Co-op Wine Wine

Best Co-op Wines 2019

chateau millegrand minervois

Following the success of my Best Co-op Wines of 2018 feature, it seemed only right to update with the best Co-op wines of 2019.

Again, I must issue a disclaimer: I haven’t drunk my way through the entire Co-op range, but these are the wines I’ve enjoyed the most so far over the past year, and which represent the best combo of quality and value.

I was going to deliberately pick a totally different line-up, but last year’s winners were so tough to top that this has ended up being more of an update than an overhaul. Next year I’m going to enlist Joanna Lumley to announce the winners, but for now you’ll have to put up with me…

THE BEST CO-OP WHITE WINES

♦ Gold Medal 

Silene Limoux Chardonnay 2016. £10

Silene-Limoux-Chardonnay

My local branch seems to have stopped stocking this (curse them), but the list the Co-op press office sent me assures me it’s still available, so I decided to award it gold for the second year running. If your branch has it, then lucky you. I described it as “like a honey and butterscotch blanket coating your tongue” in my original review.

♦ Silver Medal 

Cave de Lugny Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay. £8.50

coop macon villages

It was really a toss-up for second place between this and the Domaine des Valanges Saint-Veran. Both are white Burgundys, made in the traditional style with 100% Chardonnay but the Saint-Veran is the more sophisticated wine. So why did I pick the Mâcon-Villages over it? It all comes down to price. Realistically, the Saint-Veran’s £13 price tag is likely to alienate most casual Co-op wine shoppers, and I want this list to be for more everyday wines.

So if you’ve got the budget or it’s a special occasion, go for the Saint-Veran. If not, the Cave de Lugny Mâcon-Villages is a very fine substitute.

♦ Bronze Medal 

Co-op Truly Irresistible Gavi Broglia. £8.50

co-op-irresistible-gavi-broglia-766386.png

Co-op are justifiably proud of their award-winning own-brand Gavi, made by the Broglia family in northern Italy. Less than nine quid gets you white fruit, peach, honey and citrus notes, along with a flavour that my limited vocabulary can best describe as… juicy bubble gum. My only reservation is that there’s a slight bitterness on the finish. Remember when you put dandelions in your mouth as a kid? Or was that only me? Well, it tastes like that. Dandelions aside, this is a wine that’s got plenty of appley appeal.

♦ Special Mention 

Von Kesselstatt Riesling. £11 

von kesselstatt riesling kabinett wine ninjas

This beautiful Von Kesselstatt dry, Kabinett Riesling deserves a shout out, but there’s an odd reason why it doesn’t get a medal. I picked up an 11.5% volume of it at my local branch, but since then they’ve only stocked a 9% version, which I didn’t enjoy quite as much. Both versions are excellent, but they look identical so check the bottle before you buy. If you see the stronger one, grab it for sure. I’m sure you’ll enjoy its luscious lime and refreshing apple flavours.


THE BEST CO-OP RED WINES

♦ Gold Medal 

Côteaux les Cèdres du Liban 2014. £13

lebanese-wine-coop

This was the first Lebanese wine I reviewed, and I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s from the Bekaa Valley, a mountainous region in central Lebanon and is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Tempranillo (35%) and Syrah (5%). That’s quite a meaty mix and the tannins are not for the faint hearted, but its cherry and almond aromas should please most. I’ve recommended it to friends who know their wine, and have always had positive feedback. Not cheap, but complex, with bold in-your-face flavours.

♦ Silver Medal 

Chateau Millegrand Cuvée Aurore 2014. £10

chateau-millegrand-aurore-minervois-813743.png

Velvety smooth and fruity, with flavours of blackcurrant, cherry, menthol, violet and a wee hint of tobacco: this Minervois, from the Languedoc region of southern France, is my type of red. Similar to a GSM blend, it’s a mix of Grenache 50%, Carignan 30%, and Syrah 20%. I can’t imagine anyone disliking it, and it’ll definitely appeal to lovers of Shiraz or Côtes du Rhone.

♦ Bronze Medal 

Zalze Cabernet Sauvignon. £9

zalze-reserve-cabernet-sauvignon-fairtrade-792975.png

Zalze wines are generally good value, and this fairtrade Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa is no exception. It has the hallmarks of a typical Cab in abundance: cherry, blackcurrant and tobacco notes, plus that special smell that reminds me of leather seats on a 1971 Ford Mustang driven by Jim Morrison. Not that I’ve ever smelt that. It’s just what I’d imagine it to be like.

Leave this one to breathe for a bit to get the best out of it and soften the tannins.

♦ Special Mention

Famille Perrin Les Cardinaux. £10

Famille Perrin Les Cardinaux

A tenner is the sweet spot between quality and value at the Co-op, and here’s another ace ten-pound wine. This one’s a GSM blend from the Côtes du Rhône, a smooth, friendly and accessible style, I generally find. It’s 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre.

Purple in colour, it’s very fruity, with ripe cherry and blackcurrant on the nose, plus a hint of black pepper and spice. It does have a slight chalkiness to the tannin on the finish though, which might not be to everyone’s taste.

♦ The Rosé Award 

Studio by Miraval rosé. £12

studio by miraval rose

With its chic Coco Chanel-style label, this Studio by Miraval is the Co-op’s premium rosé, and it’s certainly a classy number. It even manages to just about eclipse my other favourite, the Pic Saint Loup, although to be fair it is four quid more expensive. Fresh strawberry, peach and pear combine with a light, Sauvignon Blanc-style summery seaside freshness.

See also my list of the Best Co-op Wines 2018 

1 comment on “Best Co-op Wines 2019

  1. Pingback: Best Co-op Wines 2018 – The Wine Ninjas

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