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Wine | Spotlight on New Zealand wines

by Martin Lury


Sainsbury’s is our destination this week with a tantalising 25 per cent off six bottles or more, valid until this Saturday – so do not be tardy and miss the boat!


New Zealand whites initially caught my eye and two in particular stood out, with the first being a Coolwater Bay 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc produced by the Yealands wine group – currently on offer for £6. This particular wine was fresh on the palate, delicate but striking with stone fruits and slight citrus notes – well worth a try!


My second selection was a Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and, as I had suspected, no sense of disappointment befell me – it was bursting with crisp gooseberries and would ideally complement oysters or seafood. The New Zealand climate of long sunny days and cool nights produces a unique combination of very ripe fruit alongside fresh acidity. This at the offer price of £6 is a juicy, refreshing wine with rich gooseberry, lime and tropical fruit flavours and is my bargain of the week to be snapped up post haste!


Very much, as is the case with London buses, a third Sauvignon Blanc came to my notice in the form of a Nzed 2015 Sauvignon Blanc hailing from the Southern Valleys whose cool climate and free draining loam suit the grape variety and at a discounted price of £5.25 is a more direct style of Sauvignon Blanc full of passion fruit and cool lime flavours.


Devilment now led me to their fine wine section and I was attracted to an unusually bland label on a 2015 Domaine Reverdy Ducroux Sancerre Beau Roy reduced from £14 to an enticing £10.50. This proved to be an inspired choice with this well-crafted Sancerre proving to be creamy, aromatic, fruity and refreshing, clean on the palate with delightfully balanced acidity and a long finish. Veritably, a wine to savour and at the offer price one to snap up!


Champers always has a siren-like quality, so I could not resist a decent Champagne in the form of Étienne Dumont now on offer at £13.50. This is, remarkably, the largest-selling Champagne brand in the UK offloading 122,000 cases in the year up to October and will further improve if stored for another year It is light refreshing and simple with fine bubbles and, whilst lacking the finesse of top Champagnes ,it does become progressively more mouth filling with more aeration.


It would be rude not to try another, so I noticed that their Laurent Perrier had been reduced from £35 to £25 and with the current offer was now retailing for a miserly £18.75. This is a fine toasting Champagne with bubbles aplenty and a fresh and delicate nose and pleasing complexity.


Four reds then caught my eye and my first selection, namely a Marques de Montino 2015 Rioja, a young wine with ripe cherries and a hint of spice, proved interesting and cost under £3.60. At a currently discounted price of £5.25 the Roc de Lussac 2013 Lussac Saint-Émilion,whose vines overlook the Dordogne river was an easy choice, given that the wines from the tiny commune of Lussac are of great colour and structure and this year’s 2013 wine is rich and substantial with pleasant long-lasting tannins and the perfect accompaniment to roast beef .


The third wine selection was a La Terrasse de La Garde Pessac-Léognan from 2013 on offer at £9.75 , a ruby-coloured red with a complex nose releasing woody and fruity scents and affording a long finish and well worth a try!


My pièce de résistance is a 2005 Serre Alte Barolo Riserva 2005 on offer for £18, a good price for a serious Barolo with a complex and generous bouquet, spice and vanilla to the fore, dry yet velvety and wonderfully smooth and a wine to cherish – top notch in my view!

Posted in Lifestyle.