions like Rioja.
Consider, if you will, the pleasingly rounded and smooth 2013 El Pinsapo Rioja (two for £10 – or £5 a bottle in Scotland – instead of £7.49) with its gently acidic cherry menthol flavours and the balancing touches of chocolate and vanilla that support them.
Even when ascending the quality ladder
The same producer also has a slightly older vintage in this promotion – legally, Rioja crianza must have at least a year in oak (and extra barrel time traditionally means higher quality).
2011 El Pinsapo Rioja Crianza (£5.49 – instead of £10.99) has similar raspberry acidity to its younger stable-mate but also incorporates a tannic twist and some toasty oak touches to embellish the cherry, eucalyptus and savoury spice flavours.
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