What wine are you drinking today ?

Can any one recommend me a Red Wine up to £10 which does not taste bitter or like a Merlot?  My wife and I find it increasingly difficult to find a red wine in average Supermarket which actually tastes like in its description in the label.

Which supermarket? Morrisons often have Wolf Blass at under a tenner, the yellow label Cabernet Sauvignon is more than acceptable and the red labels WB are also more than palatable.

Also have a look in Aldi & Lidl - both made a big point a couple of years ago of promoting decent wine at supermarket prices and have a useful colour coding guide on the shelves. I can't give you any specific names for them or Morrisons as I'm happy to try random selections and see what happens. Usually it's good, esp around the sweet spot of £7-10 a bottle.

Waitrose had a nice Sagrato Chianti Reserve over the weekend, on offer at about £8 iirc. It got me through the Sunday ironing pile & MoTD2 while OH was doing her marking & planning.

As a general approach I look for Merlots, Malbecs, Cab Suav and Pinot Noirs if the label suggests enough flavour. As often as not a random bottle in the £7-10 range rarely disappoints, certainly not after the third glass. Hic.

Romi posted:

Can any one recommend me a Red Wine up to £10 which does not taste bitter or like a Merlot?  My wife and I find it increasingly difficult to find a red wine in average Supermarket which actually tastes like in its description in the label.

Sainsbury's 'Taste The Difference' Languedoc.

Co-op Las Moras Barrel Select Malbec

Waitrose (and widely) Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages (I think it is under £10, the last one I had was a present).

I wouldn't let any description on the label spoil your enjoyment of the wine. Like letters to the editor in a newspaper, it's probably partly there to provoke you. Anyway, I've found the three above hugely enjoyable and I hope you will too.

Chris

I rarely buy wine from supermarkets, there is just too much dross on the shelves. I’m not saying it’s all bad, but I just don’t think it’s worth taking a chance. I also worry that a £10 bottle is actually a £5 bottle that has had it’s price hiked in preparation for the half price ‘deal’ when they then sell the stuff for what it’s actually worth. 

I now buy wine online, mainly from the Wine Society and Naked Wines. 

Have a look at The Sunday Times / Laithwaites Wine Club.

There's lots of very quaffable reds, e.g. Black Stump Reserve or The Waxed Bat Reserve, both usually available under a tenner.

Failing that, Majestic are pushing Portuguese Reds which do seem to be on the up and up at the moment.

Majestic also now own Naked Wines, who specialise in smaller, independent, producers, and who have given us some real gems in

recent years, again, largely, at under a tenner.

Enjoy!

dave marshall posted:

Have a look at The Sunday Times / Laithwaites Wine Club.

There's lots of very quaffable reds, e.g. Black Stump Reserve or The Waxed Bat Reserve, both usually available under a tenner.

Failing that, Majestic are pushing Portuguese Reds which do seem to be on the up and up at the moment.

Majestic also now own Naked Wines, who specialise in smaller, independent, producers, and who have given us some real gems in

recent years, again, at largely under a tenner.

Enjoy!

I think it’s the other way round, Naked bought Majestic, but as long as their wine is good, who cares! Might have to pay Majestic a visit, though, I do like a decent Portuguese red. 

Romi posted:

Can any one recommend me a Red Wine up to £10 which does not taste bitter or like a Merlot?  My wife and I find it increasingly difficult to find a red wine in average Supermarket which actually tastes like in its description in the label.

Look at Rhone reds. Try the Yapp website - Rhone is their specialist area - to get an idea.

Christopher_M posted:
Romi posted:

Can any one recommend me a Red Wine up to £10 which does not taste bitter or like a Merlot?  My wife and I find it increasingly difficult to find a red wine in average Supermarket which actually tastes like in its description in the label.

So what was the upshot of our replies?

Blunder through what's on offer and see what happens. It seems to work 9 times out of 10. It's only wine.

