World-class wines available in UK supermarkets
It’s good news today for wine fans with an eye for a bargain as the International Wine Challenge (IWC) reveals its 2018 Great Value Champions. Following a host of experts blind-tasting thousands of wines, the IWC have selected six winners, each offering a world-class wine for world-class value.
Five of the ‘big six’ are available within UK supermarkets – making good wine more accessible than ever for UK wine aficionados – with two being from supermarket own-brand ranges.
Celebrating this summer? Tesco’s own label Finest Premier Cru Champagne NV won the award for IWC Great Value Champion Sparkling 2018. Judges described a toasty nose with a nice floral lift plus a palate of concentrated citrus and red apple fruits. Available for £19.00 from Tesco.
To Lebanon, where Domaine des Tourelles Red 2014 has been revealed as winner of the IWC Great Value Champion Red 2018. This is a beautifully scented red – wild and aromatic with notes of Mediterranean herbs, bramble and sweet strawberry fruit framed by subtle oak. Priced at a very reasonable £12.99, Brits can find this Lebanese red from a variety of UK wide independents including Borough Wines, Highbury Vintners, Worth Brothers, D Byrne, and Woodwinters.
Meanwhile the IWC Great Value Champion White 2018 medal has gone to Viré-Cléssé 2016 from Florent Rouve – a Chardonnay available from Marks and Spencer. This is a richly fruited wine with vivid acidity, which the judges described as ‘sheer deliciousness.’ This is a terrific white available for under £15.
At this time of year many of us are looking, to drink rosé and top of the picks at the IWC this year for a IWC Great Value Champion Rosé is Baron Gassier Cuvée Elegance 2017. This wine is vibrant with a round finish and a delicate, elegant energy. Those looking to sample it for themselves should head to Sainsbury’s where it’s on sale at just £12.00.
Another own-label, with Booths Manzanilla Sherry winning the award for the IWC Great Value Champion Fortified Wine. This was described as a classic example of a benchmark Manzanilla with intense, pungent, salty bready notes, and hints of nuts and green apple. Perfect with seafood. Available for £7.75 from regional supermarket Booths.
Finally, to the IWC Great Value Champion Sweet 2018 and standing ahead of the pack is Château De Myrat Sauternes Grand Cru Classé. This is an outstanding example of botrytis wine with light spice mixing with a cacophony of fruit and nut, including apricot, candied peel, macadamia, toasted almond and a balancing acidity. This award-winning wine is available for just £11.99 from Aldi.
To qualify for a Great Value Trophy, wines must retail under specific price points: £15 for still and sweet wine and £25 for sparkling. Wines must also win a Gold or Silver medal and be nationally available in supermarkets, independent retailers or online. Still wines must have at least 100,000 bottles available, sparkling wines need 60,000 bottles available and fortified and sweet wines must have 6,000 bottles in circulation.
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chair at the International Wine Challenge commented:
“We’re always thrilled to see good wines positioned at a reasonable and accessible price points. And gone is supermarket snobbery; these days many of us head to our ‘local’ to pick up a bottle – and it’s good for consumers to know that the supermarket can be as good a place as any to find really decent, in fact sometimes exceptional wine. Our congratulations to some worthy winners.”