Consumer giant Amazon has launched its first ever own brand wine.
Called Compass Road, the wine retails for £35.99 for a case of six (£5.99 per bottle) – and can be delivered straight to your doorstep.
“When assessing these wines it's important to take price into account,” Lucy Shaw, Editor of The Drinks Business tells the Standard.
“They retail at £5.99 a bottle, which puts them very much in the entry-level bracket. At that price point you have to hunt for wines of quality – the UK duty alone on a bottle of still wine is £2.68 – so I was pleasantly surprised by how clean and crisp most of the wines were. It's not clear who they are aimed at, possibly millennials given the colourful contemporary packaging.”
Shaw’s overall verdict? “While we work hard in the trade to try to encourage consumers to spend more than £5 on a bottle of wine, the range is largely clean, balanced, refreshing and well made, so will certainly find an audience.”
Amazon has launched five different types of wine under Compass Road – Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rose and Merlot – and Shaw gives her verdict on each below.
Compass Road Pinot Grigio
What Amazon says: This elegant wine has a pale yellow colour with green reflections and aromas of pear, green apple and citrus.
What our expert says: “One of the best examples of its type in the range, the nose offered notes of lemon, tropical fruit and gooseberry, and it was clean and crisp on the palate with a slightly bitter finish. “
Compass Road Riesling, Qualitätswein
What Amazon says: It has a pale yellow colour with greenish reflections with complex aromas of peach, green apple. The wine has a pleasant and well-balanced acidity.
What our expert says: “The nose was pleasant with aromas of lime, white flowers and green apple, and on the mouth the racy acidity led to a mouth-watering freshness, but the finish was disappointingly short. “
Compass Road Chardonnay
What Amazon says: This wine is balanced with a golden yellow colour with green reflections and aromas of pineapple with pear and citrus.
What our expert says: “My favourite of the five, this was an extremely quaffable wine and as clean as a whistle, but also offered some of the signature citrus character you hope for from the grape. It would pair well with a variety of seafood dishes, from creamy scallop gratin to oysters Rockefeller.”
Compass Road Grenache Rosé
What Amazon says: It has a shiny salmon pink colour and an expressive bouquet with aromas of fresh red fruits and strawberry.
What our expert says: “Going against the grain of the popular pale pink rosés made in Provence, this French offering was a lot darker in hue, with an orange tinge. The nose offered some pretty notes of fresh strawberries and summer fruits, but the palate was a little on the sweet side, recalling strawberry boiled sweets. It also tasted a bit tired.”
Compass Road Merlot
What Amazon says: A well balanced wine with a dark red colour and a fruity nose with a rich bouquet and aromas of black cherry, plum and currant.
What our expert says: “Soft, mellow and medium bodied, this was a classic Merlot with some appealing cherry, plum and red currant aromas. The finish was a little dry and grippy from the tannins, which need to even out with time.”