Berry Bros Own Selection range reviewed

Chilean vineyardBerry Bros & Rudd demonstrate they really understand both the spending habits and wine-likes of their customers with their recently-launched Own Selection range. With a good number of familiar wine types and grape varieties priced between £8 and £12 a bottle, the range of over 50 wines (with more expensive ones up to £42) offers something for anyone wanting to move beyond premium supermarket wines or High Street wine warehouses. But do they live up to the promised “best-possible value and quality in each region”?

Well yes, I think they do. Of the seven wines tasted from the range, all had plenty of flavour (of the expected type), were enjoyable and versatile enough to match posh nosh or seasonal snacks.

wine glasses on tableSo all well and good then?

Well there is one small down side – the poor printing quality on some of the bottle labels – particularly noticeable on the Good Ordinary Claret and Good Ordinary White. But does that really matter, I hear you cry, surely it's the wine inside the bottle that counts? And if you're buying these wines online (as many will do as this is an easier option then trundling to 3 St. James's Street, London) then the online thumb-nail image looks fine and so what's the problem?

Because once you get a good look at these two bottles up close the slightly fuzzy front-label text  lets the side down some what when I, the customer, have gone to all that trouble of buying from an up-market wine merchant with several royal appointments and a very nice London shop all decked out in dark wood. A small point.

But you can't fault the rest of the wine range for quality labels that do them justice and not to mention the wine inside – sophisticated, reasonably-priced and a good choice for everyday drinking (if £10 or so a bottle is within your spending power) or wines to bear in mind when you think of ordering a mixed case for Christmas: because the range also includes three ports, sweet Sauternes in half-bottles, a rosé champagne, an English sparkling and family favourites like Aussie Shiraz and Italian Pinot Grigio.

To browse these wines more fully go to the Berry Bros & Rudd website, and look at Buy Wine, then Popular, and Our Own Selection. Or go straight to bbr.com/own-wine-range.

swirling winePG Wine Reviews

Berry Bros Good Ordinary Claret, Bordeaux 2012

£9, £5.25 half bottle Berry Bros

Deep aromas of blackcurrant jam lead you to expect the same on the taste, but you'll find blackcurrant lightened with plum and milky coffee.

Berry Bros Good Ordinary White, Bordeaux 2013

£8.85 Berry Bros

I didn't get any of the “aromas of freshly cut grass” promised on this bottle of Sauvignon Blanc but I did get some very inviting aromas of creamy gooseberry and peach, followed with more (expected) gooseberry on the taste with hints of what wine labels like to call 'steeliness', but you might want to think it more like the taste you get when you suck on a pebble or a teaspoon.

Berry Bros Reserve Red, Southern France

£8.45 Berry Bros

This pleasant red blend of Merlot, Grenache and Syrah tastes lightly of cherry, plum and blackcurrant. A good choice for your house red.

Berry Bros Reserve White, Southern France

£8.45 Berry Bros

Mostly Chardonnay with added Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino and Mauzac (a French grape variety you'll also find in the French sparkling Blanquette de Limoux) makes this blend taste very similar to many classic Chardonnay Chablis but selling at a slightly lower price. Expect apple, pear, lemon and pencil-wood flavours.

Berry Bros Chilean Merlot 2014

£8.95 Berry Bros

A nicely balanced wine with flavours of blackcurrant, raspberry and black pepper with hints of cinnamon and cloves. More please.

Berry Bros Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2014

£9.50 Berry Bros

A well-made Sauvignon that's a nice midway between the overblown gooseberry-tasting Sauvignons of New Zealand and the often too subtle Sauvignons of France – so light gooseberry, melon and apple.

Berry Bros Reserve Rosé, France

£8.45 Berry Bros

This is not just a rosé but a rosé made from a blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Mouvedre grape varieties. So the result is rosé with enough oomph to match all sorts of foods – even hearty dishes. Creamy bramble and lemon flavours.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk