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Autumn offers end 3pm Monday

Our Autumn offers end on Monday (3pm online, end of day in-store), so get your orders in swiftly to take advantage of 25% off Spain, 20% off South Africa, and 20% off Portugal (often overlooked, but seriously, yummmm).

We’ve had quite a packed schedule this Autumn and I’m not sure we’ve given enough coverage to the South African offer. In the spirit of balance, allow me to pick out a few highlights:

Biggest bargain

Robertson Winery Merlot 2010Robertson Winery Merlot 2010, £5.49 £4.99 or £3.99 for 2 or more

We’ve tasted countless samples of value wines from South Africa and simply haven’t found a wine that offers this level of quality for anything like the price. It’s classic Merlot, with plum and damson fruit, and has that lovely balance that good South African wine has – it’s riper and softer than  old world Merlots, but without the jamminess or obvious sweeteness of many new world Merlots. The same winery’s Chenin Blanc is pretty amazing value too.

If you like New Zealand Sauvignon, you’ll love…

Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc 2009 StellenboschVergelegen Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Stellenbosch, £10.99 or £8.79 for 2 or more

We’ve been big fans of Vergelegen’s wines for years, and I’ve personally always favoured the slightly more restrained, minerally style of South Africa’s Sauvignons over their more extravangant cousins from New Zealand, so this wine is a real favourite. There’s a lovely pea/broad bean note on the nose, a decent weight on the palate, and this is all-round a great food-friendly white wine.

Treat yourself

John X Merriman 2007 Rustenberg, StellenboschJohn X Merriman 2007 Rustenberg, Stellenbosch, £12.99 £12.49 or £9.99 for 2 or more

There’s a debate in the customer reviews for this wine whether it is “Bordeaux style”. Allow me  my two-penneth’: it’s sort-of Bordeaux style. It is made with similar grapes (Merlot blended with Cabernet), and has a similarly appetising savouriness and freshness that sets it apart from richer new world styles. However, it’s bigger-boned and more alcoholic than most claret, so I’d reserve it for bolder, richer dishes. Last weekend I made ox cheeks in red wine – this would have been a perfect accompaniment. Superb.