|Photo: Kimerydavis (CCL)|
Working in this industry, you start to realise the true cost of products and the reasons behind that price. So when wines like these do come along, it's not only refreshing but is also a true testament to winemakers and their passion for quality over profit.
More often than not, wines like these will be grown 'over the road' or 'just round the corner' from the more recognisable names and appellations.
Take this red for instance.
Finca Carelio Tempranillo 2011 (currently £6.66 at Majestic)
If it wasn't for 10% of the grapes coming from just outside the region, this wine would be a Ribera Del Duero and would probably command about three times the price it's currently listed at. Legally it has to be labelled as Castilla Y Leon.
On the nose this wine is typically Spanish with juicy cassis and leather. The palate is velvety smooth with more black fruit, liqourice, sweet spice and a warm toasty finish. It's lifted by very fine tannin and a fresh acidity that makes this one of the sumptuous wines on the market for under £7. To be precise, it's currently on offer at Majestic for £6.66 a bottle. The only drawback? It's a one off parcel so get it while you still can!
One supermarket who are renowned for their low prices are certainly getting in on the action. Aldi have been storming their way into the market with bloody good wines at bloody good prices. They may not be first on the list for stocking up the rack, but they sell some absolute gems!
A fine example is their Champagne:
Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut by Philizot (£9.99, Aldi)
Ordinarily, good Champagne comes in at around £15 at entry level, so to get this at £9.99 is verging on ridiculous!
With all the hallmarks of a classic, the nose is fresh with green apple and delicate bready notes without being too yeasty. On the palate it's racy acidity brings fresh green fruit with lightly toasted brioche and a crisp finish worthy of being twice the price. It's not just us that think it's great, it's also won a Silver medal from Decanter and a Bronze at the International Wine Challenge!
Sweet wine has always been a touch more expensive than it's dry cousins. Due to it being a more labour intensive process, smaller amounts being produced and a higher margin for error, prices can creep up. Another major factor that dictates the numbers on the shelf is provenance. When thinking of French dessert wines, Sauternes is more often than not the go to region. But if you look elsewhere, say, across the Garonne river, you will find classic French sweeties for far less.
Chateau La Grave Sainte Croix du Mont, 2010 (£8.95, The Wine Society)
Facing Sauternes and using the same production methods, the grapes are hand harvested and go through a rigorous selection process to ensure optimum ripeness and levels of noble rot. Slightly lighter and not as full bodied as some Sauternes, this wine displays elegant tropical fruit with touches of honey and superbly sweet finish. For a mere £8.95 from The Wine Society, this will pair well with a broad range of desserts and even stand up to a good cheeseboard.
These wines prove that you don't have to pay top dollar to get quality. Explore unknown regions! If you're looking at a wine and don't recognise the region, pick up that electrical rectangle in your pocket and find out about it! And if it turns out to be rubbish, at least you haven't spent a fortune on it.