Best buys | Should you buy these Asda wine ‘bargains’?

Best buys

Should you buy these Asda wine ‘bargains’?

I was recently sent six festive bottles that Asda has on promotion at the moment - well known classics at substantial reductions with some medal-winners among them (though it’s not clear whether these awards apply to the current vintage).

They arrived after I wrote my column for the Guardian about how some wines are habitually overrated. You can’t complain about these prices but will they live up to your expectations?

Chateauneuf du Pape 2019 14.5% £9.97 instead of £18

Slightly dubious original pricing - I’d have said it was worth more like £15-16 - and young for a Chateauneuf but undeniably attractive with a big wallop of rich spicy fruit.

Verdict: a good bottle for the Christmas table at a very fair price. Buy

Borsari Amarone della Valpolicella 2017 15% £9.97 was £13

Big and rich, but slightly coarse and clumsily oaked. Would disappoint if you’re an amarone fan

Verdict: Pass

Chablis 2018 12.5% £6.97 was £12

Not the best supermarket Chablis I’ve tasted - a bit softer, fruitier and less mineral than Chablis at its best though at under £7 you really can't quibble. Hard to see how it won a gold medal though

Verdict: Worth buying at this price as a crisp fresh white to drink over Christmas

Louis Dailly Pouilly-Fumé 2019 14% £7.97 was £12

There are a couple of weird things about this wine. One is that it’s labelled Grand vin de Bourgogne and bottled at Saint-Jean-d’Ardières in the Rhône. The other is that despite being 14% - high for a sauvignon blanc especially from the Loire - it tastes quite thin. There’s a lot of sauvignon blanc about at this price - most Touraine sauvignons would have more flavour - so don’t rush to buy it just because the offer looks good.

Verdict: Not impressed.

Louis Bernard Vintage Brut Extra Special 2008 12% £22

Rich, toasty and complex as you’d expect from a champagne of this age but is that necessarily what you want? if you’re looking for an aperitif you’d probably enjoy a fresher non-vintage style more. It would be cheaper too.

Verdict: Not a bad buy but there’s plenty of champagne on offer at the moment. I’d go for Lidl’s Comte de Senneval at £12.99 rather than this.

Filippo Sansovino Valdobbiadene Prosecco 11.5% £9 was £10

Really not exceptional either in quality or price. Even with £1 reduction they’re making a good margin on this.

Verdict: Pass. There are better buys out there if you’re a prosecco fan. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco which is currently £8, for one.

Overall: If you generally shop in Asda I’d buy a bottle or two of the Chateauneuf and Chablis but not the others. And I wouldn’t make a special trip to go there for these wines.

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Comments: 3 (Add)

Aaron on December 23 2020 at 23:39

Hi Fiona,
Surprised that you missed the fact that the Pouilly-Fumé is in fact a Pouilly-Fuissé. Those stone fruit and jasmine notes, plus all the oak are a giveaway. I'm not really sure that they should be selling this.

Fiona Beckett on December 20 2020 at 09:33

They do have the occasional cracking bottle but not at this top end.

Daniel Woodruffe on December 19 2020 at 20:37

I would concur. ASDA is a funny one: great on tins of stuff and bottles of bleach, but wine... the product that should be good does not pass muster with the competitors, who benchmark "Good"

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