Top 10 Tesco Wines 2015

Top 10 Wines From Tesco's Spring Tasting

by Angela Mount

We saw a fine turnout of wines at the recent Tesco Spring Press tasting, where they showcased wines for the coming summer season. The buyers and product selectors remain committed to snapping up the best wines for their FINEST range; I tasted new vintages of previous favourites and also found some new discoveries – here are my top ten:

Tesco Finest Blanquette de Limoux
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Tesco Finest Blanquette de Limoux NV - Now £10.99

I’ve written numerous times about Tesco’s Finest Prosecco and Finest Pignoletto; here’s a new one. Blanquette de Limoux is a perky, breezy fizz from southern France, from the region of Limoux, which manages to produce some of the freshest, liveliest and brightest white wines, as well as fizz, due to its higher hills and cooler climate than other areas of the South. Limoux is in the south-west, not far from Carcassonne, and from the hills of Limoux, you can see the peaks of the Pyrenees. Made predominantly from the little-known Mauzac grape, with a dollop of Chardonnay and Chenin, it’s produced in the same way as Champagne but tastes very different. It enchanted me immediately with its bright, perfumed aromas of bright, crisp granny smith apple, and lemon peel. It’s crisp and fresh, but with real personality, and character. Think ripe pears, grapefruit, and a zing of mouth-tingling freshness. A terrific aperitif, and a point of difference from Prosecco overload.

Tesco Finest Cotes de Gascogne
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Finest Cotes de Gascogne 2014 - Now £7.99

Tesco are understandably proud of this crackingly crisp, and refreshing dry white. It’s one of the stalwarts of the range, and deservedly so. Just south-east of the popular Dordogne region, nestles the rustic, bucolic, charming region of Gascony, where food and wine are the heroes of the community. Try this bright and breezy, citrusy white, made from the little-known, Gros Manseng (the local hero grape), with a 20% dollop of Sauvignon Blanc. Refreshment in a glass – it’s zingy, it’s mouth-tinglingly fresh, and it’s sassy. packed full of russet apple, fresh lemon, wild herbs and tangy character, it’s a lovely, fresh, searingly dry white to liven up any evening – perfect aperitif wine, and spot on with a bowl of mussels, a plate of chargrilled prawns, or a simple salad.

Tesco Finest Fiano
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Finest Fiano 2014 - Now £5.49

In a room full of wine writers, there’s often debate, discussion and disagreements about the wines on show at a press tasting. However, this was definitely one of the wines, which had the majority of us nodding in approval. It’s a fine example of the vibrant, characterful styles of white wine that the sun-baked island of Sicily is now producing. Absolutely delicious in its succulent ripeness, it’s packed to the brim with perfumed peach, nectarine, and tangerine peel scents and flavours, with a warm, creamy softness, and great personality. The new vintage will be hitting the shelves very soon, and is very impressive, so snap it up quick, at this ridiculously low price. Perfect with relaxed weekend lunches, especially alfresco ones; great with pan-fried fish with citrusy chermoula, the freshest of prawns, or fruity and spiced chicken couscous.

Tesco Finest Soave
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Finest Soave Classico Superiore 2013 - Now £7.99

There’s Soave, and there’s Soave… too many wine drinkers have been put off this often-gorgeous, northern Italian white, because of the gallons of cheap, thin, tasteless, basic Soave that flood the shelves. Step up Tesco’s Finest Soave Classico Superiore, a golden-hued beauty, blessed with style, depth and pzazz, which should be able to tempt even the most hardened of the ‘anti-Soave’ brigade back into the fold. With its sophisticated black and gold label, it has breeding and class, yet at an almost ridiculously low price. Produced from some of the best vineyards in the Soave Classico region (close to Verona), and made from the Garganega grape, this one’s benefitted from a teeny bit of time in oak barrels. This doesn’t add an oaky flavour, for those of you, who don’t like oak, it simply adds a level of depth, interest and complexity to the wine. It’s rich and floral, yet bone dry; silky smooth and lingering. With scents of peach blossom, and ripe pears, it’s full of enticing, tangy nectarine and baked apple fruit, with a hint of almonds and a tangy finish – with a delicious creaminess, this is a great food wine, with pan-fried fish, in a creamy sauce, chargrilled prawns, seafood pasta, and lemon and herb-basted buttery roast chicken.

Tesco Finest Riesling
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Finest Tingleup Great Southern Riesling 2012 - Now £7.99

This is one of the best, and most exciting wines in the Tesco Finest Collection, and a firm favourite of mine - and what a great name! Brimming over with pithy, zesty, mouth-tingling fresh lime, it’s as exuberant and fresh on the nose, as it is to taste. It’s produced in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, an area of unspoilt beauty, on the southern coast; the breezes from the ocean, and the high hills combine to provide the perfect climate and growing environment for the glorious, but temperamental Riesling grape, which needs cool nights, and a long growing season to bring out its unique, world class qualities. This is utterly delicious – swirl it around the glass and you’ll be rewarded with pronounced scents of lime blossom, honeysuckle, lime zest and a touch of acacia honey. Taste it, and enjoy the super-fresh, tantalizing flavours and sheer style of this wine; it’s delightfully dry, yet aromatic, combining those sweet and sour flavours that you find in Asian dishes, which makes dry Riesling so unique, and so perfect with that style of food. Lime, blossom, lemon, and a touch of granny smith apples, with a lovely, racy acidity, and tangy finish. This is one which will keep and simply improve, so stock up on a few bottles. If you can’t wait to drink them, match with anything Asian and spicy, roast pork with fruity sauce, or the freshest of seafood.

