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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
18 Jul 2002

From 24 July until 6 August British underdog supermarket chain Sainsbury's is offering a straight 20 per cent off all Chardonnays ('including Chablis' as it rather sweetly points out). The offer does not include blends, sparkling wine or special case deals, including Taste for Wine, their mail order operation.

Well, perhaps they're not doing it because Chardonnay is so boring (it was only the Chardonnays that were boring in Austria last weekend) but because they know everyone loves it so and it should lure in a bit of traffic that might otherwise have gone to Tesco, Safeway, Asda, etc.

My suggestions from their current list (decorated with no fewer than 10 bottles of Blue Nun) are as follows.

  • Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu 2000 Brocard £11.99 down to £10
    Available in only 51 stores and even then that's the 1999 and the 2000 mixed together so some luck will be required

  • James Herrick Chardonnay Reserve 1999 Vin de Pays d'Oc £5.99 down to £4.80
    A specially interesting minerally bottling that has taken some time to come round

  • Little Boomey Chardonnay 2001 Orange £4.99 down to £4
    Cool Australian fruit competently made by Jon Reynolds and his team from this emerging region

  • Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Chardonnay 2000 £6.99 down to £5.60
    This New Zealand winery has made some wonderful wines under the leadership of Michelle Richardson. Shame she's moving on. Expect a bit more oomph than the usual ultra-lean Marlborough Chardonnay.

  • Bonterra Organic Chardonnay 1999 Mendocino £8.49 down to £6.80
    If you really really care about organic, this very respectable line from Fetzer at least becomes thinkable in terms of price with this discount.

  • Argento Chardonnay 2001 Mendoza £4.99 down to £4
    One of Argentina's budget flagships

  • Vergelegen Chardonnay 2000 £6.49 down to £5.20
    Great price for what was already one of South Africa's best bargains. The disadvantage? It's available in a mingy four stores, and as for the Thelema 1999, reduced to £10 a bottle, race you to the two stores that apparently stock it. Hardly worth mentioning really.