Discussing recently with friends the “supermarket bargains” that can be had – things such as the Cape Peak Heritage Chardonnay from Tesco, which one could pick up for a nifty £8.99 a bottle, but when on deal, you’d only have to pay another £1.01 for another 2 bottles of the stuff – it got us thinking about wines which actually do offer genuine value for money, wines which really do punch above the price tag…
We all decided that not one of us would have been happy had we paid the full £8.99 for either the Cape Peak Heritage Chardonnay, or the ridiculous £9.99 for the “Wines from France Sauvignon Blanc,” which for another penny would have seen you able to pick up another bottle… these crazy cuts are only possible if the supermarket has listed the wine at its “full price” for 28 days or so – and so the supermarket picks wines that are no-where near worth the price that they will put them on for those 28 days. This doesn’t happen with fruit and veg does it!? Imagine if you saw the minced beef put up to £15/ 500g – just so they can claim it’s 66% cheaper a month later – sadly, with wine, it is much easier for them to get away with this – and even more unfortunately, it completely under-values the brands which have signed up to these deals, and often limits customers to a select few brands.
At Ditton Wine Traders, we’re not able to offer these sorts of deals, and we’re quite proud of that, because our margins are as low as they can possibly be in the first instance. If Tesco are able to give the Cape Peak away at £3.33 per bottle, how can they justify charging £8.99 per bottle in the first place!? When we offer a wine, like our fabulous sparkling Blanquette de Limoux, at £11.92, that’s genuinely as low as we can go on the price, but believe us, it’s worth every penny! It scores half a point lower than the Dom Perignon 2003, as rated by Jancis, which would set you back around £100 for the bottle… We’re not saying it’s as good, but it certainly punches well above the £12/ bottle mark.
Prior to our recent tasting, held at Watermen’s Hall in London, Ditton Wine Traders had been on a quest to find some of the best value for money bottles out there – and our three favourites, which were also the favourites of the majority at our tasting, are highlighted below. These will certainly be making an appearance on my table this Christmas, and if you want to stray from the supermarket pack: These wines are the best way to…
Domaine J Laurens, Blanquette de Limoux – £90/ case IB (12x75) - £11.92/ bottle inc. duty & VAT
Pretty nose with a little bit of development on it. Tight bead. Bone dry. I suppose I like it because it is not so obviously Mauzac as, say, the Delmas. Tut, tut. Very, very clean though.
17/ 20 – Jancis Robinson
Mont Perat Blanc 2010 – FRANCE, Bordeaux – £76/ case IB (12x75) - £9.88/ bottle inc. duty & VAT
Lush fruit, honeyed melons and grapefruit are well-presented in this medium-bodied, delicious dry white.
87-89 Points, Robert Parker
The Clou du Pin delivers in a way the price would suggest it shouldn’t. Deep ruby colour, and a perfume of roasted coffee bean, blueberry and a hint of chocolate, showing elegant berry fruit and some spice on the palate – this is a deep, medium to full bodied wine with great concentration and texture. (The 2011 is the highest scoring Bordeaux Supérieur in the Decanter tasting of 2011 Bordeaux Supérieur – the 2010 in our opinion is much, much better!)