Vive la France

Posted on: 10th October, 2016

Category: The Wine Buff

Contributor: Tony Eklof

If like me, you love a good Bordeaux to warm up a winter’s night, right now might be a good time to lay in a few bargain priced bottles. The Autumn wine sale, initiated by Superquinn all those years ago, is now a welcome event in most of the major wine retail stores. Some but not all of these sales are exclusively French wines.

The Aldi sale was odd in that many of the featured wines disappeared very soon after being advertised. Highlights for me were classy German wines, a Pinot Noir and a lovely Riesling, which the Bandon shop had run out of within hours of the sale starting. Fortunately for me, my daughter-in-law spotted a couple of bottles while in Killarney and kindly picked them up for me. Much appreciated, as good German white is so hard to source in these parts.

Dunnes Stores’ French wine sale is a disappointment in that it consists mostly of existing stock sold at lower prices, although an exception was a welcome newcomer, Chateau Galochet Bordeaux, a gold medal winner and a great bargain at €10.

SuperValu benefitted from taking over many of the Superquinn wines. Perhaps the standout for me in their French sale is a Gigondas, one of the best Rhone wine regions, for €15, although they have some lovely new Rose wines from Anjou and from Provence.

I’m not a big fan of Lidl’s ordinary wine selection but when it comes to the French wine sale for my money it comes out on top. I read somewhere that they buy in something like a million bottles for the sale in their shops Europe-wide, which could go some ways in explaining how they can offer such value particularly with wines from the usually pricey Bordeaux region. Selections from the top communes such as Margaux and Pomerol are still quite pricey for most of us but where the real stars shine are in less famous appellations such as Fronsac, Cotes du Bourg and Graves.

Recommended

At the time of writing these highly recommended labels were all still available in the Clonakilty Lidl outlet.

Chateau La Raze Beauvallet Medoc 2012.

Chateau Moulin de Bel Air Bordeaux Superieur 2013. (Gold Medal)

Chateau de Rousselet Cotes du Bourg 2011.

Chateau Lalande Mausse Fronsac 2013. (Gold Medal)

All of the above at €9.99

Also Chateau Le Bourdillot Graves, 2012 at €10.99 (Gold Medal) and

star buy for me, for that special treat, Chateau Coutelin St Estephe, €12.99.

St Estephe is one of the best communes in the Medoc and this represents rare value. Enjoy!

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