On your Marks if you want to bag some bargain bottles
THEY don't do things by half when they're emptying the shelves for the new vintages.
Marks & Spencer have a wine sale just now, finishing on January 29, and there are some interesting reductions among the 70 offers. Thirty of the wines are sub-4, giving you the chance, perhaps, to top up your depleted wine rack after last month's debilitations.
Among them (while stocks last, they emphasise) are Burgundy AC (5.99 down to 4.79) and Macon Villages (5.99 to 4.79), both from Caves de Prisse; from the Loire there's Vinival Sancerre les Ruettes (9.99 down to 7.99); Gold Label Merlot is down 1 to 3.99; there are some cracking crisp German whites too - the gorgeous Mineralstein (5.99 down to 4.79); Matthias Gaul Darting Estate Riesling (6.99, now 5.59) and Ernst Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett, (7.99, was 9.99).
By the way, if you're planning an assault on the haggis around Burns' Night and wonder what to drink with it, by all means have whisky - but don't pour the dram over the haggis.
Instead, put a light, fruity Aussie shiraz up against the spiciness of the chieftain, or a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from Italy. Keep it fruity and young. Or have a bottle of Caledonian 80/- , Deuchars IPA or a bottle of Innes & Gunn Edinburgh ale. Now you're talking.
This week's offerings: Bleasdale Malbec 2002 (8.49, Oddbins) is an extremely heady Aussie red with spikes of nutmeg spice and a finish that powers in with lavish fruit. A real dinner party dollop, with smooth oak character and an easy-drinking style.
Looking for a white that's ripe, rich and buttery and with an aroma that hints of pears and nuts? Try the peachy Etoile Filante Viognier (6.99, Oddbins), which has amazing length as well.
Tukulu Pinotage 2003 is dry and, strangely you might think for a red, has a wondrous orangey nose. It'll love grilled lamb chops, or sausages and buttery mash.
Here's one of those wines that's got a longer moniker than Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart, the Young Pretender. Tariquet Famille Grassa Rose Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne (5.99 Somerfield) is worth the exercise. It's a fabby aperitif smelling of raspberry-flavoured Chivers jelly, with oodles of sweet raspberry-tinged fruit on the palate. Chill well on a summer's day, if you can wait that long.
The fresh, clean and spicy aromas in Fetzer Valley Oaks Pinot Grigio (5.99, Morrisons) are knockout, with a tweak of hazelnuts among very ripe crunchy green apple and pink grapefruit. Well-kent supermarket face is Kumala Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2004 (3.99, was 4.99, Sainsbury's, until Jan 24). Crisp, fresh, green apple acidity - virtually the aroma you get while peeling a Granny Smith.
Similar blend grapes, but Jacob's Creek Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (3.99, was 4.99, Sainsbury's, until Jan 24) is less demonstrative - in fact nondescript. Acidity freshens it up, but it overpowers the fruit.
Hardy's VR Chardonnay 2005 (14.99, was 17.99, Sainsbury's, three litre box, until Jan 24)) delivers melon, peach and pears - in other words, a totally tropical fruit cocktail to dip into at will.
The three-litre red equivalent, Hardy's VR Shiraz 2004 (14.99, was 17.99, Sainsbury's, until January 24) sends out spice, pepper and a fairly high blast of alcohol at 13.5 per cent, plus soft oak and plum jam fruit.
Laborie Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Bin R88 2003 (5.99, Morrisons) is a South African red with a powerful blackcurrant bush pong, and with huge, sweet rounded fruit.
BARGAIN OF THE WEEK
La Chasse du Pape Syrah Vin de Pays D'Oc (3.99, was 4.99, Sainsbury's, until January 24): Lashings of dark cherries and plum aromas combine vibrantly on the palate in this 100 per cent syrah wine that combines shedloads of ripe fruit, with a savoury thwack and, as a bonus, offers more than a suggestion of burnt toffee as it disappears. Juicy stuff that deserves to be served up alongside pizzas, and hard cheeses.
BOTTLE OF THE WEEK
Remember the melt-in-the-mouth sweetness of Caramac bars you craved as a child? Well, Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2004 (9.99, Sainsbury's) is the liquid incarnation of the stuff, an intense New Zealand red that also reminds of treacle tart, with raspberry, leather and chocolate-coated raisins thrown in for good measure.
And with a nose Cyrano de Bergerac would be proud of, it'll match lamb chops, or braised shanks.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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