Tesco Bellingham Chardonnay: A prize for the first person who can spot the ninja
Ever the optimist, I always consider it a good sign when I can smell a wine from two feet away. This chardonnay from Stellenbosch, just east of Cape Town in South Africa, wraps you in a halo of honey, pear, vanilla and butterscotch before you get anywhere near the glass.
Bold, complex and refreshing: this is my sort of white. There’s a lot going on in there, and I spent a good few minutes bathing in its smell before taking a sip. That’s what I call aromatherapy. Underneath the standard chardonnay flavours mentioned above, there’s a hint of orange peel, which gives it an almost Rieslingy touch. On the palate, it’s refreshing citrus all the way, with a limey finish and not too much oak.
My friend said “it smells like the inside of a Crunchie,” which I think sums it up far better than all my my wine-course waffle.
Best of all, at the time of writing it was on special offer in Tesco (although it’s also available elsewhere), down to £8 from £11.50. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a healthy scepticism of supermarket reductions, but this smells like a genuine bargain — you just don’t normally get this sort of class for eight quid. Similar in style to a white Burgundy, it compares well with another favourite of mine — the Co-op Saint Veran (the chain’s best white), which is on the shelf for £12.
My advice: if you like chardonnay (and if not, that’s probably because you’ve never tried a good one), get down to your local Tesco and stock up while this is on offer. Unless, that is, your local happens to be the Tesco Metro on Dyke Road, Brighton. In which case… I’ve snaffled them all already. Sorry.
Bellingham Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2015 (from Tesco, but also available elsewhere), screw cap, 13.5% vol.
At £11.50, this easily deserves 4 stars, but (bearing in mind I always put big emphasis on value) at £8 it has to be…
4.5 NINJA STARS
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