Thursday, 4 September 2014

#finestwinewords: 5 Top Tesco's Finest Wines

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to a very interesting wine event hosted by Tesco Wines. They had invited a cross-section of people to taste 100 different wines from their finest* range.

The focus of this tasting was to get the participants to sample the wines in the range and then to use their own words to provide accessible, relevant reviews. The reviews were to be completed anonymously and then collated by the organisers who would use them to produce a word map to describe the wines in their range.
This was a very interesting idea; looking to people from across the wine spectrum (all the way from professionals with years of experience and qualification to enthusiastic amateurs like me) to provide their own adjectives, analogies and perspectives on the wines that can then be used in Tesco's advertising.

To cite one example I thought about; how useful is it when advertising wine to talk about "minerality"? I use it a lot in my personal notes and pieces that I write about wine because it is important to me and I find it a useful aspect in wine descriptions in understanding the quality of a wine. However, if I were a complete wine novice and browsing the shelves of Tesco would "minerality" as part of the product description be useful? Most likely not. So, if in my reviews I used "mineralic" because that was the word that best summed up the wine for me, maybe someone else would have used "clean", "bright", "fresh", "racy" etc and that would mean more to the consumer.
The event was organised very well. We were given a notebook which detailed the 100 finest* wines that were on show and were organised by category. Categories included: Classic, Quirky, Trendy, Trophy, Winemaker, Rosé, Sparkling, Fortified/Sweet and Limited Edition.

We were told that we could try as many of the wines as we wanted. I made notes on 25 of the wines, which I think was pretty good going. The range varied from between £5/bottle to £25/bottle and quality, as would be expected, varied considerably over the wines that I sampled.

However, what was most apparent for me was the idea behind the finest* range; the examples selected to be in the range all had a definite typicity to them. By this I mean that the finest* Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough was everything that one would expect from this style of wine from this region - you tend to know what you are going to get. Which makes them great go-to wines; whether you are looking to a region/grape that you know and love or whether you are looking to expand your horizons a little, the wine selected will be a typical and decent quality example of its type.
I won't go through here all of the wines that I tried, but here were some of the highlights:

Tesco's finest* Meursault (2011, £20.99): a delicious, inviting nose with a pure, racy and vibrant character on the palate. Bags of minerality (told you I used that word a lot...) Pleasingly long finish. Very decent - 7.0

Tesco's finest* Albariño (2013, £7.49): not overly fruity on the nose, but a charming character to the wine. On the mouth it had elements of peach to it, with a clean mid-palate and a fresh finish. Great value, solid wine - 6.0

Tesco's finest* Alsace Gewürztraminer (2013, £7.99): enticing and colourful nose perfumed with honeydew melon and honey, on tasting it was well rounded with a twinge of spice. I have had a very mixed relationship with Gewürztraminers and I was expecting to be disappointed by this, I really wasn't. Excellent value - 7.0

Tesco's finest* Sauternes (2009, £13.99/half): a perfumed, floral nose leading onto a sweet, rich and delicious mouth. All the fun of Sauternes at a very decent price - 7.5

Tesco's finest* Cune Gran Reserva Rioja (2007, £23.99): a heady, aromatic nose with earthy tobacco notes. On the mouth it was soft, supple and rounded with bags of black fruit bursting forth. A great wine, probably the best that I tried in the evening - 8.0

I would like to thank the team from Tesco (Gemma Duncan - the organiser, Graham Nash and Lucy Clements) for their hospitality, this was an excellent and innovative event and I hope that they got a lot of good, interesting, useful and accessible words for their advertising campaigns.

Disclosure: The tasting was provided at no cost to me, opinions provided above are my own.


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