There are still bargains to be had on the high street, writes Christine Austin as she picks her top choices in Marks and Spencer's Wine Festival sale.

Marks and Spencer’s Wine Festival continues through until 3 September with good offers on a large chunk of their range.  Some wines are discounted by as much as 33% which makes it well worth getting in the car and driving to your nearest big store.  This Festival is in-store only so you will need to get to a large store to have a chance of finding some of the more speciality wines.  M&S have also declared it to be a ‘when its gone, its gone’  (WIGIG) wine fair, which suggests that they may be clearing out some of the lines on offer, so if you have a particular favourite, then now is the time to restock.

With this in mind, these are my top wines to head for.

Sparkling Wines

Heretat El Padruell Cava Brut, Spain, down from £8.50 to £5

A real bargain here for this stylish Spanish sparkler with notes of crunchy apple, pears and a touch of toast.  Dryer than Prosecco, this makes a good Sunday morning breakfast fizz.


Balfour Oast House Sparkling Rosé, English Wine, down from £24 to £16

From the gorgeous Hush Heath estate in Kent, this is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and just a splash of Pinot Meunier.  The wine is made in the traditional way with the bubbles coming from a second fermentation in bottle.  Creamy mousse, definite strawberry and red fruit flavours while the finish just has an edge of sweetness to it, which makes it quite a crowd pleaser.

St Gall Grand Cru Champagne 2012, Champagne, down from £35 to £23.33

A delicious Grand Cru champagne from top-quality vineyards and it now has some age so those flavours are rounded and the toast is showing well.  M&S has moved on from this supplier and so this is a definite WIGIG.


White Wines

Jordí White Grenache 2017, Terra Alta, Spain, down from £10 to £6.67

Even at its full price, I liked this wine fir its lively citrus and mango fruit with a touch of spice and herbs.  This is a foodie wine to team with herb spiked chicken, pork chops or spicy crab cakes.

Barossa Viognier 2016, Australia, down from £10 to £6.67

This comes from Yalumba who pioneered Viognier in Australia and so they have the oldest vines on that continent.  It has soft, rounded apricot fruit and a smooth, food-friendly texture.  Team this with a roast chicken salad.

Monterei Godello, Spain, down from £10 to £6.67

Godello is the grape, a once-rare Spanish variety, now being replanted to create wines with rounded peach and pineapple fruit backed by citrus zest. Perfect with fish but it has enough concentration to cope with a whole buffet-full of flavours.

Thymiopoulos Malagouzia 2017, Greece, down from £10 to £6.67

Not easy to say but at this price, very easy to drink. The grapes are Malagousia, which brings citrus and herbal notes blended with Assyrtiko which brings fresh, minerally notes.  The result is a refreshing, herb tinged wine that goes with summer foods, especially grilled fish.

Paul Cluver Elgin Riesling, 2016, South Africa, down from £13 to £8.67

If you haven’t tried a Riesling for ages, then start with this one, especially at this price.  Glorious mango and melon fruit, backed by lean, crisp acidity with just enough sweetness to balance out the finish.  Perfect on a sunny day or team it with any kind of ginger, kaffir lime or coriander-spiced food.


Red Wines

Teroldego Rotaliano 2016, Trentino, Italy, down from £9 to £6

Teroldego is a local grape, grown on the Rotaliano plain in the hills of northeast Italy.  The grape is soft and juicy with distinct plum and herbal notes and a light note of freshness on the finish.  Terrific with tapas and pasta.

Plessis Duval Saumur Champigny 2015, Loire, France, down from £10 to £6.67

I mentioned this last week at its full price before hearing about the Festival.  It has lifted green-leafy and floral aromas followed by juicy, raspberry and strawberry fruit and is perfect chilled in summer but also goes wonderfully with lamb once autumn comes around.

Kangaroo Island Shiraz 2016, Australia, down from £13 to £8.67

From the beautiful, pristine, blowy Kangaroo Island, just off the coast of South Australia this is made by talented French winemaker Jacques Lurton. The wine is full of soft, supple fruit with light elegant tannins, dusted with gentle spice.

Underwood Pinot Noir 2016, Oregon, USA, down from £14 to £9.33

This is a great value Oregon Pinot with raspberries, cherries and just enough oak under the fruit to give it structure and grip. Perfect with duck.

Pure South Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2015, Australia, down from £15 to £10

This has pure, delicate, strawberry and red cherry fruit, with a perfect balance of freshness and perfume.  Tasmania is the new cool-spot for Pinot Noir and this one comes from Josef Chromy, one of the best wineries on the island.

Bichot Hautes Côtes de Beaune 2015, Burgundy, France, down from £14.50 to £9.67

Snap up as much of this as you see.  It is good now with gentle strawberry fruit and delicious savoury complexity but if you tuck it away for another 6 – 12 months it will continue to blossom and expand its flavours.  2015 was an excellent vintage.

Quarter Acre Syrah, 2014, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, down from £16 to 10.67

This juicy, pepper-dashed Syrah shows just how good New Zealand Syrah can be. A perfect wine to go with roast duck or lamb.

Trefethen Merlot 2014, Napa, USA, down from £34 to £22.66

This may be difficult to find on your local shelves, but if you are heading to a really large M&S store then you may be lucky. Essentially Merlot with a slash each of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon it is a ripe, elegant, plum and cherry-filled wine with seamless silky tannins. If you find some, don’t hurry to drink it.

Bordeaux Châteaux wines

A few years ago Marks and Spencer launched their own ‘En Primeur’ offers and they seem to be selling off the left-overs at bargain prices. Châteaux Angludet, Chasse-Spleen, Potensac and Gloria are all on the offers list, probably the 2015 vintage, although there could be some 2014 mixed in too.  Snap them up if you see them.

















About The Author

Christine is a wine writer, broadcaster and a wine judge for several international wine competitions. She has a technical background and spent five years as a buyer for a major supermarket before moving to wine writing.She writes for The Yorkshire Post Magazine and organises the York Festival of Food and Drink. She has won both the Lanson and the Roederer prizes for wine writing.

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