Vin du Pays de Gers (Marks & Spencer)

A bronze award from Decanter. A ‘commended’ award from the International Wine Challenge. An average score of 4.4 out of 5 from the twenty people who’ve reviewed it on the retailer’s website. £4.99 a bottle. Where’s the catch?!
The catch is that they’re all completely wrong (apart from the solitary person who’s given it a bad review on the retailer’s website.)
You might just catch a delicate whiff of apples on the nose, if you can bear to inhale enough to smell past the cattiness, underarm and sulphur.
It couldn’t get worse, or so I thought, moving onto the palate test. But it could. As well as all the unpleasantries I’ve already mentioned, the wine is flabby and tart. An impressively unappealing combination.
Have I finished yet? Well no, because I haven’t told you about the finish. If there was ever a wine I wanted to have a very short finish, this was it. But no, all the unpleasantries outstay their welcome many times over. I found myself behaving as though I was in training for the next world championships of gurning. It’s almost as though the winemaker is trying to punish you for being a cheapskate.
I persevered, for my sins, but it just got worse and a good half of the glass went down the plughole. The rest of the bottle will probably follow. Unless I leave it to oxidise for a few weeks, then mix it with some olive oil and drizzle it over a salad.
I know what’s going to happen here. People will want to make excuses. So I’m going to shoot the excuses down before they’re made.
Excuse 1 – It’s made from less than inspiring grape varieties, namely Colombard and Ugni Blanc.
Answer – I’ve had inexpensive wines made from these grapes before, and they’ve been perfectly OK.
Excuse 2 – It only costs a fiver!
Answer – So do several other wines which I’ve given very good reviews on this site, including one from the same retailer (see Las Falleras red).
Wineontrial promised to tell people about the wines that lure the punters into thinking they’re getting a bargain when they’re really not. And here’s the damning verdict on this Gers: wine this bad has no place on the shelves at any price.
Tom BradfordVin du Pays de Gers (Marks & Spencer)

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