Hands up all those people who will break out a bottle of dessert wine at the end of a meal to accompany pudding, I guess if I look around there would probably not be many arms in the air but if you haven’t tried it then you are missing out on a real treat.
On a lovely spring evening, eating al fresco with friends I brought out this bottle of dessert wine to accompany a variety of sweet puddings. Many of them had not tried dessert wine before but were all willing to give it a go, It was also a chance to try out my recently bought dessert wine glasses
The bottle in question was the Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest 2011. I had this bottle chilling in the fridge all day.
When poured it was darkish gold in colour, heady aromas of peach, apricot, mangoes and something herbal. For a sweet wine this was not cloying or sickly, tasting of fresh tropical fruits which burst in the mouth, including apricots, peaches and oranges.
Slightly sweeter than the apricot tart and strawberry cheesecake ice cream we were eating this just seemed to pair perfectly and enjoyed by all who tried it.
So if you haven’t tried dessert wine before, go on treat yourself you won’t be disappointed, this is stunning !
I don’t often order things from abroad mainly due to shipping costs and the time it takes to arrive but when I saw a wine deal from the Spanish retailer ‘El Corte Ingles‘ it seemed too much of a bargain to let it go so I took the plunge, as did a few of our guys from Cuvee Reserve (an online wine forum I’m a member of) but as you will read, there was mixed results although things did end up on a positive note. Here’s the deal…
Brand: ALEJANDRO FERNANDEZ
2 x 75 cl bottles of Dehesa La Granja 2007 Vijo red wine from la Tierra de Castilla y León
2 x 75 cl bottles of El Vínculo Crianza 2010 red wine DO Castilla La Mancha
2 x 75 cl bottles of Pesquera Crianza 2012 red wine DO Ribera de Duero
Six bottles for £47 with free delivery and for first time customers if I spent over £50 I would get £10 off with a Promo Code. Now I know the Pesquera sells in the UK for around £20 per bottle so this seemed like a really good deal. I scoured their site online and looked for another suitable single bottle to take the order over £50 and found a Tempranillo for £10 which took my spend to £57, so with the £10 off the final total was £47 which works out at roughly £6.70 a bottle, I think you’ll agree quite a bargain.
It was on February 27th that I ordered the case online and got a confirmation from El Corte that they were processing the order as did my friends on Cuvee Reserve, so far so good. Then the problems started. the confirmation stated that the order would arrived within 15 days and a couple of us got a further email saying that the order had been dispatched, no dispatch for me though.
Then the second email arrived for some, not me, stating that there has been a delay in shipping due to an issue with the courier. On March 11th I got my first email telling me that my order had been cancelled with no explanation, I emailed them back and got this response…………
‘Our head managers have just informed that unfortunately there was an issue on your order during shipping and it could not be sorted out in reasonable time. Since wines quality may be affected, we regret we had to cancel your order. Our managers have issued a 30% discount code for all the inconveniences we have caused. EC130′ Please accept our apologies.
I then received this…………..
Please accept our apologies. There was an issue on our system which prevented your order to be shipped.
That does not mean that we can not send new wines deliveries. In fact, our wines are still available now on our site. It has been an isolated problem.
About your code, we have requested our managers to activate it for you. Our apologies for that.
As soon as we have their answer, we will get back to you.
Customer services assured me that no money has been taken, others on Cuvee Reserve all got similar emails either about delays or cancellations. As the deal was so good I decided to carry on and made the decision to cancel the order in writing and re-order as the offer was still available. Then I got this email on March 14th…
We confirm there is no payment done into your order 342686 About the order 347875, we have found stock delay, we expect new stock to arrive this week.
Followed by this on March 15th…
We regret to inform that your order is delayed. We expect it will be shipped during
the last week of March.
We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you.
Completely fed up I decided to just wait and see what happens, in the mean time some of my Cuvee reserve friends finally got their cases delivered one on April 6th and another on April 12th although the second delivery was damaged (see picture) Corte Ingles did offer him 50% of his money back, which made it an unbelievable deal. Others got fed up and cancelled completely. Finally my order also arrived on the 12th April intact (actually surprisingly well packaged) but six weeks and numerous emails after my initial order.
Would I order from them again ? yes probably, if the deal is good (still got the 30% discount code). On the plus side the wines I’ve tasted so far have been superb and more than make up for this unfortunate saga.