The Asda Wine Shop

POSTED ON 24/05/2014

You have to feel for Asda. Ok maybe you don’t, but squeezed between the devil of the discounters and the deep blue sea of Waitrose, M & S and Majestic, life just got tougher for the middle ground supermarket. So credit to the wine team’s Philippa Carr, an experienced but unstuffy Master of Wine who’s getting to grips with the need to keep prices down while raising customers’ expectations of improved quality. One answer is to stock 500 wines, including 100 premium wines, in the Asda online Wine Shop, with free delivery and 10% off Wine Shop orders till 1 June.

There was a summery feel to this Spring’s press tasting in London kicking off with a 2013 Extra Special Gavi, £8, a juicy northern Italian dry white with crisp Cox’s apple bite, a classically aromatic, refreshingly zesty and gooseberry-filled 2013 Erruzuriz Estate Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, £9.47, Wine Shop, and a wonderfully fresh and fragrantly peachy 2013 Trivento Amado Torrontés, Wine Shop, £14.38. The richly spiced and weighty, Alsace-like 2012 Yealands Estate Awatare Pinot Gris, £12.47, Wine Shop is a welcome addition to the range, while the nutty, dry, white Burgundy-like 2013 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay, £10, is a reliable shelf stalwart.

There are some attractive new reds to the range too, most notably an aromatic, spicy, blackberryish and extremely fruity 2012 Musita Syrah from Sicily, £7.47, Wine Shop, and an excellent, typically herbal, opulently succulent, blackcurranty 2010 Valdivieso Single Vineyard Carmenère, £12.79, Wine Shop, while Wither Hills’ 2011 Extra Special Marlborough Pinot Noir, £8.48, offers enduring good value for those in search of the fragrantly strawberryish red Burgundy style without have to pay through the nose for it. Every little helps, or is that the other one?

Something for The Weekend

Night In

2012 Tesco Finest* Saint Mont

The three musketeers, gros manseng, petit courbu and arrufiac, imbue this heady South West French dry white with exotic citrus fruits aromas and a crisp, zestily refreshing, grapefruity tang. £7.49, reduced to £5.99, until 1 July, Tesco.

Dinner Party

2011 Heggies Chardonnay, Eden Valley

Made from chardonnay grown in the cool Eden Valley, this is an accomplished dry white Burgundy style in which complex, lees-derived aromas mingle with rich toasty flavours and combine in a seamless, nutty finish. £19.99, buy 2 = £14.99, Majestic.

Splash Out

2010 Le Soula, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes.

Pepper, spice and rosemary are followed by a garrigue-herb-infused black fruits savouriness and a texture that’s supple while still in the youthful grip of a bright, damsony freshness. £22.75-25.95, AG Wines, Berry Bros., PM Wine Cellars.

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