My favorite time of year to vacation in France has always been the beginning of September, just when the grapes are ripening and the roads are a little quieter. A September bonus in France is the tradition of the ‘Foire Aux Vins’ organized by all the major supermarkets where you can buy inexpensive wines from all regions but especially Bordeaux and Burgundy.
SuperValu (and SuperQuinn before them) have long honored this tradition. Even though the prices of fine French wines keep rising, wine buyer Kevin O’Callaghan seems to be adept at finding at least a few fine wines to sell at bargain prices.
SuperValu isn’t the only one in this case, as O’Briens has a sale this month, as does Dunnes (from the 9th), and Aldi and Lidl also have new wine in stock. This week I’m focusing on SuperValu because their 2021 sale has surprising value and they deserve to pick up the column given these great deals.
I also love that SuperValu invests in its consumers by offering guest wines specifically for sale in order to increase choice and encourage buyers to try something new. Sales of white wines in SuperValu are generally dominated by good quality wines from New Zealand and South America, but this month’s sale offers the opportunity to explore classic regions such as Chablis, the Alsace and the Loire (for example, Sancerre and Vouvray). You might want to buy a few bottles if you have the cash as prices in Loire and Burgundy will be higher next year due to severe frosts in spring 2021.
Below, I recommend six wines from the SuperValu sale, all of which are good deals in their category. I could easily have presented more, notably Château Tour Baldoz Saint-Émilion 2018 at € 30 (was € 45), Lady da Mour Margaux 2018 at € 24.75 (was € 37) and Delas Crozes-Hermitage at € 25 ( was 38 €). If you collect the good Bordeaux, also look at O’Briens who has Foucas Hosten 2011 for 24 € and Ch. Gloria 2016 for 60 €.
At under € 15 in SuperValu, there’s value in a range of regions, including a solid Vouvray at € 10 and Fleurie et Beaujolais Villages by André Goichot at € 10 each. If your name is McCarthy you might want to buy some Chateau McCarthy from Saint Estephe which is reduced from € 31 to € 27 – I haven’t tasted it yet this year but have always found it reliable in the past.
Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc Reserve 2020, Alsace, France – € 12
Alsace Pinot Blanc is one of my favorite wines for lunch, it works well for picnics and lighter meals in the summer, as well as everything from the many Chinese and Thai dishes to mussels and fries. . This is reduced by € 18 and is a guest wine for sale. Creamy lemon aromas, textured and supple with a lively and tangy palate and a pleasant freshness on the finish.
Duboeuf Windmill 2019, Beaujolais, France – € 12
Duboeuf is long established and a household name for most Irish wine consumers. I don’t really like the entry-level Beaujolais from Duboeuf but it is a fairly classic Beaujolais cru at a very good price (reduced from € 20) – a wine suitable for the season of mists and mellow fertility. Fruity and bright with aromas of black cherry that linger on the palate, supple and juicy with bright crunchy fruits, to be served a little chilled.
Château Moulin-Lafitte 2015 – € 12.70
My choice of Bordeaux under 15 € in SuperValu this month and a wine that I presented in 2018. Three years later, it is now fully ripe with a red center and a brown edge and the dark chocolate fruits. ripe have softened and developed. Aromas of cedar and pencil lead have replaced some of the aromas of black plum and the wine is now smoother and more complex with flavors of stewed fruit and pleasant salty notes.
Louis Latour Meursault 2018, Burgundy, France – 45 €
Meursault from a famous (and back in shape) producer like Louis Latour is a rare and expensive treat, but made a bit easier by the fact that SuperValu has reduced it from € 65 to € 45. Aromas of lemon zest, vanilla cream cookies (if such a thing exists) and a hint of hot hay – layered and textured with lingering apple pie flavors and a fat, sappy palate, balanced by a tangy freshness on the finish.
Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2020, France – € 18
Reduced from € 24 and therefore a rare thing: a good Burgundy for less than € 20. Louis Latour’s reds are much improved and this is a very solid example of classic Bourgogne Rouge. Considering its youth, this pours a bright purple and is still very focused on primary fruits – it will mellow pleasantly over the next few years. Juicy raspberry and red cherry, supple and textured with hints of red currants on the mid-palate and on the finish.
Simmonnet-Febvre is the only producer of Crémant based in Chablis and the cooler climate of Chablis is perfect for a complex and crunchy Crémant. It’s a bargain price (reduced from € 30) and beats any champagne or cava in the same price range I would say. Pleasant aromas of lemon zest and biscuit, a lively and luminous palate with more lemony tones mixed with green apples and a persistent brioche character.
Whiplash Velouria Double IPA, 8.2% ABV, 440 ml – 5.60 to 5.99 €
Resellers: craftbeersdelivered.com, McHughs.ie, Matsons, No. 21, Bradleys, JJ O’Driscolls, Selected SuperValu, whiplashbeer.com/shop
Whiplash was created by Alex Lawes and Alan Wolfe when they worked at Rye River Brewing in 2016. Initially brewers with no own facility. Now they have their own brewery in Ballyfermot and, to quote the song, every little thing they do is magical. This premium dipa isn’t found in all of the stores above, so look online to be sure.
Velouria is brewed from Strata and Nelson hops. It pours a hazy light gold color with lively and crunchy aromas of pine, grapefruit and tropical fruits: creamy and silky on the palate, with a slightly tangy citrus character on the finish and lingering flavors of lemon verbena.