Wotwine best value wines of the week – w/c 25th March 2019
The Wotwine panel of independent experts tastes 40 – 60 supermarket wines a week to pick out the top buys for you.
We won’t recommend a wine unless it is at least “Fair Value”, so worth within 10% either way of the retail price, but we try to find those that give you a bit of a bargain for your money. Happy and great value drinking … in moderation of course!
This week was a bit of a challenge for the Panel as, of the 40 wines tasted only one (yes one!) was rated as Good Value, with 65% of the bottles being judged Poor Value. Some were just not very good, which is disappointing given the effort supermarket buying teams go to but the real issue is pricing. Most of the wines are just marked up too much, some egregiously so. But Wotwine was founded to call out the turkeys and the rip-offs and help you find well-made wine, fairly priced … together with the occasional bargain!
Wines at under £5.00 per bottle are likely to be simple but we look for something solidly-made, free of any obvious faults with some characteristics of the grape variety.
In keeping with our policy of telling it as it is and never recommending something we don’t feel offers at least fair value, there were no wines below £5.00 we could recommend. Rising duty rates make this am increasingly difficult pricing target but we are reluctant to alter our price bands. Let’s set the challenge for the retailers to find value: Lidl and Aldi can do it on a regular basis so why not the others?
£5.00 – £7.49
This is the core of supermarket ranges and should be providing well-made wines with characteristics of the grape variety and a sense of place.
This week, we highlight a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Co-op that offers genuinely Good Value.
Runestone Sauvignon Blanc 2017
From: Co-op Price: £6.85 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £8.00 Tasting note:Nicely made, quite restrained, dry wine with asparagus, lemon juice, elderflower and hay character
ONLY AVAILABLE IN STORE
£7.50 – £9.99
Wines in this price rage should be clearly characteristic of variety and origin, with the best examples exhibiting skilled wine-making such as appropriate and deft use of oak. Finding a decent Pinot Noir at under £10 is challenging so this special offer from Tesco is one to buy! The larger brands tend not to feature on value list but this well-made example from Oyster Bay in New Zealand is normally priced at around £10 so still Fair Value.
Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2017 From: Tesco Price: £8.00 The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £9.50 Tasting note:Ripe, quite oaky wine with jammy red fruit and a touch of smoke.
£10.00 and over
Above £10.00, the wine should be delivering extra intensity and complexity, often also reflecting higher costs of production such as barrel fermentation or extended bottle ageing. This excellent Adelaide Hills Chardonnay was our Panel’s favourite wine of the week from a quality perspective and it’s reassuring to see the Co-op pricing it to offer Fair Value.
Vandenberg Chardonnay 2018
From: Co-op Price: £11.00
Wotwine thinks this is worth: £11.00 Tasting note: Nicely crisp and fresh, balanced wine with white peach and crunchy apple notes and good length.