WINE

Wilmslow Express - - LEISURE - ANDY CRON­SHAW

WINE has come to form one of the main bat­tle­grounds on which the su­per­mar­kets wage their pric­ing wars.

The growth of the dis­count stores, such as Aldi and Lidl, has been ac­com­pa­nied by a wine of­fer cal­cu­lated to way­lay cus­tomers not just from Asda and Tesco but also from the likes of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer.

Scan­di­na­vian dis­counter Netto has re­launched five new stores around the UK in part­ner­ship with Sains­bury’s and has one at Heaton Park.

Last year, I picked out its Lamotte Cham­pagne (£11.99) as the best of­fer bar none for fes­tive sparklers.

Rather than buy up ex­pen­sive Bordeaux, as Lidl has done, or of­fer an ‘ex­quis­ite’ col­lec­tion as in Aldi’s case, Netto is aim­ing squarely at the min­i­mum spend end of the mar­ket.

And the buy­ers are gen­er­ally sourc­ing ex­tremely good wines for the money.

I doubt that even the keen­est wine ex­perts will know much about the bot­tles and their pro­duc­ers but they rep­re­sent ex­cel­lent qual­ity in the £5 to £6 range.

I have also in­cluded in this list a bar­gain Côtes du Rhône-Vil­lages avail­able now at Waitrose. Castilla Felix So­lis NV (£3.29 Netto)

At this price level, Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne is tak­ing the lion’s share of the cost, so it’s even more re­mark­able that this wine is worth buy­ing. Chardon­nay is a rel­a­tively new ad­di­tion to the catch-all ap­pel­la­tion of Castilla which en­com­passes Spain’s hot, dry in­te­rior.

But new tech­niques are en­abling wine­mak­ers to pro­duce whites with acid­ity and rel­a­tive el­e­gance.

This is never go­ing to be the most so­phis­ti­cated ex­am­ple, but there are aro­mas of peach and pineap­ple and fur­ther trop­i­cal fruit flavours on the palate.

There’s enough fresh­ness here to make for a good party wine and cheap mid­week supper bot­tle. Fiorenza Chi­anti 2013 (£5.99 Netto)

This is def­i­nitely my pick of this trio of wines. It’s ev­ery­thing a mid­week meaty pasta wine should be.

Typ­i­cally, there are warm, savoury spices on the nose, such as cloves and cin­na­mon, while the ev­i­dent aroma of sour cher­ries car­ries through into the palate.

Higher qual­ity than I would ex­pect from a ba­sic Chi­anti let alone at this cheap price. Vina Saras­queta Rioja Reserva 2010 (£5.99 Netto)

‘This is def­i­nitely my pick of this trio of wines. It’s ev­ery­thing a mid­week meaty pasta wine should be’

There’s oaky vanilla and a lit­tle co­conut on the nose in this bar­gain Rioja.

The palate of­fers plenty of plummy spice, red fruits and de­cent acid­ity.

Les Dauphins Cru de Côtes du Rhône-Vil­lages Vin­so­bres 2013 (down to £8.99 from £13.99 un­til Fe­bru­ary 17)

This is a great price for one of the more pres­ti­gious Côtes Du Rhônes Vil­lages Vin­so­bres.

So pres­ti­gious in fact that this vil­lage was given its own ap­pel­la­tion and Cru sta­tus in 2006.

The qual­ity of the 40-year-old vines shines through in this wine, which is dom­i­nated by Grenache with some Syrah.

There are flo­ral notes on the nose with a sprin­kle of black pep­per while the palate mixes sum­mer berries with darker fruit.

The bal­ance is good and fin­ish long.

Cyrano Chardon­nay Vino De La Tierra de

Les Dauphins Cru de Côtes du RhôneVil­lages Vin­so­bres 2013

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