A new Co-op promotion is under way offering a pretty fair selection of reliable wines at discounted prices; it runs until 5 April.
The list includes, for example, Torres Vina Sol at £4.99 and Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc at £7.49 but it was three well priced reds that particularly excited my attention.
Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.
Sangiovese with the volume down slightly
Sangiovese is the traditional chianti grape but this wine differs from that Tuscan favourite in two ways; first it is from Emilia-Romagna and, secondly, merlot has been added to the blend to soften things a little.
It all works rather well in the soft but mellow 2014 Monte Giove Sangiovese Merlot (£5.99 – instead of £6.99 and at 12.5% abv) with its black cherry and bramble fruit, firm tannin but gentle acidity and concluding touches of coffee, cloves and dried herbs.
A Rhone blend heads south
By allowing acidity to have more impact than its tannin, the ripe and vanilla influenced 2014 Zalze Shiraz Grenache Viognier (£5.99 – instead of £6.99 and at 14%) gives free rein to its ripe damson, raspberry and red cherry fruit and the savoury, oregano elements that support it.
An established brand keeps on giving
Perfumed and medium-bodied, 2014 Torres Sangre de Toro (£5.99 – instead of £7.99 and at 13.5%) has soft cherry fruit with bold raspberry acidity, measured tannin and suggestions of mint and star anise to underpin it all. No bull!
Soft and restrained Loire sauvignon
Switching from reds, Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé are the titans of Loire sauvignon blanc with the former probably hogging the limelight recently but the perfumed and delicate whites from Pouilly can be brilliant too.
Enjoy then the soft and measured 2014 Pouilly Fumé Les Chaumes (£9.99 – instead of £11.99 and at 12.5%) with its grassy, apple, melon and lemon fruit and gentle, rounded, limestone edge to remind you of the terres blanches thereabouts.
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