Wednesday Wines – Episode 162 – 18 Top Tesco Picks

Here are 18 delicious wines from the recent Tesco Spring/Summer Tasting.

Sparkling

NV Croser Sparkling Brut, Adelaide Hills, South Australia £19

One of the most respected sparklers in Australia, Croser was first released in 1985 and is named after the great winemaking guru Brian Croser. Made in the traditional method and Pinot Noir dominant, this is a brilliant wine with delicious fruit and a lovely, long, dry finish. At £19, it dips in under most Champagne and English Sparkling wines, and I would go so far as to say that if you are planning a party this summer, this is the perfect wine to reward your guests with without blowing the budget. A rosé sibling, NV Croser Sparkling Rosé (£20), ticks all of the boxes, too, with a gorgeous wild strawberry nose and a savoury, tart finish.

White

2021 Tesco finest* Soave Classico Superiore, Veneto, Italy £7.50

This is absurd value for money, given it was one of the stand-out white wines in the line-up, made by the brilliant Cantina di Monteforte by Gaetano Tobin. Available in 746 stores, you are likely to be able to pick this up within a stone’s throw of your place, so there is no excuse for drinking dreary white wine with this beauty close by!

2022 Mount Impey, Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand £12

Made by the brilliant Alana McGettigan, this new Marlborough brand shone with the last couple of vintages, and this 2022 carries on in the same vein with bright, crunchy, citrus fruit and a refined, smooth finish. There are none of the fruit salad flavours I can’t abide in Kiwi Savvy, as Mount Impey keeps it clean, fresh, and perfectly refreshing.

2022 Tyrrell’s, Brookdale Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia £15

This is such a beautiful wine that it won a write-up in MoneyWeek last Friday, so I will hold off on a full note right here, and you can check out my MoneyWeek post.

2021 Mar de Frades, Albariño, Rías Baixas, Spain £16

This is a terrific wine, and it shows classic Albariño near-tropical notes alongside beautiful sea spray freshness. Lees aged there is decent depth here, making this an epic wine with all seafood and fresh fish dishes.

Rosé

2022 Mirabeau, Pure Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France £15.50

2022 Whispering Angel, Rosé, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, France £20

are both sold by Tesco, and these two wines have already both received glowing write-ups on this website!

Red

NV Eglise Saint-Jacques, Bergerac, France £6.50

This unassuming wine is an absolute belter made from 86% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Claret-shaped, bargain-priced and bright as a button, this is a cheeky little surprise, and it is easily palatable enough for fussy drinkers, given its accurate red fruit notes and pleasing earthy backdrop.

2022 Paul Mas, Languedoc Rouge, France £10

Made from 45% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, this is a hearty red with a nice twist of spice and some decent body. Tasting like a fresh Côtes-du-Rhône but without ponderous alcohol (only 13.5% alc.), there is more polish and bounce here than expected, making for a well-rounded main course red for all palates.

2020 Tesco finest* Valpolicella Ripasso, Veneto, Italy £11

This is the ‘brother’ to the Soave above in that it is made by another outstanding cooperative, Cantina di Valpantena. Deep, rich, blackberry and liquorice-scented, this is a delicious and superbly authentic wine, and it would love to be decanted to allow it to release its full array of aromas.

2019 D.V. Catena, Cabernet Franc Historico, Mendoza, Argentina £12

This wine seems to have been on the shelves for a couple of years because I remember writing it up in one of my Weekend Magazine articles and stopped working for the Mail nearly a year ago. Having said this, the extra age has improved this heady Cab Franc by softening the tannins are extending the finish. It is a lot of wine for twelve pounds, and if you match it to a classic Sunday lunch, you won’t go wrong!

2021 Howard Park, Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia £12

This wine has been featured in my 100 Best Australian Wines Report in years gone by, and this 2021 vintage is a stormer! Controlled, classy, long and energetic, this is a very smart wine for the money, and it underlines that well-selected, inexpensive Margaret River Cabernet is some of the greatest value red wine on earth.

2021 Fonte del Re, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Marche, Italy £15

I have bought this wine for years and years and listed it on a good few smart restaurant wine lists, too. Made from the rare Lacrima di Morro d’Alba red grape and boasting an enchanting perfume of rose petals and Turkish Delight, this spectacular wine works wonders with Indian dishes, particularly lamb curries. I can guarantee that you will have never tasted anything like this before.

2021 Wynn’s, The Siding Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, South Australia £15

This is another utterly awesome wine. Wynn’s is one of Australia’s iconic Cabernet Sauvignon producers, and The Siding is an early-drinking example of why Sue Hodder and her team are so respected in our industry. Sue was Chair of Judges at my The Great Australian Red competition in Adelaide earlier this year, and to think that you can buy one of her wines in 522 stores for only £15 is incredible. Put this wine and the Howard Park side by side for a fantastic Cabernet masterclass.

2019 Craggy Range, Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand £28

Julian Grounds at Craggy makes complex, smooth, super-classy wines with a European-shaped delivery and perfectly balanced oak. Drinking nicely, with purity, silkiness and freshness on the finish, this is a treat, and it knocks all red Burgundies at this price into a cocked hat! Admittedly, this is on the pricier side, but it is a great wine that will impress all-comers.

Sweet

2018 Tesco finest* Dessert Semillon, Riverina, South Eastern Australia £6.25 half bottle

This is the finest value sweet wine in the UK today. Made by Julie Mortlock at De Bortoli, this is sheer, liquid heaven with orange blossom and honey notes that last for minutes on the palate.

Fortified

NV La Gitana, Manzanilla, Hidalgo, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain £8.50

There is no need for an explanation here because this is the finest value dry, aperitif-style Sherry on the planet, and it is ludicrously inexpensive for this level of skill.

FIN