Two lovely own-label French wines from Sainsbury's

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Credit where credit is due. I wouldn’t usually find myself recommending you to hot-foot it to your local supermarket to buy wine, but here are two good own label wines from Sainsbury’s that I really enjoyed. The regular prices are 25% more than what they are on the shelves for at the moment (the prices I have quoted), at which point they aren’t so highly recommended. [I hate the way that pricing of wine is so opaque, and I wish it could be more honest across the board.]

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Pic St Loup 2011 Languedoc, France
From Les Coteaux du Pic, this is a blend of Syrah and Grenache that has the most lovely garrigue-like nose of olives, herbs and meat with some fresh plum and black cherry fruit, and a pepperiness that speaks of the northern Rhone. Supple, ripe and very drinkable with a real sense of place. This is why I like Pic St Loup so much. 89/100 (£7.49 Sainsbury’s)

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Limoux Chardonnay 2012 France
From 50 year old vines, sourced from the talented J-C Mas, this is a powerful, vivid Chardonnay with notes of peach, pear and fig with fresh citrus notes too, as well as hazelnut and toast. Lots of flavour here, with some apricot on the finish, reminding me a bit of Viognier. 88/100 (£8.24 Sainsbury’s)

4 comments to Two lovely own-label French wines from Sainsbury’s

  • fatFred

    Bread and which side its buttered on come to mind.

  • From what I can see from the label this comes from Les Vignerons du Pic st Loup at Saint Martin de Tréviers. They have a very long track record e.g. supplied British Airways with 1/4 bottles of red back in the 1990s. Those were the days when supermarket wines seemed to be really something. All in all good to see.

  • Terry toulouse

    Limoux is Nirvana for chardonnays at reasonable prices
    I’m off to Domaine Begude to check out their chardonnay, viognier
    and pinot noir this week.

  • Giles

    Thanks for this. There are so many Sainsburys own label wines now that it’s difficult to know which ones are worth trying (I had their new Priorat last night and it’s ok, a little heavy but would work with winter food). Sainsburys is my local and it seems clear to me that their intention is to massively increase their own label offerings at the expense of other independent wines. They can no doubt point to statistics which show the overall number of wine choices is increasing (as they are introducing more own label varieties all the time, e.g. the Priorat and a new Marlborough Riesling I hadn’t seen before) and that sales of their own label wines are outperforming other brands (no doubt because at any one time some of them are on discount).

    The main problem I’ve found with the Taste the Difference range is that often the name of the producer/supplier doesn’t live up to what’s actually in the bottle. So the Yarra Valley chardonnay should be very good, being made by Yering Station, but it’s a pale imitation of what that region can produce. Equally one of their several own Marlborough sauvignon blancs is from Yealands Estate, but Sainsburys also carry Yealands’ own label sb which is infinitely better than the Taste the Difference offering.

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