Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Morrisons Bounce Back

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Morrisons Bounce Back

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW CAMPBELL ON WINE

SUPERMARKET giant Morrisons fared badly at last year's major wine awards. While others collected accolades by the rack full for their own label wines, the Yorkshire-based chain was largely ignored and received some bad reviews in the process.

Wine is now big business and the rejection must have hurt. But rather than crying into its chardonnay, Morrisons has returned this year with a new range and more importantly new-found success.

It was the only supermarket to scoop an own-brand gold at the first tranche of tastings for this year's industry-leading International Wine Challenge (IWC). It also collected eight bronzes and a few silvers.

A handful of winners are currently on offer but such is the nature of supermarket pricing, the others are likely to be discounted at some time over the coming year.

Morrisons' Signature Chilean Pinot Noir 2012 won IWC bronze and has received mixed reviews but, to me, it's a stunner.

The Burgundian grape variety is temperamental at best and only in recent years have good examples been widely available at low prices - led by wine-makers in New Zealand and Chile. But when pinot noir''s good, it's great.

The Morrisons' Chilean pinot is a bright, clean, lovely example made by William Cole Vineyards - who first came to my attention with their excellent Columbine Special Reserve Chardonnay 2010 that was also in sale in Morrisons. The pinot is bursting with aromas of red berries, cherries and herbs. The superbly balanced taste is silky smooth with strawberries and red cherries giving a slight sweetness up front. There's no harsh edges and a long finish making it exceptional - even at a full price of PS7.99.

In stark contrast is Trapiche Vineyards Pinot Noir 2013, from Argentina's high-altitude Mendoza region and selling in the Co-op at a discounted PS4.99 until April 22. Trapiche are one of Argentina's most decorated wine-makers and produced one of my favourite wines of last year: the gold-medal wining Broquel Bonarda 2010.

I suspect their entry-level pinot may not be so decorated however it's not bad at PS4. …

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