Wineontrial recently doled out its first slating, to a wine that had (somehow) won numerous commendations despite costing a very keen £4.99. See my review on Marks & Spencer’s Vin du Pays de Gers if you missed it – it might just save you some disappointment.
So here we go again with a French white that’s won several commendations, even an IWSC bronze, despite having a real bargain basement price of £4.29. Except that it’s really not a bargain, because it’s really not very good.
Like most Bordeaux whites, it’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. But even though the Sauvignon is 70% of the blend, I couldn’t detect any of its character. No intriguing herbaceousness, no gooseberry, no tropical fruit. You just get Semillon. And worse still, they’ve captured the worst of Semillon. The often appetising lemon sits sulking in the corner whilst ‘eau de chat’ takes centre stage on your dismayed palate.
Anyone trying to defend this wine might point out that it does at least taste of something, unlike most cheap wines which taste of very little or nothing at all. I’m not sure that this something is a flavour which many people would want to experience though.
I guess if you wanted a really cheap white wine for a party, you might get away with this. Provided you don’t serve it to anyone whose palate isn’t already fatigued from drinking something else. A better idea though would be to go for something like Sainsbury’s Winemakers Vinho Verde – definitely one of the better ‘barely notice it on the shopping bill’ wines reviewed by this site.