The Oenophiliac

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Harpers – Mike Matthews finds lots for independents at Jascots February trade tasting

Jascots logoIn a time when wallets are leaner than beef in a Findus Lasagne, the everyday consumer is always on the lookout for the next best deal. Wine companies have the daunting task of trying to source wines that are, not only affordable, but offer great quality to boot! No mean feat when you consider that global prices are going up across the board.

Sitting in the splendour of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Picadilly, London, Jascots hosted its February trade and press tasting. The canny buyers had given us 23 new wines from their extensive list to muse over. Amongst the new lines tasted were wines from Chablis’ Domaine Vrignaud, including two Fourchaume 1er Crus; Rocca Trebbiano from Puglia, Italy; Goleta Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley, Chile; San Donà Pinot Grigio, Veneto, Italy – a nutty, citrus, bubblegum flavoursome little number, worth noting, and a classy Spätburgunder Trocken from Von Buhl, Pfalz, Germany. Besides these though, Jascots do seem to have unearthed a wee, affordable gem that should fit Joe Publics budget criteria quite nicely.

As I trawled my way through the newbies I discovered the fresh and fruity delights of Maison Sabadie, an entry level collection of reserve blended wines; red, white and rosé, that would set even the tightest of all spenders back around a very reasonable £6.99 a bottle (off trade).

I found the Maison Sabadie Réserve White, Vin de France to have soft notes of apricot and elderflower on the nose, young, green bitter citrus fruit on the palate with clean, fresh acidity.

While the Maison Sabadie Réserve Rosé, Vin de France had light red berries aromas with easy, fresh acidity and a slight bitter finish and the Maison Sabadie Réserve Red, Vin de France had soft black fruit and black cherry aromas; echoed on the palate too.

These wines are uncomplicated and yet very quaffable, a joy to the budget spender what with spring and summer on the horizon. Independents will no doubt be thinking about the months ahead, what to offer their clientele for the barbeque season; these wines will do the job very well.

Other wines from the new range that stood out for me include

Arabella Rosé Pink Panacea, Western Cape, South Africa – Light, green herbaceous aromas, more in keeping with a traditional Sauvignon Blanc, fresh sweet red berry fruit on the palate. Dry with really good acidity and a bizarre nutty finish plus white peppery spice. RRP – £7.90

Valchetta Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina – The nose exhibits rich sweet and sour cherry fruit. Juicy black fruit and caramel flavours, spice, slight woody notes, huge depth of character. RRP – £8.70

Spätburgunder Trocken, QbA, Von Buhl, Pfalz, Germany – Straight away, looks like an aged Pinot Noir. Soft red fruit aromas; easy yet juicy red fruit flavours. Light body but does carry a bit of a punch. Thoroughly enjoyable. RRP – £16.95

Rocca Sangiovese, Puglia, Italy – A mix of deep, dark red and black fruit; full and rich on the palate with with black fruit and liquorice flavours. Not over the top, a good Sangiovese. RRP – £7.15

In all, the value on offer for the new range is very accessible. As I mentioned at the top value is key in a budget restricted society. Jascots have gone out of their way to find a good range of affordable wines where nearly half come in under an RRP of £10.

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Featured in Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review Online Industry Blog

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