Something we did for many years was a Wine of the Week offer, highlighting one wine or another, often new arrivals, sometimes discounted bin ends. We stopped doing this about five years ago, mainly because we have the lowest prices in the UK for 90% of all wines on our lists, and for about 75% lowest price in the world, if you don’t believe, take some time and check them out on winesearcher.
Added to which, there were so many false offers being made by many other merchants and/or supermarkets, I felt it all getting a bit silly, some companies offering buy two get one free, great deal on the face of it..... Supermarket offers (with better than 50% off) again fabulous on the face of it....reality different, now there are even better offers available.....get 65% off if you pay a monthly fee for the privilege. I looked at one of these companies wine offers and it was a wine @ £9.99 a bottle but selling in other countries for £20.14 a case of 6. That’s £3.36 a bottle including the retailer's profit. Wow, that did make me sit up and take note....ha. Furthermore, these offers never end, they keep on coming, doesn’t it ever make you wonder....
I have been contemplating beating them all at their own game with a sweeping offer of
92% off.... OR.... Buy 1 bottle, get 11 FREE
It’s all so easy to do, decide the end price of the wine you want to achieve and then increase it to where you need it to be to give the required discount to make it look like a bargain, simple as that. And it’s all very legal. Personally I find it rather distasteful, and for the most part these heavily discounted wines even more distasteful, generally regarded by the serious wine press as industrial swill, but it is legal.
Sadly the reality of these offers is virtually always somewhat different. I always ask myself why is it these offers are never made on the International Gold Medal or Trophy winning wines? Ah, perhaps I should really be asking, do they have Gold Medal Winners, and at what percentage of their stock?
The issue of false pricing is very easily identified with www.winesearcher.com. It’s all so easy to see the truth behind these offers, an example of wines being offered @ £9.99 with 50-65% discount bringing the price down to.... a quick check on winesearcher shows it selling in other countries for £3.36! Yes, £3.36 even less than the 65% off price, which includes the retailers profit margin. Yet few people bother to look, those that do never get caught buying the general rubbish that's offered on promotion. The old saying holds, if it looks too good to be true, it normally is.
The PV Wine of the Week offer will always be different. It will always be a genuine offer, it will always be a great wine, and it will always be for a limited period, it will never be beaten on price and it won't be repeated.
This week's offer
The pursuit of good ageworthy Sauvignon Blanc wines is at a bit of a hard and somewhat expensive task for anyone to deal with. I can assure you this has nothing to do with the producers in Bordeaux, the Loire Valley of France or even New Zealand which has established itself as a world leader of these type of wines, I happen to love the grape. But compared to some other grapes such as Riesling, Chardonnay, it doesn't easily yield a whole lot of aroma/flavour layers and complexity in ageing. When it's very young, Sauvignon can produce wonderfully intense and concentrated "green” aromas and flavours, but they're rather few in number and fairly simple by nature. More often than not no oak or malo-lactic fermentation is employed in order to retain freshness, crispness and purity. But oak and MLF can instil complimentary layers of complexity. Also the "green” grape-derived compounds that Sauvignon wines often contain methoxypyrazines, (sometimes derived from ladybirds living on the vines and crushed with the whole grape bunches) which can be important to its style in youth (and generally form part and parcel of higher yielding vineyards), but they don't tend to develop well in bottle. They can evolve into a rotten vegetable or tinned pea character that isn't appealing and detracts from the wine as it ages and fades. Don't get me wrong, there are some truly great and age-worthy dry Sauvignon Blancs in the world. Bordeaux whites can age at a glacial pace and Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux and Haut Brion Blanc are a couple of the desert island wines, if fact, sometimes the Bordeaux whites can even outlast the reds. But this grape needs a lot of work in the vineyard and winery plus barrel aging and Maloactic fermentation in order to build complexity and age-ability. Fortunately for lovers of this style like myself, we are just starting to see some movements amongst a few producers towards forging truly great Sauvignons that can cellar well. Watershed set out with this philosophy long ago and put both their Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend through MFL in New French Oak for the Sauvignon Blanc and New and aged French Oak for the SBS blend. Because of this, both wines are still drinking wonderfully well, capped under Stelvin, there are no issues with cork taint and the SBS seems fresher today than it did when first bottled. However, convincing clients of this fact has remained an uphill struggle for us, so we're shifting the stocks at well below cost... we have 40 to 50 cases of each available, see prices and recent tasting notes below.
Watershed | Awakening Sauvignon Blanc 2006 £19.99 Bottle
This now smells of fig, melon and herbs, well matured and nicely developed, it offers a cooling, surprisingly soothing palate impression, the high toned fruit has mellowed and it now resembles a very fine Sancerre without the (cat pee) aromas. The lime and grapefruit rind are still there, but much more subtle, more honeyed, rounded and gentle, finishes with a soft bittersweet edge, this can be enjoyed for at least the next year or two, quite possibly much longer.
Very pale bright green to yellow. With intense aromas of sweet lemongrass, gooseberry, guava, grapefruit and of course lifted passion fruit, along with this wines distinctively smoky mineral (from barrel fermentation), herbaceous, almost asparagus-like aspects. Forward, fruity and herbal, with juicy but fleshy tropical and berry fruit flavours countered by cashew nut. Finishes with refreshing citrusy acidity and excellent persistence. April 2008
Offer Price £120 per 12 saving £119.88
Watershed | Senses Sauvignon Blanc Sémillon 2006 £14.99 Bottle
The 2006 Senses SBS is another wine which has developed gorgeously well, now fully mature, still possesses a light lemoney green hue, this resembles a white Graves. Barrel fermented and aged in new and seasoned oak, this is elegant, slightly smoky, with gently roasted nut, melony and honey scented nose. The palate displays tropical fruit (Papaya and Citrus with hints of Mango) is very well balanced, with medium body and a long flavourful fresh finish. Should drink well for several more years.
Pale green/yellow colour, musky, floral and quite incisive on the nose, with an array of fruit lemongrass, gooseberry, lychee and herb qualities: in the mouth pear, green papaya, mango, basil and curry leaf. A silky mid-weight palate showing precise, tangy fruit flavours lifted by bright acidity and dusty mineral notes. The interplay of fruit, mineral and herb tones is really enjoyable, nicely done. April 2008
Offer Price £120 per 12 saving £59.88
Or if you prefer....6 bottles of each wine £120.00 saving £89.88
Premier Vintners Where quality comes first!
Delivery charges apply £8.00 plus VAT for London deliveries; £12 plus VAT outside London to cover additional packaging costs.
All purchases of Wine of the Week must be made by phone or email.