At the Tesco press tasting

Off to Millbank today for the Tesco press tasting. Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, is also one of the globe’s biggest wine retailers. So it’s important for many consumers that they get their range right.

At the last major Tesco tasting in October 2010, the signs were that all was not terribly well with the Tesco range. It seemed that there was a lot of buying on price, with a fall in the quality of the wines.

Today’s tasting, however, will be regarded by Tesco as somewhat of a triumph. The range was divided into ‘favourites’ and ‘new wines’. And both shone. I found plenty of interest here, and evidence of really smart buying in the new additions to the range.

Highlights? Well, too many to mention here, but a few personal favourites – wines I would buy – include:

  • Brocard Chablis 1er Cru Quintessance Mineral Rive 2008 (£15.99)
  • Tesco Finest Albarino Pazo Serrantellos 2010 (£7.79)
  • Tesco Finest Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2010 (£7.99)
  • Tim Adams Clare Valley Semillon 2009 (£11.29)
  • Tesco Finest Tingleup Riesling Howard Park 2010 (£9.29)
  • Tesco Finest Autumn Picked Riesling 2010 Marlborough (£9.99)
  • Tesco Finest Denbies Estate English White 2010 (£8.79)
  • Tesco Finest Falhangina 2010 Puglia (£8.99)
  • Thornbury Riesling 2008 Marlborough (£10.99)
  • Brancott Estate Pinot Noir 2009 (£9.49)
  • Encantado by Tabali Pinot Noir Reserve 2010 Limari (£8.99)
  • Tesco Finest Cotes Catalanes Carignan 2o10 (£6.99)
  • Malbec Les Comtes Cahors 2008 (£8.99)
  • Baron de Ley Varietales Maturana 2009 Rioja (£8.99)
  • Pago de los Capellanes Ribera del Duero 2010 (£12.99)
  • Tesco Finest Douro Reserve 2008 (£7.29)
  • Tesco Finest Touriga Nacional (£7.79)
  • Tesco Finest Teroldego 2009 Trentino (£5.99)
  • Zalze Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2010 (£6.99)
  • Emiliana O Syrah 2010 Rapel (£7.99)
  • Broquel Bonarda 2009 Mendoza (£10.99)
  • Tesco Finest Sauternes 2007 (£12.99)
  • Quinta do Noval 20 year old Tawny (£20.79)
  • Noval LBV Port 2005 (£13.49)
  • Tesco Finest Vintage Port 1994 (£20.59)
  • Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2005 (£165 for a case of six)

Pictured top: the view from Millbank, looking towards MI6 and Vauxhall Bridge. Below, Millbank.

12 comments to At the Tesco press tasting

  • Fatfred

    Weird!
    Supersaturated colours, what was in those Tesco wines?
    And that white van will get seriously done for his time in the bike lane!

  • John Keatings

    Tesco often show a remarkable lack of knowledge regarding wine – last week in my local Tesco I saw Bollinger Special Cuvee NV priced at £41 right next to Bollinger Grande Annee 2000 priced at £30. No indication that the Grande Annee had been discounted. And next to them, Krug Grande Cuvee at £50… And yes, I did clear the Bolly Grande Annee and Krug shelves.

  • glenn

    Glad to see the vin de constance on the list

  • Steve Connolly

    I once picked up 3 bottles of Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay for £6.99 each from Tesco.

  • Laurence

    I got 15 1/2 bottles of Sudiraud for £10 each.

  • Steve

    Tesco’s (and others) automatically reduce low-selling wines if they haven’t shifted over a certain period, which are likely to be the most expensive ones. Presumably it’s easier than sending them back to the mighty distribution centre. Sadly my local branch has nothing posher than Tingleup Riesling, though sometimes cooking wines turn up for a couple of quid. Look for a well-stocked wine department in a desperately poor area, resist the temptation to splash out and maybe bargains will come your way…

  • chambkan

    Hate buying wine in tescos

    The first question you have to ask `is the price real or is it a marketing, mark up to mark down at 50% later on?`

    I suppose all the supermarkets play it but tescos seem to be the worst

  • Pef

    I cleaned up at Tesco over a year ago when they discounted end of line Suduiraut, Chapel Down, de Bortoli, and Ken Forrester at my local supermarket. Since then there’s been practically nothing on the shelves I’d buy, but I agree with Jamie (and several other wine writers) in that they seem to have given some thought to their range and bought some wines that are fun to drink, especially at £10 for two. (Not the Finest Tapiwey sauvignon blanc though; it smells and tastes – to me at least – of boiled sweets).

  • Hugh

    I wonder how much of this list will be available, and at how many tesco’s. I wonder if these tastings are for press headlines, with real commitment to provide better quality wines for the masses.?

  • Edwin

    Pago de los Capellanes Ribera del Duero 2010 (£12.99)

    Bought one bottle at my local Tesco two weeks ago for around £7.99!!
    Exceptional wine by Tesco standards and excellent price.
    Went back for more last week (I would have bought all on the self) but “temporally out of stock” label on the shelf – haha – not really.
    This week no label ie no shelf space – infact no longer available from Tesco’s anywhere!!!

    What happened??

  • Pete

    okay, if we’re bragging about tesco deals, how about Philipponnat clos des goisses 1996 for £10?

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