Leoville Barton 2001, a few weeks ago I was having a quick chat to a wine merchant pal and he mentioned he was about to get a list of a private cellar the owner wanted to price for quick sale. So earlier this week a dozen of this and 6 Langoa Barton 2000 arrived at my house. 

Lovely traditional claret from a good but not great vintage. Just reaching maturity, nose of red and purple fruits, lovely classy red fruits on the palate with good softening tannins and a good acid spine. Nice with a medium rare rump steak earlier, but also fantastic to savour with good music, classy well balanced wine with probably 10 years of life left. 

Domaine de la Janasse, CdP red 2007

Bought at the domaine back in the day. Many happy visits to Janasse. This is probably my favourite CdP, just because of so many visits there.

Drinking it this evening on the basis that if the mighty LFC lose in Kiev then at least I’ll have had a fabulous bottle of wine. And if we win, well it’s a suitable drink to toast success... #YNWA

We had dinner with friends near Oxford on Friday night.  I brought along a couple of bottles of Rioja - Vina Real Reserva 2010.  

The last bottle I had of this I found somewhat disappointing compared to the first time I tasted it.  This time around it was much improved, so maybe I just had a duff bottle in the case. But still, it's not one that's pressing all my buttons, although our friends really enjoyed it (or were just being kind). 

And the Langoa Barton  that arrived along with the Leoville a few days ago. Another lovely wine, blackcurrant the dominant fruit on nose and palate, with complexity added by tobacco hints and lovely cedary tannins, good acidity and mid-weight tannins providing structure. Decanted about 2 hours before first pour, 30 minutes in glass before first taste. Classy well-balanced claret, more fruit and less structure/complexity than Friday’s Leoville, a combination of the better vintage and the lesser vineyard. It’s got 3-5 years left at this level I suspect, I prefer the Leoville, people who prefer richer wines will prefer this., but I’ll enjoy the bottles I have left of both very much. (It’s sufficiently warm here today in West Yorks 25 Celsius in my downstairs lounge) that the wine was losing definition as it heated up, I’ve just had to stick the decanter in the fridge for 15 minutes to keep it at its best.) 

Back when I was working in wine (after Uni, a friend started a wine shop in Ebury street and I helped out and drove the van for a bit) the two Bordeaux wines I had a real soft spot for were Haut Brion and Leoville Barton.  LB was always somewhat in the shadow of the other super-seconds, but was all the better value for that. For me the '85 Leoville Barton pretty much encapsulated all that was best about Saint Julien. When so many of the top wines were going for more concentrated "blockbuster" styles, that wine had such a wonderful complexity of flavours and it just pressed all my buttons. First time I tried the '85 it was definitely one of those great moments that you know you'll remember for a long time.  I wish I still had some it, as it would be interesting to try it today.

I had a bottle of the 1985 Leoville last year Richard, oddly enough my IFA sold me 3 bottles after giving me a bottle to try*. Like you, I think Leoville is classic claret, fantastic balance between structure and fruit., and it’s still cheaper than the other top wines even now. The ‘85 was absolutely lovely, it was a great vintage for my taste. Less fruit power that the ‘82s, less tannic than the ‘86s, just perfectly balanced wines. The vintage that I cut my (red-stained) claret teeth on and still probably my favourite for the sheer joy of the wines. The Leoville has attained that moment of perfection where everything seems just right, still fruit, red and black fruits, lovely soft tannins and good acidity, subtle flavours, but every mouthful a joy. If you’re in the West Yorkshire region at any point and have some spare time, it’d be lovely to share a bottle with someone who loves Leoville and listen to some music while enjoying a lovely wine.

*(A birth present for his son who’d reached his late teens, tried one, decided he’d no interest in wine, my IFA knowing I liked fine wine asked if I’d be interested. The test bottle was in superb nick, so I took the others, we checked the Internet for market price, and his son is enjoying the cash for his gap,year.)

Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Clay 2013. Lovely light SA Pinot, as you can see a very light colour, almost rosé, also light on the nose and palate. Some lovely delicate red fruits, cherry, strawberry, some nice light white pepper spice, sweetness making it clear it’s New World. Despite the light flavours,  nice perfume fills the mouth, it has some complexity and there is pretty good length. Nice light attractive New World Pinot.

