Branded wines often feature prominently in supermarket promotions, but wine insiders can treat them disdainfully.
I can understand those doubts since “premium own label” wines often outperform similarly priced branded counterparts.
Done well, however, branded wines do have advantages – such as consistency between years – that are important to consumers.
Another benefit centres on most brand owners' determination to avoid reputational damage – meaning that seriously unsuccessful wines will quickly be identified and weeded out.
So, I have chosen a “branded wine done well” as my recommendation in today’s post.
It is from the largest wine producer in Argentina.
Its partner, however, is a prosecco that is not part of a major brand.
There are several acclaimed large scale prosecco producers – Mionetto and Zonin are but two – but here I have opted for an (I think) Aldi exclusive.
I feel that this one is great value and a cut above many rivals at its price point.
Also today, Eddie the Eagle Eyed takes a look at the current multi-buy promotion at Morrisons.
Adopting my traditional format, images and, where possible, hyperlinks accompany the assessments of the wines.
Not the Argentinian grape you anticipated.
2021 Trapiche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (£6 – instead of £7 until 10 April- for Tesco Clubcard holders):
Although malbec is the most planted red grape in Argentina, significant volumes of cabernet sauvignon are also grown there, especially around Mendoza.
This example from thereabouts is both aromatic and velvety yet also exhibits ripe damson and red cherry flavours.
Those characteristics are coupled with bright acidity, soft tannins and suggestions of vanilla, chocolate and cedar.
Next up – that prosecco.
2021 Castellore Organic Prosecco Rosé (£8.79 at Aldi):
The long-standing (non-rosé) version of this prosecco has been excellent but, sometimes, a reliable wine’s rosé incarnation fails to reach the same level.
No such problem here, though, as this works well and is every bit as good as its “white” companion.
Fresh with a creamy texture, the wine displays ripe strawberry and peach flavours attractively enlivened by good acidity.
Enjoy too, its neat combination of gentle sweetness and savoury soda water hints that build engagingly on its opening energetic mousse.
Eddie the Eagle-Eyed Reporting
Morrisons offer a long window of opportunity with their latest ”25% off buy-6 bottles” … and … a ”2 for £10” on certain bottles as well.
It started last week but goes on until April 11th and that will facilitate multiple trips – one from which you can choose what you like best and, then, to go back and top up!
On-line details provide information about which wines qualify for these deals (which is not always obvious) so do check what is what.
An appealing Italian red to try
When wine is so comparatively cheap, this is a great time to experiment or go back for some old favourites.
In this latter category for me, is this Super Tuscan cuvée – Morrisons The Best Toscana, £8 down to £6 – which is rare in the big supermarkets here.
A mid week pizza or meaty pasta can be well-served by this gem although decanting or aerating can help soften things even more.
And an unusual but soft white
Also especially interesting is Vinus by Paul Mas Clairette (£6.50/ £4.87).
At this money it is something unusual to experiment with and clairette is rare as a stand-alone grape.
From hot and sunny Languedoc, this version gets good reviews (the 2019 vintage scored 89 in Decanter magazine) and this seems to be the lowest price it has been anywhere in the last year.
Finally to Spain
And a reliable Spanish red is this Mucho Mas Black Label that I have had recently from Tesco – on recommendation here from Mid-Weeker Chris.
It is a tempranillo/syrah cuvée of high quality with massive black fruit components, and drops from £6.50 to £4.88 as part of this promotion.
Just remember though, that these deals apply to England and Wales only, so check out all the restrictions and exclusions so you are not disappointed.
[Many thanks Eddie some terrifically good pointers there …. Editor]
The next post (on Thursday) reveals my suggestions about what to buy from the latest Lidl Wine Tour.
Subscribe for FREE!
Do you want every review I write, direct to your inbox, absolutely free?