I tasted a really delicious, great value wine this week which was simply labelled as Organic Red Field Blend. It got me thinking about how this wine would go down sitting on a supermarket shelf.
It is very rare these days to see a wine that does not state the grape variety that it is made from on the front label.
And where the grape variety is not stated, wines tend to come from regions that are long-established and well-recognised, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy or Rioja.
So does the fact that Te Quiero Organic Red Field Blend 2018, La Mancha (Hermitage Cellars £6.75 currently on offer from £7.95) simply states ‘Organic Red Field Blend’ on the label mean that this wine won’t sell because consumers will be unsure of what grape or grapes are in it and as a result won’t be prepared to take a risk?
This wine comes from La Mancha in central Spain, and is made from tempranillo, syrah and garnacha, which are all well-known grape varieties.
But included in the blend are older, native varieties monastrell, granciano and tinto velasco, all which for this wine are grown in such small amounts in a single vineyard that they are all vinified together back at the winery, hence the description of ‘Field Blend’.
The resulting wine is deep in colour with dark bramble fruits on the nose with a little spice, followed by a medium-bodied palate with more ripe dark fruits and round tannins with a nice mouth-filling, tasty finish.
This is really great value and would be perfect with a tomato-based pasta dish and just goes to show it is worth looking beyond the label sometimes.
Staying in Spain, and a little more recognisable perhaps, is Corte Mayor Crianza 2015, Rioja (Co-op £7 on offer from £9 until November 5) made by highly-regarded producer Baron de Ley.
It is 100 per cent tempranillo and has been aged in oak for 12 months.
It is not the most exciting Rioja on the shelves but when on offer it is good value and has all the hallmarks of red Rioja with some soft red fruits, a little spice and some vanilla oak in the background, followed by a supple, easy palate with more red fruits and a mellow finish.
It’s a good all-rounder to go with a dish such as a mid-week shepherd’s pie.
Maybe less familiar, but again from Spain, would be Cop de Ma 2017, Priorat (Co-op £11 on offer from £13 until November 5).
Priorat is a mountainous area inland and south of Barcelona which was for many years Spain’s best kept wine secret.
This wine also doesn’t state the grape varieties but is a blend of carignan with the addition of some syrah and garnacha.
There are warm red cherries and a lovely twist of pepper spice on the nose, followed by a medium to full-bodied palate with some dark fruits, spices and a dense, satisfying finish.
It’s a lovely winter wine to partner with a warming casserole.