Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

September is Wine Sale month with the French wine sale at DunnesStores having begun on Tuesday last and SuperValu’s French sale on Thursday. Lidl’s French sale is wisely holding off until September 30 and Aldi and O’Briens have more general sales.

SuperValu has outdone itself this year with too many good wines to mention. Last week I featured the André Goichot Beaujolais Villages, Fleurie and Moulin à Vent, but I also recommend its Macon-Lugny (€10), its Montagny 1er Cru Les Resses (€20) and Chateau du Cray Mercurey Les Doués (€15).

The Goichot Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru and Pouilly Fuissé are solid enough but it was the Montagny and Mercurey most won me over.

Another white I had no room for is the Louis Latour Meursault which has been reduced from €60 to €42, a very fair price for a wine of this quality. Like all good Meursault this is richly textured with creamy vanilla and toasty soft fruits and a clean citrus streak for balance.

I also liked the Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne (€19) for its candied fruit aromas.

From the Rhone the Rémy Ferbras Gigondas 2014 (€15) was drinking very well as was the Domaine St Patrice Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2015 at €30 (reduced from €50) — proper Châteauneuf, big and bold, supple and rich, with heft and balance. From Bordeaux, Château Sissan is at €12 and as fruity as ever and I know I will definitely be picking up some of the honeyed Chateau Roumieu Sauternes (35cl) at €10.

Dunnes Stores has really upped its game in recent years when it comes to food and wine. The new Ilac Centre shop in Dublin is impressive andas well as the large wine section there is an in-store Sheridans Cheesemongers. Dunnes also opened a shop in Naas, Co Kildare recently and took over JC Savage in Swords, Co Dublin, long a source of bargains.

Besides the wines mentioned below also keep an eye out for the limited quantities of the excellent Pascal Jolivet Sancerre (€30) and ChâteauBellevue le Fôret from Fronton near Toulouse — normally around €15, Dunnes have it at €11. Lanson Champagne is down to €40 and thereare some good Bordeaux offers including Lions de Batailley, Chateau de Lamarque Haut Médoc and Chateau Siran Margaux.

Best value under €15

Domaine Laffitte Rosé, IGP Côtes de Gascogne, France — €8

Stockist: SuperValu nationwide

Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

From Gascony in the southwest, always a source of good valuewines. This good value rosé is made from 80% cabernet Franc and 20% marselan, floral and fragrant with bright lively red fruits on the palate and pleasing lingering strawberry fruit on the finish. The €8 Laffitte sauvignon is crisp and pleasing and the fruity malbec is also worth a try.

Muscadet Cotes De Grandlieu Sur-Lie, Loire,France — €10

Stockist: SuperValu nationwide

Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

From a fourth generation mature vineyard where the average age of the vines is 35 years this is a textbook Muscadet Sur-Lie resting eight months on its lees (post-fermentation dead yeast cells) to let the wine develop complexity. Lemony fruit aromas with a salt-pepper freshness, textured and full on the palate and perfect for light pasta, seafood, or as an aperitif.

Chateau Les Sablonnets Bordeaux, France — €9.50

Stockist: Dunnes Stores Nationwide

Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

This fruity young Bordeaux has blackcurrant aromas and textured plum and black cherry fruits on the palate. One for red meat and probablyadvisable to decant for an hour beforehand. Château Béchereau 2014 (€13.50) is also recommended — mature soft plummy merlot with good texture and supple tannins perfect for some lamb or beef.

Best value over €15

Guy Saget Pouilly Fumé, Loire,France — €15

Stockist: SuperValu Nationwide

Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

This is a nicely focused floral-mineral, salty fresh Pouilly Fumé withgood depth and fine lemony-apple fruits. The Saget Sancerre (also €15) is also solid, but better still is its Mégalithe Sancerre (€22) which is flinty and complex with focused vibrant fruits. At just €10 I also recommend the creamy light and lemony Alchime from Coteaux du Giennois.

Chateau Millegrand L’Aurone 2016, Languedoc,France — €17

Stockist: Dunnes Stores Nationwide

Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

There is something about Minervois, easily my favourite Languedoc AOP. This estate near Carcassonne was managed by the Abbey of Lagrasse from the 12th century until it was taken over by the Bonfils family in 2003. A blend of syrah, grenache, carignan and mourvèdre this has smoky red and black fruits, supple and fruity on the palate.

Château La Garde 2010 Pessac-Leognan,Bordeaux — €30

Stockist: Supervalu Nationwide

Wine with Leslie Williams: Celebrate Wine Sale Month with these French options

Vintages still matter in Bordeaux and there won’t be many opportunitiesto pick up wines from the great 2010 vintage so do try this if you likeBordeaux. From the gravelly Pessac-Léognan south of Bordeaux this is mainly cabernet with classic and black fruit aromas, full and complex with length, texture and density.

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