Monday, 23 January 2012

Supermarket Sweeps - Six for £60 - Sainsbury's - Part 1

Hello All,

A necessary return to frugality this month, with it being January and with most of us suffering from empty pockets following the Xmas splurge. So a return to the Supermarkets Sweeps 6 for £60 series. This time, we visited our local Sainsbury's and I must say, I was suitably un-impressed with their range. Ok, it's not a mega-store, but it's a reasonable size and larger than our local Co-Op but sadly, lacking any sort of comparable range. The shelves were packed with 3 for £10 and the standard supermarket fare (think ubiquitous plonk that you can find in any supermarket, Bargain Booze, Costcutter, Spar et al.).

However, before resigning myself to the Jacob's Creek, I did spot the "Taste the Difference" range and one or two others that caught my eye. Keenly priced and from regions/grapes not often found in your average 3 for £10. In fact, they were very keenly priced leading to an overall spend of only £47 - the cheapest yet. Grape types, styles and regions are all clearly explained on the bottle, which I thought was a nice touch, and probably a good way to get customers to trade-up. Barring a nice looking/sounding Syrah from Chile (reduced from £11.99 to £5.49) that had sold out, they were the only reasonable choices for my red selections. I found a pair of interesting whites, subsidised by another Taste the Difference wine, the 2010 Chablis. Seeing as we had the whites first, here they are:

So, were they any good...?

Oh and don't forget to follow me on Twitter for further little nuggets of wine-related stuff.

Vina Maipo, "Gran Reserva" Sauvignon Blanc, 2011

£5.49 (50% off, normally £11.99). A great find this turned out to be. From Chile's Valle Central and more than likely the Maipo sub-region, from the wine's name. A liberal usage of the term "Gran Reserva" adorns the label; I'm not quite sure what that means in terms of Sauv Blanc, this certainly hasn't seen any oak, or been aged significantly (being a 2011 vintage!). I guess they just want you to know it's "special"? 12.5%

The Look: Pale, lemony.
The Smell: Great smell of fresh passion fruit, gooseberry and a slight grassy herbaceousness.
The Taste: Pow! Overtly fruity but gorgeous. Vibrant, tingly acidity, punchy, stuffed full of tangy passion fruit. Slight smoky undertone.
The Score: Delicious, and at the sale price, an absolute bargain. 8/10. Highly Recommended
VFM: At the sale price this is immense value; VFM = 1.46, but still worth it at top-whack.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference, Chablis AOC, 2010

£8.99. This reasonably priced Chablis caught my eye. Being a modest AOC Chablis (rather than a Premier or Grand Cru) this would have been vinified in stainless steel to keep the freshness. I was hoping for that steely minerality underpinning lively fruit. 12.5%

The Look: Pale, lemony.
The Smell: Flinty, mineral, peachy, soft fruit.
The Taste: Very nice. It starts rich, plenty of soft peachy/pineapple fruit, the underpinning mineral notes were there, almost a nutty/leesy complexity but then transforms to a very fresh citrus zing, lemony and delicious. This was still in fine fettle after a week in the fridge with the screwcap on, which might suggest it should keep well for a year or two.
The Score: Lovely Chablis, great price. Can't ask for more. 7.5/10. Recommended
VFM: Quite simply; good value. VFM = 0.83.

Seifried, Sauvignon Blanc, Neslon, 2010

£8.99. We may have had this before from Naked Wines - my memory has never been the best! Anyway, slightly interesting as it's from Nelson rather than the ubiquitous (but nonetheless, great) Marlborough. Made by Heidi Seifried, I believe. Recycled the bottle a bit prematurely, so a quick Google reveals; 12.5%

The Look: Pale. Lemony. But this time some green hints too.
The Smell: Compared with the Maipo this was much more herbaceous; green pepper and grass dominated the nose.
The Taste: Green pepper, backed by very sharp, acidic gooseberry. Very savoury to begin with but developed a nice fruitiness with passion fruit and softer gooseberry but maintained the green pepper edge.
The Score: Good. Herby, peppery style but backed with enough fruit. 7.5/10. Recommended
VFM: At £8.99 there's a lot of competition in this price bracket, and plenty of generic branded NZ Sauv Blanc to be had for cheaper. Give this style a try if you're bored of the others. VFM = 0.83. Good value.

A great start from Sainsbury's. Keen prices, good scores and they fared a lot better than the Tesco Finest stuff. Can the reds do as well? Come back next week to have a look...

As always, speak to you soon!



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