Paula’s Wines of the Week – 26th January 2021

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 26th January 2021

Top Ten January Wines

Despite speculation at the begining of the month that wine supplies wouldn’t get through into the UK, shelves are still stocked with our favourites of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.The big online suppliers of Laithwaites and Virgin Wines have some great 4 and 5 star rated wines to look out for, as well as the High Street supermarkets of the Co-op, Aldi, Lidl, M&S and Tesco – even the regional Midlands wine merchant Tanners is on the Top Ten list for January.

So here they are ranging in price from £5.99 to £14, and there’s one smaller quarter-sized bottle at £2.79 that mucks up the pricing system for equivalent 75cl sizing.

All the wines are 4 and 5 star rated on the system and all available now.

Paula’s Reviews from

El Bomero 2019 187ml
£2.79 Laithwaites (equivalent to £9.99 for 75cl bottle)
4 star rating
Part of Laithwaites quarter bottle range, this Spanish red packs a punch at 15% alcohol and full-on tannins. So it’s worth while decanting the small bottle into a jug before drinking to help soften the drying cocoa flavour. The aromas lighten the overall effect with their floral violet character and blackberry aromas. Enjoy this wine with a good steak.

Reserve de Millenaire Grand Cuvee Bourgogne 2018 review
£10.99 Virgin Wines
4 star rating
This is a Burgundy Chardonnay but they aren’t supposed to call it that anymore thanks to an agreement by the French winemakers in the region who now wish to be known by their French spelling of Bourgogne, so you’ll just have to remember that from now on. But the wine inside is still a nice example with its apple crumble aromas and balanced creamy apple and melon flavours.

Seraph Reserve Tourraine Sauvignon Blanc 2019
£10.99 Virgin Wines
4 star rating
If you find the in-your-face gooseberry flavours of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc too much then this French version may be more to your liking with its medley of fruitiness. The pear and melon aromas have a slight floral lift, while the flavour is rounded with the mix of peach and apricot. The lemon-lime edge with its mineral kick reminds you this is Sauvignon Blanc – just in case you had forgotten.

Mountain View Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019, 9.5% alc
£11.99 Virgin Wines
4 star rating
This may be lighter in alcohol than usual for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but it loses none of the taste. The floral gooseberry aroma has a touch green grass, while the taste is light and fruity with melon, pineapple and apple notes. A enjoyable wine.

Caves Road Margaret River Australian Chardonnay 2018
£9.99 Aldi
4 star rating
A modern Australian Chardonnay with just enough oak to match the fruitfulness without being overpowering. The creamy pear, melon and peach flavours are a match to curry and quiches making this a great stand-by wine for many occasions. And if you’re an enthusiast who likes to analyse a wine’s characteristics then you’ll love looking at the “legs” on the inside of the glass as it reveals its true viscous qualities.

Chianti Riserva 2015
£5.99 Lidl
5 star rating
The fresh fruity flavours are a surprise when the label tells you this wine is five years old. Wines of this age normally start to lose their fresh flavours as they turn more into cooked fruit with a gravy edge. This wine has none of that with its blackberry and cherry juiciness with a hint of liquorice. There’s a bit of redcurrant sharpness to balance things out. All in all this is stonking value – equivalent to about a £1 a year of this wine’s life.

Artusi Pinot Grigio 2018
£7 Co-op
5 star rating
White wines made with the Pinot Grigio grape can too often be disappointingly tasteless but this version bucks the trend and is complex and enjoyable. The inviting yellow-green tinge of the wine follows with tinned pear and melon aromas then finishes with fresh crisp apple, cut grass and tinned mandarin flavours. There’s even a touch of gooseberry crumble to top it all all off.

Torres Santa Digna Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2018
£10.30 Tanners Wines, Sandhams Wine Merchants
5 star rating
What a lovely wine. It starts all tinned mandarin segments then moves into gooseberry sharpness and finishes with melon. Intense sweet-sour flavours are a delight with or without food.

M&S Classics No.27 Chilean Carmenere 2019
£8 M&S
5 star rating
A lovely wine that keeps on adding to its taste list the longer you leave it open. The aroma starts all smoky and meaty then moves into mocha with plum and cherry fruitiness. Creamy vanilla yoghurt dominates the flavour with a nice touch of violet floral sophistication and a spicy finish. Just when you thought that was it the flavour adds another layer of barley cough drops.

Tesco Finest Sancerre 2019
£14 Tesco
4 star rating
Made with the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety, this classic white may be expensive but it has the satisfying sweet-sour flavours that you expect from a well-made wine. Fruity flavours of peach, melon and apricot may be sweet but aren’t cloying and are balanced with the fresh acidity of grapefruit and lime. Balanced.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5 star rating (outstanding – the top rating given by
4 star rating (very good wine)
3 star rating (good wine but over priced)
2 star rating (a disappointing wine)
1 star rating (little to offer)

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© Paula Goddard 2021