The Co-op has been steadily improving its wine range for some time now - and has won a stackful of medals for their efforts (210 for anyone who's counting)
I am, in general, a strong believer in the value of medals - for sure, they sometimes need taking with a pinch of salt - and some competitions seem to have higher standards than others. But, as a basic indicator of reasonableness, they work.
My rule-of-thumb is that Silvers and above are generally worth seeking out; expect anything below this to be sound but perhaps rather dull - useful if you are buying to a budget, but not for when you want to impress.
These two Co-op wines both have Gold Medals from Decanter and Silvers from the International Wine Challenge.
Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013 New Zealand (£9.99) A new winery from New Zealand, I've been impressed with Yealands previously.
Textbook NZ Sauvignon; zesty, aromatic and expressive with nettles, gooseberies, guava, lime marmalade and minerality. Crisp, poised and precise.
Balanced and long; very adept and assured - Good.
Match with Thai curries, fish carpaccio or aromatic salad leaves.
Skillogalee Basket Pessed Shiraz 2010, Australia (£16.99) Shiraz pretty much made its name in Australia - and made Australia's name in the process.
Sweet, ripe dark fruits with sour cherries, black pepper, mocha and bitter roasted spices. Very fine, perfectly ripe tannins and mineral underpinnings. Substantial, complex and savoury.
Mellow, yet still assertive - Very Good.
Match with game in a rich sauce, bistecca alla fiorentina or roast lamb.
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