Zona Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011 €6.99 (Dunnes Stores)
The back label advises...."offers a rich mixture of lemon and grapefruit aromas, presenting a fresh wine, with a nice acidity. Ideal match to delicate fish and shellfish"
Back label comment: a good and accurate description, always amazed the food match for crisp white wines ends up as simply fish and shellfish
Douglas Green Reserve Shiraz 2010 €6.99 (Dunnes Stores)
The back label of this wine advises " This elegant, complex and alluring wine was made from outstanding quality grapes, vinified and nurtured with infinite care. Matured in a combination of French and American oak barrels, this full-bodied wine displays typical Shiraz characteristics of dark berry fruit, clove and cinnamon spice. Enjoy with lamb shank, oxtail and full flavoured cheese".
Back label comment: a good description definitely on the enthusiastic side, I must recruit this person to write my epitaph!
Spy Mountain Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 €8 (Tesco)
The back label advises "fresh zesty and full-bodied. Sweet fruit flavours are balanced by a lively acidity for a bright crisp palate"
Back label comment: This one is perhaps a little too under stated
Tesco finest Nero d'Avola 2010 €6
The back label of this one advises "bright aromas of blackcurrant and cherry. Flavours of black cherry with a rich full-bodied finish"
Back label comment: A good descriptor, however I would tweak it a bit
My impressions of the whites'
For the whites' it was great to see both were vintage 2011 so clearly fresh stock not old stock sell off going on here, top marks to both sides. In many ways it was unfair to have a taste off between a central Valley Chilean Sauvignon Blanc versus a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as we all know Marlborough is one of the very hallowed regions for producing vibrant, flavour intense Sauvignon. However as a wine purchaser these are the current promotion wines that one is greeted with so it is what it is as the saying goes.
For me the Spy Mountain was the clear winner as it had a much greater vibrancy on the palate and I would not be too aggrieved if I had paid the full price of €15.99. The Zona Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011 in all fairness is a great bottle at €6.99.
My impressions of the reds'
For the red's, inspite of many commentators drawing stylistic comparisons' between the Nero d'Avola grape and the Shiraz grape there was no obvious threads that I could see today between the Douglas Green Reserve Shiraz 2010 and the Tesco Finest Nero d'Avola. The Tesco finest Nero d'Avola was quite pale in colour and had soft red fruit aromas, lively acidity and nice tannins more akin to a New World Pinot Noir, the Douglas Green Reserve Shiraz by contrast had a deep colour, savoury, chocolate, spice character and was much fuller on the palate. Once again both wines stacked up well at the promotional price. For me however the Nero d'Avola although lighter in style had a really attractive juiciness on the palate and would make a great quaffing wine at €6.