2007 Tesco Finest Yarra Valley Pinot Noir
Tesco’s Finest range is a bit hit and miss, but some of the wines, like this Australian pinot noir, hit the bullseye. There’s evident oak on the nose, but less than in many New Zealand pinot noirs and it’s balanced by sweet, fresh, red cherry and raspberry fruit and a suggestion of rose petals. The oak also contributes a savoury, almost burgundian flavour and adds some textural richness, which can’t be bad. All in all, a smart pinot noir, made for Tesco by De Bortoli in the Yarra Valley east of Melbourne.
£13.49, Tesco (357 branches)
2007 Camel Valley Bacchus Dry
Bristlingly fresh and zesty dry white from Cornwall - everything English wine should be. Sorry I‘m not able to arrange slightly better weather for the Bank Holiday, but this will cheer up the view as you sit inside looking out at the cloud and rain. It has crisp, sappy, floral fruit and a herby, slightly smoky mineral edge. Ideal as an aperitif, but it would go well with shellfish, other simple fish dishes, asparagus or salad.
£10.95-£11.95, www.camelvalley.com; Great Western Wines, www.greatwesternwine.co.uk
2007 Poggiotondo Cerro del Masso Chianti
This is modern Chianti, with a deep colour and a degree of suppleness from ageing in French oak barrels, but it’s Chianti through and through – medium-bodied with cherryish fruit and an almondy, spicy patisserie character. It comes from outside Empoli (roughly halfway between Florence and Pisa), from the family estate of Alberto Antonini, a red winemaker and consultant of world renown. The 2007 has only just come in, so you may find your local Waitrose is still on the 2006, which is also good, though I think the 2007 just has the edge. I shall be tasting the first Poggiotondo white soon and will report back.
£7.59, Waitrose, including www.waitrosewine.com
Must try harder…
Tesco with its Big Kahuna White, a £4.99 chardonnay from Australia with a shrill pineapple and toothpick flavour. It’s in 223 stores (yes, 223 too many).