Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Best 10 under £10 at Jeroboams Summer Tasting

Jeroboams fine wine merchant invited me to their summer tasting and unfortunately I was double-booked so didn't have much time. I set myself the task of tasting only the wines under £10 and finding the best ones.


Cote Mas Piquepoul Frisant, Paul Mas, Vin de France 2013 £8.50 - this was a lively sparkling with stone fruit flavours and minerality. It lacked some of the autolytic flavours (toast, yeast etc.) from Champagne, but I have to say a sparkling from France that's not Champagne tends to be awfully good value.


Excellens Blanco, marques de caceres, Rioja 2013 £7.50 - a white Rioja is often overlooked and hence often good value. This was exceptional, my favourite white on the night, with tropical fruit flavours and a lovely minerality.

Hunter's Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2013 £8.95 - Everything you should expect.

Quincy, Domaine Andre Pigeat, Loire 2013 £9.95 - Pretty good value from the Loire (buying from vineyards next to premium ones such as Sancerre often gets you a good deal). Lovely Qumquat flavour.


Villa Wolf Rose, Pinot Noir, Ernst Loosen Pfalz, Germany 2012 £8.95 - Delicious peach and lemon sherbert flavours, light with a little residual sugar, like eating a fruit salad.


Les Tannes Syrah, Tradition, IGP Pays D'Oc, Paul Mas 2012 £6.95 - this was my favourite red, it had fantastic structure, its organic, you can taste violets, and I would consider it to be a touch arrogant (well Jancis Robinson likes it too, so why shouldn't it be?).

Rosso Maniero, IGT Colli della Toscana Centrale, Fattoria Casaloste, Italy 2010 £10.95 - OK I've gone over £10 for this one, but its worth it, its very heavy, savoury, with umami flavours, wondering if it has Mafia connections with the punch it pulls!

Fleurie, Domaine de Sermezy, Patrice Chevrier, Beaujolais 2011 £9.95 - light and delicious, plenty of red fruits bursting on the palate, exactly what you expect from a Fleurie.

Raza Reserva Malbec, Famatina Valley, Vinas Riojanas 2012 £7.95 - Most people I know will love a Malbec when they're having steak in a restaurant, but never at home. For this price, its time to get Malbec on your dinner table! This has had 12 months in oak, but is still quite young, so could age a bit to allow those leathery flavours to develop.

St Nicholas de Bourgueil, Les VII Arpents, Foucher-Lebrun, Loire £8.50 - this is fresh yet smokey, and perhaps a little young, but in six months' time you'll be licking your lips to get a taste of this.

10 at £10, bargain! I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised, these wines are really something. Although Jeroboams are known for their fine wines, I think you'd be pleased to have them as your wine merchant, even if your budget is £10 a bottle. They will be able to tailor to your tastes, learn over time what style of wine you prefer, and I'm sure they'd be happy to serve your needs even with a limited budget, although you'll have to forgive them for up-selling occasionally I'm sure. Same goes for other merchants. It might be daunting at first, but you certainly get better value wines than from a supermarket. Plus you'll be getting wines from the more obscure producers and brands. Only downside really is you don't get to browse and choose (my favourite thing to do, although I know others hate that task), and you have to buy by the case (which shouldn't be a problem if you drink as much wine as I do, but might be if you're on a weekly budget).

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