Perhaps because of the UK’s traditional fondness for the under-dog, we do love wines from small-scale but dedicated producers across the world.
Many such niche wines are joyously distinctive enough to grace any occasion.
By contrast, wines from the biggest players are often dismissed as “commercial” (not a compliment in the wine world).
But credit where it is due, today’s selections are both from major operations – and both are good.
That result should not really surprise us.
Big organisations do have the resources to research carefully what consumers want and how to provide it.
On top of that, their potential economies of scale mean that the resulting wines seldom cost a king’s ransom.
One illustration today involves the Concha Y Toro’s Cono Sur Bicicleta range.
That organisation’s significant resources mean that they have (a) detected (b) analysed and (c) tackled the brand’s decline from the standards it represented for so many years.
Indeed, I have not recommended a Bicicleta wine for over three years now, but the range has recently been re-vamped.
One result is the excellent sauvignon being commended today.
Its partner is also from a sizeable operation.
Andrew Peace Wines is one of Australia’s largest family-owned wine businesses.
Their shiraz featured in this post neatly illustrates my points about big operations.
Here, they have obviously pinpointed what appeals to the customer and produce it at a modest price.
I hope you share my view that Andrew Peace Shiraz hits the spot nicely.
The images and hyperlinks provided should help you to find the wines in crowded displays.
First though that bicycle ride
2022 Cono Sur Bicicleta Sauvignon Blanc (£6 at Tesco):
This brand was devised many years ago to underline and celebrate eco-friendly practices (like cycling) and sustainable winemaking.
Frankly, though, results slipped from the early high standard, but the range was revamped earlier this year and this example is right back on form.
Rounded with a nice depth, it tastily exhibits ripe, tropical fruit and red apple flavours.
Those elements are coupled here with lively grapefruit acidity to sit alongside its textured, pithy background.
NB: Remember the 25% offer for Clubcard holders that applies to wines like this, but ends today.
Then the family run Australian outfit.
2021 Andrew Peace Shiraz (£7 at the Co-op):
Justifiably, Australia’s Victoria state attracts headlines for its sensational cool climate wines like the Mornington Peninsula’s pinot noirs and chardonnays.
However, the region’s “entry point” choices like this can impress too.
Smooth with a twist of sweetness, it is centred on cherry, bramble and vaguely nutty flavours.
Complementary components include energetic acidity, suggestions of milk chocolate and nicely soft tannin.
NB:- The website may not reflect the current in-store price for this wine.
This Thursday’s post contains the long promised review of the wines of Beaujolais and the stars that it can provide.
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