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**** Taste Section Now Added to!! ****
OK, so I guess it had to happen - I had to buy a bottle of wine on one of my rare days off.
I run a restaurant so have wine aplenty all the other days of the week, and its ALL lovely thanks to our brilliant wine rep Faye, the corporate face of Majestic Wine.... but alas, I am the most disorganised creature on the planet hence - horror - I forgot to pick up a bottle on Monday night to enjoy on Tuesday, so I was reduced to the offerings of our local Filco supermarket.
Wehey, thinks Lisa.....I used to drink Stowells all the time, and its at the bargain price of just under £3 a bottle (it costs more than that at the wholesalers), so I was quite impressed and picked one up, and naturally, I'm sharing the results (but not the bottle, sorry!) with my pals on Ciao.
Price ------- Unbelieveable at under £3, what a deal!
Stowells has good brand recognition, and this tempranillo is no different to the rest, with the Stowells logo, a pretty average looking bottle. Nothing to set the world alike, but then I had an amazingly packaged frascati a few weeks ago which was AWFUL, so I don't tend to buy wine purely on the bottle anyway....
Sorry, I know if I was a wine buff I'd talk about 'bouquet' and 'aroma', but give me a break, I'm from the Midlands and living in Wales! I didn't detect any of Gilly Goulden's 'plums, apples and strawberries' (never have in any bottle, sorry, Gilly!), however the wine did have a pleasant, if undetectable, smell. Good so far.
OK, now this really is the crucial bit. Sadly, this is also the stumbling block.
The brand is very recogniseable, but it is an 'average' brand, never going to win gold at the Wine Challenge and at best I'd describe the taste of this Spanish red as average to match.
In fact, this first sip was not a particularly pleasant taste, the second sip was ok, but nothing to set the world on fire. The taste was quite bitter on first glass, although it had improved somewhat by the second. It was quite a harsh taste, nothing delicate about this wine at all.
On the second glass, which didn't have so much of a 'yuk' factor, I noticed it was quite a 'thin' wine. That is something I definitely don't expect from a Spanish red, which is normally quite a robust wine. Jesus can turn water into wine, apparently - someone at Stowells should give him a call! I definitely think if you have bought this wine, though, I'd open it for about an hour before drinking as this will greatly improve the quality of a cheap wine.
I didn't finish the bottle, but then these days I rarely do as I fell asleep.
Taste Rating ------------------
My wine rating is based on how many glasses you need before you will really enjoy the wine..... this one's a two-glasser!
Would I buy it again? -----------------------------
It was very cheap, and for £3 I won't get a St. Emilion Grand Cru, but no, I wouldnt buy it again, simply because other companies sell wine at this price point which is far nicer, allbeit without the well known branding.
What else can you buy for £3? ------------------------------------------
The Protocolo Tempranillo I buy from Majestic Wines retails at £3.19 and is absolutely brilliant - in fact, I do have St Emilion Grand Cru on our wine list and I'd rather drink the Tempranillo! Majestic's Vin de Pays, Cuvee de Richard Red is also less than £3 a bottle and is incredible by comparison.
Sorry, Stowells, but you have failed to impress - now, somebody get me a glass, because I now need a 'one-glasser' - now, where IS that last bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru?