John Wilson: Five good-value discoveries from Marks & Spencer’s Found series
Wines for the Weekend: M&S has a new range of interesting and eclectic wines
John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: M&S Found Moschofilero & Roditis, Mazuelo, Ribolla Gialla, Xinomavro Mandilaria and Gros Manseng
Marks & Spencer has always tried hard to offer an interesting and eclectic range of wines. It recently released its Found series, featuring wines from lesser-known regions, unfamiliar grape varieties, or sometimes both. The full range features 12 wines, eight of which have found their way to Ireland so far. These will sit alongside M&S’s Classic and This Is ranges, launched last year. Wines made from esoteric grape varieties tend to be expensive, but happily those in the Found range all cost between €10.50 and €15. As well as the five bottles featured here, they include a Feteasca Regala, from Romania, a Vinho Verde rosé, a Nerello Cappuccio from Sicily (all €10.50) and a sparkling Blanquette de Limoux (€15).
M&S Found Ribolla Gialla 2020, Venezia Giulia, €10.50
This is a very moreish springlike light white with melons and pears and a cleansing citrus note. Try it solo or with shellfish or summer salads.
M&S Found Gros Manseng 2020, IGP Cotes de Gascogne, €13.30
Gros Manseng and its cousin Petit Manseng are components in the dry and sweet wines of Jurançon, in southwest France. Here in nearby Gascony, it produces a very seductive textured wine with mouth-watering peaches and pears. I would drink this alongside baked salmon or a Thai green prawn curry.
M&S Found Moschofilero & Roditis 2020, €12.50
Two indigenous Greek grape varieties, the Moschofilero adding perfume and fresh grapey fruit to the honeyed citrus of Roditis. This is a very moreish fresh, crisp, lightly saline white with real character. Tiring of Sauvignon Blanc? Try this.
M&S Found Xinomavro Mandilaria 2020, Greece, €14
Xinomavro is one of Greek’s best grape varieties, but it can be quite tannic on its own. Mandilaria, widely grown throughout Greece, provides softer, easier fruits to provide balance. This has warming, savoury, earthy dark-cherry fruits, light tannins and a dry finish. One to savour with a beef or lamb stew, or maybe moussaka.
M&S Found Mazuelo 2019, Rioja, €12.50
Mazuelo, otherwise known as Carignan, is not widely grown in Rioja and usually features as a minor part of a blend. Here it works extremely well with nicely concentrated fresh, ripe dark fruits, good acidity and a long finish. Drink it with roast lamb or roast Mediterranean vegetables.