The recent Spring Press Tasting of Co-op I attended, re-iterates their mission on the Drinks side of the business. Not only is it positioning itself as a bargain provider of quality wines but the leading convenience store also strongly supports Fairtrade wines and local ales and craft businesses, with an intention to giving back to the community, promoting local wine growers and distillers as well as working towards building global sustainability. I was impressed with the range of wines in the offering and how wide the selections are. Even the press tasting was very well organized with Gyles Walker, the Senior Buyer offering some delicious pairings of Co-op manufactured nibbles making it a fulfilling Co-op experience. Here are some of the top rated wines that I recommend from Co-op. Not only are they well made wines from respectable and prized wine producers, but Co-op also offers them at affordable prices. So if you visit your local Co-op don’t forget to look out for these wines at their Drinks section.
DOMAINE DES FORGES SAVENNIÈRES, 13.5% abv (£10.99)
Not many are aware of this underrated region Savenniéres, which is locally considered a prestigious “Cru” of the Loire Valley, with Chenin Blanc being the principle grape grown here. The grapes are sourced from the plateau on the single vineyard of Moulin du Gué, where shale, sand and schist constitute the main soils. This is a beautiful example of a sun kissed Chenin Blanc, rich and rounded with notes of ripe apples, apricot, pear and lemon showing an impressive degree of flintiness and crispy acidity. Spicy and herbal notes linger on in the finish making this a great wine to pair with meals. You cannot go wrong with its fruity and zesty notes this summer! Its complex rich palate goes well when paired with textured fish, grills, prawns and scallops.
REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT, GOLDTRÖPFCHEN KABINETT, 2014, 8.5% abv (£10.99)
At such low levels of alcohol, this wine should hit your cellar for this will definitely not get to your head- gets all the brownie health points, including great value for a wine from the most prestigious village of Mosel!! With the world moving towards leaner and modest levels of alcohol, this 100% Riesling from the village of Piesport, is a supreme example of terroir wines of Germany. Its citrusy, stone fruit and nearly tropical fruit richness, backed by toasty spicy notes wraps up the brilliant levels of mouthwatering acidity, creating a textured wine. Elegance is key and although there is a minimal element of residual sugar, it integrates well into the acidity and minerality of the wine. Pairs well with Indian cuisines, Thai food, chorizo and prosciutto.
VANITA GRILLO, 2016, 13% abv (£6.99)
A remarkable example of a bright and clean Grillo with freshness and intensity, grapes for which are grown in the volcanic soils of Sicily. Jasmine, ripe lemon and peachy notes balance well with the zingy character of the wine and the herbal notes add a distinct elegance. The grapes grow about 300-400m above sea level and picked early enough to retain their acidity and the wine overall has a soft rounded edge making it a great pairing for main course with creamy pastas, mushroom risottos, cheeses and chicken en-croute.
PETER YEALANDS, SAUVIGNON BLANC, NEW ZEALAND 2016, 13% abv (£8.99)
A well respected brand that has now become certified organic and sustainable, this is a highly rated Sauvignon Blanc- extremely delicate and floral in its expression but equally complex with vibrant notes of racy lemon, lime zest, pear, green pepper, asparagus, tomato giving it a classy edge. A promisingly pleasant summer wine, this wine will go well with any dish in summer as it has enough crisp tingling acidity backing its intense fruit and floral character.
VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION, SAUVIGNON GRIS, 2016, 13.5% abv (£9.99)
A grape that once used to grown in Bordeaux and now being revived in the Southern Hemisphere, Sauvignon Gris is a clonal mutation of Sauvignon Blanc and very similar in characteristics with similar texture and aromatic appeal but slightly less grassy on the palate. So if you are looking for a change from the usual Sauvignon Blanc but inherently like its flavours, I recommend Villa Maria’s brilliantly made Sauvignon Gris. It is a softer version of their Sauvignon Blanc, with a slightly fuller body and lovely charming green fruit ripeness and floral expression. Enough zingy character makes it versatile to pair with a wide variety of cuisines.
MURIEL TEMPRANILLO RIOJA, 2014, 13.5% abv (£8.49)
Perfumed and fruity, there is good intensity and lovely soft texture to this Rioja, with soft, earthy tannins. Mid palate shows ripe black cherry, oak and vanilla notes blended into its crisp acidity, leaves lingering notes of cinnamon and cloves at the end. Youthful, easy drinking and an enjoyable wine for the summer, especially during the barbeque season.
VILLA BOSCOROTONDO CHIANTI RESERVA 2014, 13.5% abv (£15.99)
5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Apart from offering a highly rated Bed and Breakfast Villa for the discerning traveller, John Matta blends this special Chianti reserve exclusively for Co-op – a delicious fruit forward and soft supple wine with notes of black cherries and velvety tannins leaving lingering flavours of soft subtle spices. Acidity is remarkable. Oak usage is judicious and blends in well with the fruit making it harmonious yet leaving plenty of freshness in it.
DON DAVID BLEND OF TERROIRS, ARGENTINA – MALBEC MALBEC, 2015, 14% abv (£8.99)
Deep coloured, full bodied, intense, this wine has notes of black currants, damson, perfumed notes of vanilla and violets from the oak backed by crisp and linear acidity with a mild herbal edge and chocolate notes on the finish. Tannins are dense, grainy and ripe creating a structured texture. This wine needs red meat and will do well with spicy grills as well. And it will create super memorable flavours to your meats!
HENRY’S DRIVE, SHIRAZ, PADTHAWAY, AUSTRALIA, 2012, 14.5% abv (£16.99)
Full bodied, robust showing tremendous typicity, this is a good quality South Australian Shiraz. A full bodied wine with black berries, black cherry notes, texturally superior level of polished, fine, dusty rich tannins supported by vanilla, liquorice and black pepper from ageing in a mix of French and American oak, finishing with soft smoky mint flavours. The terroir of loam over limestone is what imparts the vibrant acidity of this wine and gives the mineral graphite edge to it. This will add a kick to your roast beef, lamb chops, lamb kebabs, barbequed ribs.
YALUMBA BAROSSA, OLD BUSH VINE GRANACHE, 2015, 14% abv (£10.99)
Yaluma is one of the oldest and most established wineries in the Barossa region in Southern Australia, with a history dating back to 160 years. Barossa has been their flagship region and with vines that are atleast 50 years old, this gregarious Grenache can get your party going, anytime anywhere. Deeply concentrated, beautifully woven with silky polished tannins, the soft supple structured fruit expression will match any aperitif be it vegetarian or meat or even a marinated or spiced dish. A great accompaniment with barbeques and main course menus, there is enough versatility, zing and depth in this wine to carry on as a single wine selection for the entire evening. Assured of quality winemaking from the winemaking skills of Kevin Glastonbury, a local resident, possessing atleast 30 years of expertise in Barossa wines, the wines are made with a lot of passion and dedication and the reputation of Yalumba guarantees the quality when you serve them in a party or even a close friends and family gathering.