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 Adnams own White Burgundy from the respected Talmard family in Macon before, so we were keen to try their Bourgogne Blanc from the Saône Valley. Bourgogne Blanc is a more generic, larger appellation than Macon, and that sometimes means more diluted characteristics, but this is a lovely wine with minerally, apple and citrus flavours. In the heat of California, Chardonnay produces richer, more tropical-fruit
flavours, and they often have a buttery texture due to oak ageing.
M&S has found a decent example and, as Californian Chardonnay tends to be on the expensive side, at a very good price for this quality. Arneis is the grape and Roero is the place in Piedmont, Italy that our second white from Adnams comes from. Full of peach and apricot flavours but with a minerally, citrus freshness, this is one to try particularly if
“. . . we haven’t been so complementary about Sauvignon Blanc in the past, particularly the (in our opinion) overblown ‘cats pee on a gooseberry bush’ Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand.”
partnered with a plate of Parma ham over Christmas. While we love Chardonnay, we haven’t been so complementary about Sauvignon Blanc in the past, particularly the (in our opinion) overblown ‘cats pee on a gooseberry bush’ Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand. If you feel the same then we recommend you try the M&S Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine in the Loire region of France. Keeping the typical citrus and green apple flavours while being a much more elegant wine, it knocks socks off its Southern Hemisphere cousins.
Claret is a term that we Brits have used to describe any red wine produced in Bordeaux, France since the 1700’s. It’s also a quintessential Christmas wine so of course we had to try a version from both stores. Bordeaux is the home of blended, multiple grape variety wines. A classic Bordeaux blend involves Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Malbec grapes. Both of our versions are Merlot dominated (around 60%) with the younger (2019) M&S version (No 34, £7) having 23% Cabernet Franc and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is also unoaked and very fruity with the plummy Merlot making it a smooth, ‘easy-drinking’ wine. The more mature (2016) Adnams blend (£9.99) contains 30% Cabernet Sauvignon (as well as 6% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc), the Cab Sav giving it more blackcurrant and savoury flavours as well as more tannins, something that we prefer in our wines from this region. They are both fine value, so it’s a good chance to spot the differences without forking out for more expensive ‘named’ Bordeau’s.
Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t have to be high in tannin, however, and our second M&S red, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (£8) from the Maipo Valley in Chile, shows what can be done in a cool, ‘
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