Although the new Lidl promotion that launches this morning has a strong Iberian focus overall, I have also featured parts of the collection from elsewhere in Europe – to provide something for a wide range of tastes.
Here are what I consider the promotion's highlights, but remember that these wines are time limited promotions and many sell out quickly.
Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine in a crowded display.
Port country changes tack
While we still – understandably – think first of port when talk turns to the Douro Valley, the region’s table wines are growing in volume and complexity; most are red but a few inexpensive whites like this have also emerged.
There is attractive, mellow, apple and pear fruit in 2014 Douro Branco Azinhaga d’Ouro (£4.99 and 12.5% abv) which is nicely complemented by spiciness and ripe, white peach touches that add an edge of sweetness.
What South West France does brilliantly
Heading back east for a minute, modern winemaking also allows South West France (and, in particular, the massive Comte Tolosan area) to create tasty, fresh and wallet-friendly whites – often using purely local grape varieties.
Like that Douro white, rounded apple elements also form part of 2014 Comte Tolosan (£4.99 and 11.5%) but here they emerge more as soft, cooked apple influences – supported by savoury spices and slightly firmer acidity.
And, for me, the star white
More factually (but less poetically) the rain in Spain falls mainly on …… Galicia (the area between Portugal and the northern coast); one beneficial result, however, is the very different grape varieties grown there and the way one of them – albarino – excels with the local seafood.
Orchard fruits also form the backbone of 2015 Sentidino Albarino (£5.99 and 12.5%) but, as well, there are neat tropical fruit components, livelier acidity and greater all round complexity.
Cross Border wine styles
Portugal’s Douro river, mentioned earlier, crosses the border into Spain, changes its name slightly, and provides the terrain that produces what many in the country consider to be better red wine than Rioja.
I was particularly impressed by the boldness of the red cherry and blackcurrant fruit in 2015 Ribera del Duero El Arte de Vivir Tempranillo (£5.99 and 13.5%) and its integration with the wine's textured cinnamon background and balanced acidity – yet never compromising its overall softness.
A gentler face of Rhone
One of the eighteen communes allowed to add its name to the “Cotes du Rhone Villages” designation, Seguret tends to produce less powerful wine than some of its neighbours but the value and quality can – as here – be hugely impressive.
Bright and quite lightly textured, 2014 Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Les Terrasses des Dentelles (£6.49 and 13.5%) provides bright cherry, vanilla and spice flavours with a canny balance struck between its acidity and the gentle tannins it contains.
A clever winemaking technique
2012 Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore (£7.99 and 13.5%) gives a good illustration of the depth this process brings and sets it in the context of the wine's mellow, minty, cherry and elderberry fruit and freshness – but only limited tannin.
Finishing with traditional claret
Being on the “right bank”, the clay based vineyards around St Emilion are prime merlot country and the 80%+ contribution of that gentler and slightly less aristocratic variety here leaves very clear fingerprints.
True to form, 2012 Chateau Haut Montil Saint Emilion Grand Cru (£12.99 and 13%) provides soft plum and lively black cherry fruit but combines it well with touches of nutmeg, earthy, graphite depth and, by Bordeaux standards, softer tannin.
Subscribe for FREE!
Do you want every review I write, direct to your inbox, absolutely free?