Asda Summer Wines Press Tasting highlights

10 05 2018

I’ve been doing some seasonal food and wine matching and today was a good opportunity to taste some of Asda’s range. It was also very appropriate that the wines had been arranged in flights to go with BBQs and picnics. Overall there were more highs than lows in terms of quality and there were some good value wines, particularly in the Extra Special range.

My highlights:

Best for BBQs (ascending price order):

  • Busby Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2017 Australia £4.98 – sweet and spicy, smooth and excellent value
  • Extra Special Primitivo 2016 Puglia, Italy £5.98 – deep dark fruit flavours with a warm, spicy hint that will go well with barbecued sausages as well as tomato-based pasta and pizza
  • Villa Vincini Il Gran Rosso 2017 Veneto, Italy £7.48 – attractive bottle and label. Like a mini Valpolicella made from Merlot and Corvina grapes. More of an autumnal wine but bags of flavour for your money.
  • De Bortoli Woodfired Shiraz 2016 Heathcote, Australia £8.98 – ripe, soft, well balanced, good all round
  • Plan de Dieu 2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages, France £8.98 – ripe, sweet Grenache with nice balance
  • Mont d’Aubaine Vacqueyras 2016 Rhone, France £10.58 – velvety, ripe and good concentration for this price
  • Trapiche Finca Las Palmas Malbec 2014 Mendoza, Argentina £11.98 – good, rich Malbec, ideal with barbecued steak
  • Orbitali Brunello di Montalcino 2011 Italy £18.98 – this may seem expensive but it’s good value for Brunello. The bottle age has mellowed the fruit and this is nutty and concentrated. Not in all stores but worth seeking out if you’re a fan of Italian reds.

Perfect for Picnics (ascending price order):

  • Wine Atlas Torrontes 2017 Mendoza, Argentina £4.98 – a bouquet of summer flowers on the nose with decent weight to the fruit on the palate too. Great value and very summery.
  • Extra Special South African Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Western Cape, South Africa £6.00 – a great value alternative to New Zealand Sauvignon with plenty of gooseberry fruit on the nose and palate.
  • Ca’Mandato Pinot Grigio 2017 Trentino, Italy £7.48 – definitely worth looking out for this tall bottle. Crisp and minerally with good character, length and concentration.
  • Extra Special Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2017 New Zealand £7.98 – this has 12% Shiraz in the blend which gives it a spicy overlay and added complexity.
  • Extra Special Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016 New Zealand £8.50 – juicy strawberry fruit flavours, not complex but very well priced Pinot.
  • Extra Special Chablis La Levee 2016 Burgundy, France £11.98 – typical Chablis which is maturing nicely and given the price of Chablis these days this is good value.

Sparkling:

I was not a fan of the Louis Bernard Champagnes but I did very much like the Casa Luis Cava Rose NV Penedes, Spain £5.98, terrific value with nicely balanced, delicate strawberry fruit. In fact I’d like to try this with some English strawberries (that might be an idea for my next article!).

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