Eoink posted:

Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Clay 2013. Lovely light SA Pinot, as you can see a very light colour, almost rosé, also light on the nose and palate. Some lovely delicate red fruits, cherry, strawberry, some nice light white pepper spice, sweetness making it clear it’s New World. Despite the light flavours,  nice perfume fills the mouth, it has some complexity and there is pretty good length. Nice light attractive New World Pinot.

Eoink, your lovely photos of the room and countryside are just as enticing as the wine. Always a pleasure to see.

Kiwi cat posted:
Eoink posted:

 

Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Clay 2013. Lovely light SA Pinot, as you can see a very light colour, almost rosé, also light on the nose and palate. Some lovely delicate red fruits, cherry, strawberry, some nice light white pepper spice, sweetness making it clear it’s New World. Despite the light flavours,  nice perfume fills the mouth, it has some complexity and there is pretty good length. Nice light attractive New World Pinot.

Eoink, your lovely photos of the room and countryside are just as enticing as the wine. Always a pleasure to see.

Thanks so much.

Chassagne Montrachet rouge VIncent & Sophie Morley 2014

Lovely young Pinot Noir from a a village better known for astronomically expensive Chardonnays. Classy light Pinot, good acidity, grippy tannins, nice cherry and red fruits, I’m keeping it in the fridge to avoid it boiling. Enjoying now on the patio of my holiday cottage while I decide where to walk in the Dales tomorrow.

Fogosch, Grüner Veltliner 2016 - Joiseph

Extraordinary wine. Matured in an oak barrel under water in a lake. Unfined, so slightly cloudy. Looks like scrumpy cider, tastes like no white wine I’ve ever tasted. A bit of mead, a bit of apples, god knows what else. If you ever see this chap’s wine, buy them!

Nick, that Fogosch sounds really interesting.  I will look out for it.

However, back in the cheap seats, a recent wine that really surprised and delighted was Cono Sur's 2015 Bicicleta Carmenere.  This is a wine that can likely be bought from just about anywhere, and is usually very inexpensive. I love Carmenere, and find the story behind it fascinating. However, I have also read that Carmenere can be tricky to do well - and I've certainly tasted my share of lean, green horrors, so you'd be thinking this is a wine to probably avoid.  Except...  you'd be passing up something really rather wonderful;  It is on the more peppery side of how Carmenere can be, but it is balanced by plenty of fruit and that wonderful dark chocolate flavour that usually comes from great examples.  To say that this wine was a surprise would be something of an understatement.  The fact that it can be so widely purchased and for so little money makes it a bit of a miracle really.

Richard Dane posted:

Nick, that Fogosch sounds really interesting.  I will look out for it.

However, back in the cheap seats, a recent wine that really surprised and delighted was Cono Sur's 2015 Bicicleta Carmenere.  This is a wine that can likely be bought from just about anywhere, and is usually very inexpensive. I love Carmenere, and find the story behind it fascinating. However, I have also read that Carmenere can be tricky to do well - and I've certainly tasted my share of lean, green horrors, so you'd be thinking this is a wine to probably avoid.  Except...  you'd be passing up something really rather wonderful;  It is on the more peppery side of how Carmenere can be, but it is balanced by plenty of fruit and that wonderful dark chocolate flavour that usually comes from great examples.  To say that this wine was a surprise would be something of an understatement.  The fact that it can be so widely purchased and for so little money makes it a bit of a miracle really.

Whilst wandering aimlessly round my local Morrisons yesterday, I spotted this, on offer, at 2 bottles for a tenner.

"Can't be much good at that price, surely?", I thought.

Well, Richard was correct, of course, and it went down very well with some squid and chorizo, so great shout from Richard, and at that bargain price, why wouldn't you. 

<<Sanctimonious preachiness warning : on>>

At risk of making an unwarranted diatribe (sorry in advance), and aware that the precursor of this thread on the old forum yonks ago came about because of my recommending a wine from this very company, and of course It's always good to find a nice cheapie...

