Transatlantic negotiations notwithstanding, Sainsbury’s Chichester store was my port of call this week with a focus on flavoursome white wines for a summer afternoon and red wines for indoor evening supping.
Two white wines from Australia and two others of French provenance initially caught my eye, with the reliable McGuigan Estate from South Australia offering a 2017 Sauvignon Blanc for just £5.
Crisp and dry (but not a vegetable oil) with citrus and passion fruit flavours to the fore, this wine is well balanced, has good acidity and is decidedly fresh and a snip at this price!
McGuigan wines are synonymous with quality and thus, for £1 extra, the 2017 McGuigan Reserve Chardonnay utterly failed to disappoint, being of a good vintage with crisp ripe apple and white peach on the palate and having a delightfully creamy texture culminating in a good subtle oak finish.
This well-crafted wine is reminiscent of Southern Burgundy in style, but at almost half the price and is one I wholeheartedly recommend as a summer evening post-work tipple!
My third wine selection is the rising star that is Picpoul De Pinet (move aside oh-so-bland Pinot Grigio ) and for an outlay of seven readies I was able to procure a 2016 Baron De Guers Picpoul De Pinet from Pomérols in the Languedoc and from vineyards overlooking the sea.
Lovers of soft Chardonnays should like this example being fresh, exuding green apples with lemon and lime notes. A good summer drinking wine and an eminently food-friendly one (excellent with seafood in particular).
The other French white came in the form of a 2016 Château de La Pierre Côtes de Grandlieu Muscadet Sur Lie currently on offer for £7.50. The old vine character of this wine is most evident with intense minerality affording an alluring texture allied to refreshing fruit flavours of green apple and pear. Sporting a slight spritz, this Nantes Muscadet is an ideal summer’s drink or apéritif given its delicacy and balanced acidity and pairs well with any shellfish.
Quant aux vins rouges, I opted to compare three Malbecs and one French Médoc. The Barefoot Californian Malbec was competitively priced at £5.75, but inspired me little with the jammy taste I associate with cheaper Argentinian Malbecs.
However, each to his own, I accept some people might have a more favourable reaction to this number. Argentinian Malbecs these days are more comparable to Old World wines and command general respect and thus, for an expenditure of £7.50, I was able to avail myself of a 2017 Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Argentinian Fairtrade Malbec which proved to be smooth, dry and full-bodied with blackberry overtones and a hint of spice in the finish.
It oozes damson and blackcurrant, has silky smooth tannins and a dry finish with sweet vanilla and a little black pepper spice and is a very good buy at this offer price!
The third Malbec was one of my all-time favourites, namely an Argentinian D.V.Catena Malbec of the 2015 vintage and on offer for £10. Just one sip can send you into transports of delight as this beautifully smooth and subtle Malbec hits your taste buds with its black fruits, black pepper spice, hints of vanilla and a decidedly long finish – a Bordeaux -style Malbec and one to savour!
Finally, the 2016 Pavillon La Tourelle Médoc , currently on offer at £8.50, was eminently quaffable and, with black fruit and berry flavours, would complement a roast beef lunch.
Allow the wine to breathe a while to appreciate the full fruit flavour and a wine well worth a try, à mon avis – À bientôt!