Buying Chablis armed only with the label.

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Hisham Kalam, May 16, 2016.

  1. I was faced with a dilemma the other day. Two £15 Chablis at M&S. Same price, same year, same producer, all Chablis. But one from a named vineyard(just a different place no clarification - just a name) , the other is organic (which I don't care much for). A challenge for making the choice when buying 12 bottles in a hurry. Which one would you choose if the shop is about to close in 10 minutes and you judgement is only the label? See photos.

  2. For me, the one on the right, as I have found products the make a point of flagging organic status to all too often be poor VFM. Those that are organic, but don't openly advertise the fact, conversely often offer good value much more often.
  3. With ten minutes to go, it's a classic "six of one and half a dozen of another" decision, Hisham!
  4. Good idea - David. I was a bit influenced by the back of the label of the Organic one saying "drink over the next 5 years" while the Prehy said drink over the next 2 years. Would you have been influenced by that, David? An indication of quality? offering more expression in the latter years?
  5. The major influence would be the clock!
    With 10 minutes to go I'd not be faffing about.
    Six of each if I knew no better,
    Six drunk within 2 years and six within 5.
    I'm a great believer in following instructions ... and ignoring them in equal measure!
    When the 5 years are up you can offer any remaining to Nicos, our "past it" specialist!
  6. I'd have probably ditched the Chablis, saving that for a purchase from Berry Bros, and gone for a selection of the more interesting wines M&S are selling these days. Sorry about not being helpful, Hisham. It's me all over.
  7. As a recent TN I put up proves that 5 years is nowhere near long enough for village Chablis, organic or not. Mind you it was from a pre-pox vintage (1986).
  8. What did you go for?
  9. I'm surprised they stock two 2014 village Chablis from the same producer.
  10. Simon thanks. That is what made me wonder what is on the buyer's mind. As at first, I thought that he or she was offered another parcel. But parcels don't work with large retailers as they need huge bulk for them to put it on their system. Could be the organic bit in order to add a couple of pounds to their margin!
  11. Nigel - I bought both in the end foolishly. Tasted and loved the Prehy. Will now try the organic one. There was a reason to ask forumites. It is the 25% if yo buy 6 making it around £9 a bottle. Well worth it. Some say the offer is till some time in June. And yes for higher level of Chablis one should go to a specialist like Berry Bros and others like them for the Premier and Grand Cru. specially.
  12. David C - what are the other interesting M&S wines? I liked their Alsace Gewurtztraminer £10 becomes £7.50 and it is very nice when 2 year old or more. Loved by many ladies too!
  13. Not foolish IMHO- Brocard wines are good everyday drinking. Their Kimmeridgien and Jurassique are regulars on my occasional orders from TWS.
  14. Without scrolling down from the picture of the two wines I did wonder about what might be on the back label as that might have an influence on what I would have gone for given the brief. Both are the from the same producer and the same vintage but I would likely go for the one on the right since it is not a Marks and Spencer selection.

    Buying both is a handy option, especially if on tasting one could exchange the remaining five bottles of the wine less preferred.

  15. Hisham,
    First off isn't 14 just a fantastic vintage for Chablis.
    If you liked the Prehy then I think you will appreciate the Organic, as I usually prefer that bottling from Brocard who seems to have a myriad of differently branded chablis at all levels.It seems to me to have a bit more of the wet stone character that I like.
    IIRC there was £2 off the Organic before the 20% and it really makes it stonking value Chablis.
    I do think that M&S and the Co-op are go to retailers for everyday VFM village Chablis, particularly when they have these sort of deals on.
  16. My gut reaction, based on complete ignorance, is that I would go for the Prehy - the one on the right - as that says Domaine Brocard, while the organic one says Les Domaines Brocard, which I would assume to be a negociant arm of the business.

    Is it supermarket syndrome: similar name, so must be the same? Were the barcodes different?
  17. Andrew - How very interesting what you say. Could this be the way things are with others? I am grateful. Barcodes are different. So far, I am finding the Prehy has more expression and better finish.
  18. Hisham, they have some decent quaffers from Sicily, including a nice Pericone. There's a Canadian red, a Georgian orange wine, even a Japanese Koshu and a Basque Txacoli. You can see where I'm coming from. They are the supermarket which has the most adventurous selections at the moment. Mind you, I've had Turkish, Indian and English wine from them recently which has been okay but not quite the sort of thing I'd highly recommend, other than as a curiosity.

    That said, Ray is right in that it is a good source for vfm Chablis from La Chablisiènne.

    I even saw Langoa Barton there last week, admittedly in the Oxford St branch, and it was 2002, or was it 2001? (£48)
  19. Pierre de Prehy label is effectively an own label for M&S - if it were produced for Sainsbury is would be Taste the Difference Chablis - with Julien Brocard's signature on the bottle. It is a cuvee of Chablis that is sold under other labels in other places as well - such as Alain Bretin in some independent wine merchants such as Tanners. It's also under the same label in Carrefour (and possibly other French shops) for E6.50.

    The organic I think comes from young grapes from a number of the Brocard's own domaines - Boissoneuse and Sainte Claire .
    Anthony Taylor likes this.
  20. 20160519_220037.jpg
    The trials of wine in a suit case from last night's trip Birmingham - Paris - Beirut. (Photo of the survivors) The wife packs better than me. As you can see in the photo I managed to save from left to right a General, a Lieutenant General, a Brigadier, 4 captains, 2 Lieutenants, one second Lieutenants, 2 injured Lieutenants and one dead one!.
    If the wife packed all would have been saved. But she was in this case the recipient and not the sender of these Chablis with hopes for enjoyable drinking in the coming weeks.
    One usual but strong card board box in one suitcase although surrounded with fabric samples it's corner got burst may be in the rough handling at CDG. The spirits where in the other case curtesy Silver Flying Blue Priority (2 suitcases allowed).
    In other trips all survive without any casualties. The right sort of suitcase to carry wine in is always a challenge for me when buying in department stores (This time T K Max won my business1)
    I am sure for many forumites who like to carry wines across the world (Mahmoud Ali - comes to mind when double handling in Istanbul on he way to Canada - a challenge Mahmoud? May be Tom too in his world wide trips).
  21. Hisham -

    I have a couple of expanded polystyrene "inners" which take several bottles (either 3 or 4) and are designed to fit in suitcases. A couple fit in a bigger suitcase with room left for clothing, one ditto in a smaller suitcase. I bought them in Australia for a few dollars. They seem to sell them at certain post offices in wine growing areas.

    I have never lost any wines this way, even though one suitcase was smashed irretrievably once. Worth looking out for.
  22. Thanks Ian. I guess they are not available in the UK. They sound exactly what is needed, if we can find them. My wife normally wraps each bottle in Polystyrene borrowed from other parcels received. But not seen ones tailor made.
  23. Hisham, I see from the picture above that you like Scotch. The empty canisters from Single Malts can be useful for carrying wine in a suit case. In my latest trip overseas I carried four bottles of whisky in my suitcase, two were in their own car board boxes but the other two were without them. I put them in empty canisters (Glenfarclas) and situated them in the middle of my suitcase ensuring that there was plenty of clothing, shoes and sandals surrounding them.

    On my Istanbul transits I carried the wines on board in my carry-on and later, in transit at either Toronto or Montreal, pack them in my suitcase for the last leg to Edmonton. This time I found China Souther more economical so it was a transit in Guangzhou so nothing of interest will be brought home this time.


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