Viña Concha y Toro (of which Cono Sur and Casillero del Diablo are part) are the biggest wine company you didn't know how big they are, with global sales of more than $1billion, 10,000ha under vine in Chile (and Argentina), and a substantial chunk of the Californian industry (Fetzer et al).

They are the second largest wine company in the world, behind the pan-continental Treasury Wine Estates (Lindemans, Beringer Penfolds etc), and significantly bigger than third-placed Gallo.

Companies this size can afford to make wafer-thin margins, and even sell at a loss if necessary (as most UK "Buy 2 for £10 deals" actually are), especially if supermarket buyers demand it, and it forces smaller brands off the shelves. Which it does. And of course economies of scale and low costs of production mean they can make successful wine far more cost-effectively. But - just as Naim isn't Panasonic - and we need both, to achieve this quality level whilst making a living requires most smaller producers to charge more than this, and they too need your support, just as independent wine merchants need you more than supermarkets do, and your local Naim dealer needs you more than Dixons.

So fill your boots with this while it lasts (companies don't get big by making losses forever), but spare a thought for the little guys too!

<<Sanctimonious preachiness warning : off>>

Richard, Dave - if you liked the Carmenere, then when next you feel like splashing out a bit, I can thoroughly recommend the wines of De Martino - Chile's hottest rising stars (although the family has been at it since the 1930s). Sebastien de Martino is a truly great winemaker (and a thoroughly lovely guy) and they have some of the oldest, lowest cropping vines in the country in Maipo. Everything they produce is farmed entirely organically and made with minimal intervention and very low sulphur. Their wines are available in the UK (the posh W supermarket has them, as well as independents). Their Legado Carmenere is around £10 - 12. 

 

No problem with the sermon Rod.  I think we're all well aware of the size and clout of Concha y Toro. What was a surprise was just how good a wine they managed to make here - I was really expecting something uninteresting and overly "commercial". However, I absolutely agree that while the pricing of supermarkets is often highly attractive, it's important to also buy from independent wine merchants.  For anyone in SW London I can highly recommend Lea and Sandeman.

Thanks for the Legado Carmenere recommendation!

Wot Richard said, no issue with the sermon at all, Rod.

I tend to buy much of my wine via either Laithwaites or Naked Wines / Majestic, with the occasional "treat" from one of the local merchants, and hardly ever, if at all, from any of the supermarkets.

So, following Richard's shout on the Bicicleta Carmenere, I was amazed to see it on the shelves at such a low price, and pleasantly surprised at just how nice it is.

I've taken your advice, and "filled my boots", though just in time, as it's now sold out locally. 

Oh ........... and my shout, above, for Majestic's Porta 6 Reserva still stands, as, for the next few days, it's still on slightly reduced offer.

Domaine de la Janasse, Chateauneuf du Pape rouge, 2007

A domaine I’ve visited many a time - this bottle was bought there back in the day. I could wax very lyrical about how lovely the Sabon family are and how much I enjoy their wines. A treat this, to be savoured...

nickpeacock posted:

 

Domaine de la Janasse, Chateauneuf du Pape rouge, 2007

A domaine I’ve visited many a time - this bottle was bought there back in the day. I could wax very lyrical about how lovely the Sabon family are and how much I enjoy their wines. A treat this, to be savoured...

Lovely Nick, enjoy. It’s a treat for you to have the personal connection as well as the lovely wine.

Les Fiefs de Lagrange 2010, second wine of Chateau Lagrange. Well it’s still grippy, I’m not totally convinced the tannins will ever fully resolve. It does have a lovely pure blackcurrant nose, cassis again on the palate with nice muddy coffee and sharp spices, strong acidity and mouth-coating tannins. What you might politely call an old-school claret, it’s actually pretty much to my taste, the fruit and spice is lovely, it’ll probably mellow in a couple of years, but I’m enjoying it now. 

Add Reply

Likes (1)
robgr
×
×
×
×