Wine with Leslie: €10 bargain wines from all regions

There are some super wine bargains at the moment, especially from Bordeaux and Burgundy. Plus; a treat if your name is McCarthy
Wine with Leslie: €10 bargain wines from all regions

You can pick up bargain wines at Supervalu, Dunnes Stores, Aldi and Lidl.

My favourite time of year to holiday in France has always been early September, just as the grapes are ripening and the roads are a little quieter. A bonus of September in France is the tradition of the ‘Foire Aux Vins’ held by all the major supermarkets where you can pick up bargain wines from all regions but especially from Bordeaux and Burgundy.

SuperValu (and SuperQuinn before them) have long honoured this tradition. Even as prices for fine French wines have gone up and up, wine buyer, Kevin O’Callaghan, seems to be adept at finding at least a few good wines to sell at bargain prices.

SuperValu is not alone in this as O’Briens has a sale this month as does Dunnes (from the 9th), and both Aldi and Lidl also have new wine in stock. This week I’m focusing on SuperValu however as their 2021 sale has some startling value and they deserve to take over the column given these bargains.

I also like that SuperValu is investing in their consumers by bringing in guest wines specifically for the sale to increase choice and encourage shoppers to try something new. White wine sales in SuperValu are usually dominated by good value wines from New Zealand and South America but this month’s sale offers the chance to explore classic regions such as Chablis, Alsace and the Loire (eg. Sancerre and Vouvray). You might want to buy a few bottles if you have the cash as prices in the Loire and Burgundy will be higher next year due to severe frosts in Spring 2021.

Below I recommend six wines from the SuperValu sale, all bargains in their category. I could easily have featured more including Château Tour Baldoz Saint-Émilion 2018 at €30 (was €45), Lady da Mour Margaux 2018 at €24.75 (was €37) and Delas Crozes-Hermitage at €25 (was €38). If you collect good Bordeaux also look to O’Briens who have Foucas Hosten 2011 for €24 and Ch. Gloria 2016 for €60.

At the under-€15 price point in SuperValu there is value to be had from a range of regions including a solid Vouvray for €10 and a Fleurie and Beaujolais Villages from André Goichot at €10 each. If your name is McCarthy you might want to pick up some Château McCarthy from Saint Estephe which is reduced from €31 to €27 — I haven’t tasted it this year yet but have always found it reliable in the past.

Wines Under €15

Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc Réserve 2020, Alsace, France — €12
Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc Réserve 2020, Alsace, France — €12

Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc Réserve 2020, Alsace, France — €12

Stockist: SuperValu

Alsace Pinot Blanc is one of my favourite lunch wines, it works well with picnics and the lighter meals of summer as well as matching everything from many Chinese and Thai dishes to moules-frites. This is reduced from €18 and is a guest wine in for the sale. Creamy lemon aromas, textured and supple with a zesty lively palate and pleasing freshness on the finish.

Duboeuf Moulin à Vent 2019, Beaujolais, France — €12
Duboeuf Moulin à Vent 2019, Beaujolais, France — €12

Duboeuf Moulin à Vent 2019, Beaujolais, France — €12

Stockist: SuperValu

Duboeuf is long-established and a familiar name to most Irish wine consumers. I don’t much care for Duboeuf’s entry-level Beaujolais but this is a fairly textbook Beaujolais Cru at a very good price (reduced from €20) — a wine suited to the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Fruity and bright with black cherry aromas that follow through on the palate, supple and juicy with crunchy bright fruits, serve a little cool.

Château Moulin-Lafitte 2015 — €12.70
Château Moulin-Lafitte 2015 — €12.70

Château Moulin-Lafitte 2015 — €12.70

Stockist: SuperValu

My pick of the Bordeaux under €15 in SuperValu this month and a wine I featured in 2018. Three years later and it is now fully mature with a red centre and brown rim and the ripe chocolaty dark fruits have softened and developed. Cedar and pencil lead aromas have replaced some of the dark plum aromas and the wine is now mellower and more complex with stewed fruit flavours and pleasing savoury notes.

Wines Over €15

Louis Latour Meursault 2018, Burgundy, France — €45
Louis Latour Meursault 2018, Burgundy, France — €45

Louis Latour Meursault 2018, Burgundy, France — €45

Stockist: SuperValu

Meursault from a famed (and back on-form) producer like Louis Latour is a rare expensive treat, but made a little easier by the fact that SuperValu has reduced this from €65 to €45. Aromas of lemon zest, vanilla cream biscuits (if such a thing exists) and a hint of warm hay — layered and textured with lingering apple pie flavours and a fat and sappy palate, balanced by zingy freshness on the finish.

Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2020, France — €18
Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2020, France — €18

Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2020, France — €18

Stockist: SuperValu

Reduced from €24 and thus a rare thing: decent Burgundy for less than €20. Louis Latour’s reds are much improved and this is a very solid example of classic Bourgogne Rouge. Given its youth, this pours a bright purple and is still very much about primary fruits — it will mellow pleasingly in the next few years. Juicy raspberry and red cherry fruits, supple and textured with earthy red-currants on the mid-palate and finish.

Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne, Chablis, France — €18

Stockist: SuperValu

Simmonnet-Febvre is the only Chablis based Crémant producer and the cooler Chablis climate is perfect for crisp complex Crémant. This is a rock bottom price (reduced from €30) and beats any Champagne or Cava in the same price bracket I would argue. Pleasing lemon zest and biscuity aromas, a bright lively palate with more lemon tones mixed with green apples and a lingering brioche character.

Beer of the Week

Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne, Chablis, France — €18
Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne, Chablis, France — €18

Whiplash Velouria Double IPA, 8.2% ABV, 440ml — €5.60-5.99

Stockists: craftbeersdelivered.com, McHughs.ie, Matsons, No. 21, Bradleys, JJ O’Driscolls, Selected SuperValu, whiplashbeer.com/shop

Whiplash was created by Alex Lawes and Alan Wolfe when they worked at Rye River Brewing in 2016. Initially brewers with no facility of their own. Now, they have their own brewery in Ballyfermot and, to quote the song, every little thing they do is magic. This top-notch dipa is not in all the shops above so look online to be certain.

Velouria is brewed using Strata and Nelson hops. It pours a hazy light-gold with bright crisp aromas of pine, grapefruit, and tropical fruits: creamy and silky on the palate, with a slightly sour citrus character on the finish and lingering lemon verbena flavours.

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