Monday, 31 October 2011

Supermarket Sweeps - Six for £60 - Tesco Part 2

Hello All,
Welcome to the second installment of my look at the supermarket shelves for value wines, this time Tesco Part 2. Last time we looked at two whites and a Rosé, this time, three Reds and a lovely Port! Total spend was only about £55 for seven bottles. So, let's see if the reds can do a bit better...

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Kleine Zalze, Shiraz-Mourvedre-Viognier, 2010

£6.99. I remember seeing this a while back in Decanter, and as far as I can remember it had a good review so caught my eye. Made in a cool climate region a few miles from Stellenbosch it was keenly priced too! 14.5%

The Look: Intensely dark, opaque black-plum, almost no rim just a slight fade to violet.
The Smell: Awesome smells of blackberries, sweetness, think dark berry cheesecake or a blackberry and apple Nutrigrain bar!
The Taste: Pow! Intense blackberry hit, violets, good fresh acidity, slightly chewy tannins and a great long finish. Some peppery spice and warming but not overly alcoholic - handled well.
The Score: Delicious, punching well above its weight. 8/10. Highly Recommended
VFM: At £6.99 this is a serious bargain. Great flavour intensity for the price. VFM = 1.14

Tesco Finest Crozes Hermitage, 2008

£8.29. Crozes Hermitage is a region in the Northern Rhone in France famous for Syrah (Shiraz) based wines. Normally up to 15% of the white grapes Roussanne or Marsanne can be added but this didn't specify so I'm assuming 100% Syrah. Normally dark fruits and a peppery spice are evident. High hopes for this... 12.5%

The Look: Purple core with a ruby rim and completely translucent.
The Smell: Nose is reticent, faint whiff of berries and slight oak but not much else.
The Taste: Disappointing. Light bodied, limp, insipid and tasteless. Slight spice but mainly very mild hints of red fruit, none of the dark fruit and black pepper I was expecting. Smooth tannins but bitter.
The Score: Not worth the IWSC Bronze sticker on the bottle in my opinion. 5.5/10.
VFM: At £8.29 this is overpriced in my opinion. VFM = 0.66

Tesco Finest Valpolicella Ripasso, 2009
£6.99. Valpolicella Ripasso is Valpolicella passed over the leftover lees from making Amarone (strong flavoured wine made from dried grapes) to give it extra flavour and colour. Interesting and it caught my eye at this price. 13.5%

The Look: Dark purple/ruby.
The Smell: Sweet cherries, oaky and leesy with some mild spice too.
The Taste: Very bright cherryade taste, plenty of acidity, refreshing for a red, some vanilla hints. Good accompaniment to a tomato based pasta sauce, but thin tannins and sadly became a bit of a chore to drink. After the second glass it was all acidity and no fruit.
The Score: Started well but soon became undrinkable.  5.5/10.
VFM:   Better value than the Syrah at  VFM = 0.66 but one I would not purchase again.

Tesco Special Reserve Port, NV
£7.82. I hadn't spent my total of £60 and was looking for something else when this caught my eye. A great price even if it turned out a bit nasty, but I doubted that with this being made by the famous Port conglomerate; Symington Family Estates. 20%

The Look: Deep dark opaque purple, slight violet rim. Much like Port surprisingly!
The Smell: Sweet, raisiny/curranty berries with mild woody spice. Lovely smell.
The Taste: Deliciously full of sweet, raisiny, warm fruit. Very nicely integrated, not overly sweet or alcoholic. Dangerously drinkable - we had sore heads to prove it the next day! 
The Score: Cracking NV Port and a bargain to boot! 8/10. Highly Recommended
VFM:   Superb value Port. VFM = 1.10

So, in summary, Tesco didn't quite do as well as Co-Op, but then again the majority were own-brand wines and on the whole a fair bit cheaper. Still, the Riesling was great, as was the South African blend and the port. Not too bad.

Next time, the fantastic wine section of Waitrose!

As always, speak to you soon!



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