Monday, 24 October 2011

Supermarket Sweeps - Six for £60 - Tesco Part 1

Hello All,
Welcome to the second installment of my look at the supermarket shelves for value wines, this time Tesco. Any large Tesco now has a reasonable array of wines, but what caught my eye were the Tesco Finest range (which made up the majority of my purchases). They're priced keenly and had some interesting grapes and regions on display. Also, you get 5% off any 6 bottles purchase in store. I managed to buy 6 bottles and a bottle of Port for about £55. So, let's see if they were any good.

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Tesco Finest, Tingleup Vineyard Riesling, Great Southern, 2009

£8.68. This is from Western Australia's Great Southern region. The 2010 vintage just recently won the Decanter Regional Trophy for Australian Riesling under £10, so I was hoping this would be good too. On the light side, at 12%

The Look: A pale gold colour with greeny hints.
The Smell: Great smell, really fresh with a burst of lime juice, some minerals and spice.
The Taste: A huge burst of fruity, fresh limeade, very zingy acidity. Lovely.
The Score: Quite simply, a great Riesling 8/10. Highly Recommended
VFM: At £8.68 this is a bargain and great value at VFM = 0.92

Tesco Finest, Picpoul de Pinet, 2010

£7.29. Picpoul de Pinet describes both the grape and the region from France's southern Languedoc area. An interesting variety and not often found on supermarket shelves, but it's gaining some fans.  12.5%

The Look: A pale straw colour with greeny hints.
The Smell: Smells very grapey, slightly floral with what I thought was elderflower. I could pick up something like pear drops after a while too.
The Taste: Nice refreshing acidity, grapefruit, grape juice, elderflower on the taste too. Crisp but with a discernible bitterness at the end, like the aftertaste of a hoppy beer. The tang was a bit too much after a while.
The Score: Not bad, but the bitterness detracted from the enjoyment, so sadly, can't quite recommend. 6.5/10.
VFM: At £7.29 this is still a bargain, and if you haven't tried a Picpoul then I'd give it a go. However, there are better out there. VFM = 0.89

Tesco Finest, Cotes de Provence, Rosé, 2009

£7.99. Provence in France makes some very serious Rosé. Some would say, the best in the World so I was excited to see this at this price. Notoriously food friendly rather than overtly fruity, I was hoping for good things. 12.5%

The Look: Salmony pink with copper-orange tints.
The Smell: Very reticent with all but the faintest whiff of red fruits, although I couldn't pick anything particular out.
The Taste: The good points: good food wine, pleasing balance, no overpowering flavours, some hints of red fruit and a caramel hint. The bad: Bitterness. They seem to have extracted all of the magnificent colour from the skins, but all of the bitterness too and none of the flavour from the grapes. Didn't want to finish the bottle.
The Score: All the seriousness of Provence, none of the charm. Avoid. 5/10.
VFM: At £7.99 I would not but this again, despite a reasonable value of VFM = 0.63.

So, in summary, a brilliant Riesling, a mediocre Picpoul and a Rosé to avoid. The full spectrum then!
I wish I'd have plumped for the Montes Alpha Chardonnay or Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc. Oh well, maybe next trip...

Next time; the reds and the port!

As always, speak to you soon!



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