Supervalu's Wine Santa has been busy, blending quality and value in the run-up to Christmas

Supervalu's Wine Santa has been busy, blending quality and value in the run-up to Christmas.

Kevin O’Callaghan, Supervalu’s wine expert, has wines galore “from across the globe” reduced in their Christmas offering. “A harmonious blend of classic and modern wines with some household names and unmissable prices”. Offers are available from November 26th to December 30th or until stocks last.

It was wines from the classic areas that caught my eye, Sancerre and Chablis in the whites, Bordeaux and Beaujolais in the reds. Let us start with the whites (reds next week!). The Sancerre got the biggest thumbs up around here!

Guy Saget Sancerre (AOC) 2018, 13.5%, €15.00 (19.66)

From the Ambassadeur de Loire, this Sancerre has a very light straw colour, clean and bright. Aromas are the regular suspects of grass and herbs, and nettles which seem to led the charge here. This is of course 100% Sauvignon Blanc and this Loire version is precise and refreshing, less pungent than its New Zealand counterpart (none the worse for that), a very satisfactory drink right to the dry finish.

Food pairings suggested are: grilled fish, Crottins de Chavignol (goats cheese), tandoori chicken skewers, sushi and sashimi. More than likely you won’t get the Chavignol around here but Ardsallagh or St Tola will do just as well.

Supervalu say: The mission of the Guy Saget brand is to demonstrate to the highest level Saget Le Perrière’s intention to unravel the extreme complexity associated with the Loire Valley vineyards. A complete collection of the finest Loire will seduce you, thanks to their authenticity and accessibility.

It’s a mission that they take seriously.  The Guy Saget portfolio embraces around thirty appellations, all of them showing hallmark Loire features. These include Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre, Chinon, Vouvray and Muscadet : 

- Dry whites : Muscadet, Muscadet-sur-lie,... 

- Medium sweet whites : Vouvray… 

- Sweet whites : Coteaux du Layon, Quarts-de-Chaume... 

- Dry rosés : Rosé de Loire, Touraine Rosé... 

- Medium sweet rosés : Cabernet d'Anjou, Rosé d'Anjou... 

- Reds : Chinon, Anjou, Saumur Champigny... 

- Sparkling wines : Crémant de Loire, Touraine sparkling wines...

No wonder he claims the title of Ambassadeur de Loire on the label of this excellent Sauvignon.

I made a superb Kir with this and the Wexford Cassis from the Blackwater Distillery in West Waterford, the ratio about six to one.

Andre Goichot Chablis (AOC) 2018, 12.5%, €15.00 (19.66)

Always a frisson of excitement when a glass of Chablis is offered.

This 2018 doesn’t let the side down. Far from it. A light gold colour, pristine. Apple and pear feature in the pleasant aromas. It is, of course, made from nothing but Chardonnay grapes and it is strikingly crisp from first taste, carrying some lovely white fruit flavours, maybe a touch of lime as well, as it spreads across the palate, clean, precise and harmonious, like a Bach partita, right through to the finalé.

No wonder Supervalu declare that it is “the classic partner to seafood and white meat dishes”. It is indeed but this characterful wine, rich and elegant, can effortlessly stand on its own.

Founded in 1947, Andre Goichot, headquartered near Beaune, are both negociant and producer, meaning that they buy wines from different areas and producers and also make wine from their own vineyards.

Abellio Albariño Rias Baixas (DO) 2019, 12.5%, €10.00 (13.76).

Made entirely from hand-harvested Albarino grapes, this Spanish wine, from the Rias Baixas area, has a mid-gold colour. Quite rich aromas of white fruit, apple and pear, and also peach. There is a striking refreshing minerality on the palate where the same fruit flavours shine through fresh and crisp.

The Albarino grape is a distinctive Northern Spanish variety. Its refreshing characteristics make it very versatile with fish and particularly with seafood. Often recommended for Asian also.

Albarino, more modern than classic in terms of its history in Ireland, is most readily associated with the Rias Baixas region which is named after the long-ish Atlantic coastal inlets (or rías) that characterise the landscape here in Galicia in north-western Spain. The grape is also prominent in nearby northern Portugal where it is known as Alvarinho. This Abellio is a favourite of mine. And also a favourite of Supervalu’s wine-buyer Kevin O’Callaghan who was involved in the attractive label design.

Don’t forget your case offers!

We will feature the reds in the next post on this sale but do note that they have two case deals (both red) on offer. The first (on now until December 30th) features Barão de Vilar Reserva (2018), velvety and fruity with an elegant finish and will cost you €50 euro, down from the RRP of €89.00. Believe it or not, you can save another tenner by buying between November 26th and December 9th and taking advantage of the “buy any six bottles and save an additional €10.00 offer”.

Later in the month, watch out for the second case offer. Here the temptation is the Italian Vivaldi Ripasso (2018), aromatic, full bodied, soft and warm, the temptation enhanced by the asking price of €40.00 instead of €94. You just gotta love Signore O’Callaghan. You’ll have to be on your toes for this one - it is short lived: from December 17th to 20th.