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Traditional areas yet keen prices too

After concentrating at the end of last week on wines from £8 upwards, I turn back to our regular Monday look at this site’s specialist subject – what the trade would call “entry point wines”.  

In the excitement that new world wines often create, we sometimes overlook the long-standing success stories from nearby parts of Europe – but not today.

Read on then for details of great options from Bordeaux and from an area producing classy sauvignon when Marlborough was still primarily sheep grazing country.

Use the pictures and hyperlinks provided to make searching for the particular wine easier.

What it says on the can

While Lidl has creditable sauvignon from New Zealand and South Africa, the one in their core range that is simply labelled with the words “Sauvignon Blanc” is well worth exploring.

It is actually a lovely laid-back version from somewhere that has been producing the variety for 200+ years – France’s Loire Valley.

Smooth and restrained, 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (£6.49 at Lidl and 12%) leads on apple and gooseberry flavours supported by rounded lime and grapefruit acidity with a savoury backdrop.

Another traditional option

In another wine history lesson, remember that Bordeaux has been blending red wines for too many years to count.

In fact it is a good illustration of making a virtue of a necessity because Bordeaux’s unpredictable climate demands flexibility.

Where grape varieties ripen to different extents most years, blending helps reduce inconsistencies.

Fruit that may not be completely ripe also means that other elements such as vegetal hints and graphite minerality became, first, relatively common and, then, prized.

Note, therefore, the leafy aromas on display in 2019 Extra Special Bordeaux Supérieur (rolled back to £6 until 15 June – at Asda and 13.5%).

They join the wine’s vanilla, black pepper and mocha elements in important supporting rȏles to its main cherry and damson flavours.

Call in again on Thursday when I reveal my selections for Friday Night Specials and Sunday Best wines as well as news on current promotions in major retailers.


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Comments

4 Comments

Paul

Thanks for mentioning the Asda Bordeaux – I have had it before and at £6 it’s an absolute bargain

Brian Elliott

Glad we are at one on this Paul. It is hard to find sound basic Bordeaux under £10 that I can recommend but this seems to fit the bill. Obviously not a superstar but still a good indication of what claret is about.

Steve Perry

Can vouch for the Lidl Sauvignon Blanc, it sometimes features as one of their “Wine Of The Week” selections, where it normally sells for around a fiver. For that money, a very good wine.

Brian Elliott

Thanks Steve – always good to hear a second opinion, especially when we are aligned. With so much attention on new world sauvignon, it is worth reminding ourselves how good those more subdued Loire versions are. Once you move outside Sancerre and Pouilly, prices can be pretty reasonable too.


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