Simply Merlot
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Simply Bulgarian Merlot NV - Now £4.20

Well, this was a bit of a revelation! Bulgarian? Under £5? Are we back in the eighties? It’s true. And this wine surprised quite a few of us at the press tasting last week (in a good way). Bulgarian wines were the darlings of the wine scene about 25 years ago, hitting the shelves, just before the triumphant arrival of the Australian pretenders to the throne. They’ve since sunk into the doldrums, so congratulations to Tesco, in working with one of the leading Bulgarian wine producers, and bringing these wines back into the fold. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not a complicated or sophisticated wine – but it’s a damned good one at the price! You can’t really go wrong here – simple, juicy, friendly, baked plum, blackberry and spiced –stashed fruit, with a soft, bright finish – a great midweek red with pizza, lasagna or lamb chops.

Tesco Finest Tempranillo
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Finest Old Vines Tempranillo 2013 - Now £6.99

If you enjoy rich, full-bodied, yet velvety-soft reds, this blackberry and spice-stashed Spanish red is well worth a try. Made entirely from the Tempranillo grape, grown on old bush vines, in northern Spain, it’s a bold, delicious explosion of flavours, with toasty oak, and an easy-drinking, fruity ripeness. Brimming over with dark plum, and black cherry fruit, it’s dusted with a sprinkling of wild herbs, and a warm, toasty edge. Fabulous value, and a great midweek red, whatever the weather – equally at home with steak pie, or beef stew, as with chargrilled lamb chops and barbecued burgers and sausages.

Tesco Finest Teroldego
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Finest Teroldego 2013 - Now £5.99

I love the cheerful, bright, vibrancy of this lively, juicy red from the high slopes nestling under the Italian Alps. It’s an Alpine, Tyrolean red from the little- known, but well established Teroldego red grape, which has made its home in the Southern Alps. It’s a lighter, fresher, juicier style of red, and a world away from the style of its dark and brooding Southern Italian cousins. If you like lighter styles of red, this is a good bet – lively, fresh, and full of red cherry, cranberry and crushed raspberry fruit, with a hint of cedar and spice. Perky and bright, it’s the perfect choice if you don’t like heavy, oaked reds, it’s a refreshing 12.5% alcohol, and it’s a cracking match with simple charcuterie platters, carpaccio, spaghetti carbonara, and also bacon and herb chicken.

Tesco Finest Nero davola
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Finest Nero D’Avola 2014 - Now £5.49

I seem to be featuring lots of Italian wine in my top ten – no apologies for this, I happen to think the product selectors at Tesco have done a very good job here. Years ago, Sicily was producing vast quantities of pretty indifferent wine – there’s been a revolution here in the last 20 years, and this sun-baked island is now making some really top-notch stuff. Tesco have teamed up with one of the top producers for this delightful, bright, and berry fruit-stashed red. From one of my favourite red grapes, the soft, silky, and scented Nero D’Avola, this is a lovely, bright, charmingly bold and juicy red, packed full of soft, velvety, crushed dark berry fruit. With hints of wild thyme, and an edge of spice, it’s a sumptuously smooth, and enticing red, which would work beautifully with herb-dusted roast lamb, softly-spiced Moroccan tagines, and rich, meaty pasta dishes.

Tesco Finest Malbec
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Finest Argentinian Malbec 2014 - Now £5.99

Malbec is rapidly climbing to the top of the charts in terms of popularity of red grapes. Originally from south west France, the Malbec grape is now Argentina’s hero grape, and is the main reason that sales of Argentinian wines are rocketing right now. Add a classic Argentine steak, and it’s a match made in heaven. Big, bold, macho flavours, fuse together perfectly. The Tesco Malbec of choice is from Catena Zapata, one of the top producers in the country. With vineyards nestled in the foothills of the majestic Andes, the climate is perfect, and the wines are pretty damned good. This one is bold and fleshy, with a smouldering, sensuous Latin charm. It’s a hug in a glass – warm, deceptively soft, and velvety, packed with dark, brooding blackberry and hedgerow fruits, overlaid with a bitter chocolate richness. Steak is the obvious match, as is roast beef, but it’s also a great partner to spicy Mexican tacos and burritos, and works a treat with spicy curries too.

*This article is showing the prices and stock available on 30/04/2015.
**Please note some of the vintages that Angela Mount tasted are not yet available online.

by Angela Mount, 30th April 2015

Angela Mount

Angela Mount

Angela Mount is a wine expert, writer, and presenter, and is also responsible for the the range selection for online wine retailer She famously had her taste buds insured for £10million by her former employers Somerfield.

Read more articles by: Angela Mount

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