Many wine commentators (including this one) have given exposure to the revamped Lidl Wine Tours.
Rightly so as they contain some great wines, but there are new things in Aldi too.
That company uses a different model – with major refreshes twice a year – rather than monthly releases of smaller numbers.
Last month saw its autumn range debut so, today, I take a look at some of the reds it featured.
The picture is a good one, with no fewer than eight wines clearing the quality and value hurdle applied to all recommendations here
Next month, I will put the spotlight on a few (other than red) wines.
Both posts can only be snapshots since there are nearly 150 wines in the Aldi range.
Admirably, over 80% of them are under £10 – an achievement in the current climate.
As Julie Ashfield (Aldi’s MD of Buying) says “This new seasonal wine range is our biggest yet and …. means shoppers can get fantastic quality wines at accessible price points”.
So, let’s have a look at some in that range.
Images are provided where possible but there are fewer pictures available than normal. I will try to update this post as more images become available.
Wine with a homeland that will surprise.
2022 Specially Selected Gamay Rouge (£8.99 at Aldi and 13% abv):
Gamay, of course, is the Beaujolais grape but there are a few enclaves where it also prospers in France (the Loire for instance) and beyond.
Southwest France is not an obvious one, though, so full marks to the Aldi buyers for picking up this one from Comte Tolosan – because it is a lovely example.
Dark in colour but attractively light in body, it delivers juicy raspberry and blackcurrant flavours.
Enjoy too its accompanying herbal freshness, good acidity, gentle earthiness and hints of cocoa and parma violet sweeties.
Malbec’s secret rival
2022 Specially Selected Argentinian Bonarda (£6.29 at Aldi and 13%):
Despite being widely planted in Argentina, bonarda is little known compared to malbec.
That feels an injustice given the fruit forward and floral characteristics good versions often display.
To set that right, then, relish the lovely black fruit aromas and medium bodied mulberry, blackberry, fig and prune flavours this example delivers.
Those are accompanied by good acidity, mineral and vanilla traces but only limited tannin.
Just look at the price here
2021 Pierre Jaurant Bordeaux Rouge (£5.29 at Aldi and 13%):
Wake me up someone, I was having a lovely dream about a presentable Bordeaux red for around a fiver …… oh wait!
Rare indeed to find one with as many authentic “claret touches” and wine that provides an excellent gateway to the superstars to be found higher up the price ladder.
Vaguely floral with that classic leafy aura, this merlot and cabernet sauvignon blend contains ripe cherry and plum flavours.
Supplementary features include firm acidity, mild tannin and traces of cedar, anise and graphite.
And to the Medoc next.
2019 Chateau Les Trois Manoirs Medoc (£8.49 at Aldi and 13%):
Many of the more expensive Bordeaux superstars alluded to earlier will be found in the Medoc – and the region's left bank vineyards located there.
Here is a five-grape blend (led by cabernet sauvignon) that also gives clear clues about why wines from thereabouts stimulate so much fuss.
Still youthful, and with typical vegetal aromatics, this features mellow prune and bramble flavours with gentle tannin and good acidity.
Touches of oakiness, charcoal and liquorice within a savoury but complex depth, complete the picture.
Another unexpected location.
Specially Selected Lebanese Red (£8.99 at Aldi and 13.5%:
Proving that Lebanon is more than a one trick (Chateau Musar) shaped pony, comes this impressive red from the Bekaa Valley – near the Syrian border – where altitude can negate the effect of the extreme heat.
Medium bodied and soft, this example exhibits smooth damson and mulberry flavours supported by good acidity and balanced tannin with allspice, menthol and oregano elements.
To more familiar territory.
2020 Castellore Chianti (£5.29 at Aldi and 13%):
Another example of modern, medium bodied Chianti and one available at a pleasingly modest price.
It’s for immediate drinking, though, not storing.
Surprisingly mature in appearance with leafy aromas, it exhibits assertive prune and tomato flavours accompanied by firm tannin, but good acidity, with touches of aniseed and mint.
And another well-known wine region
2018 Baron Amarillo Rioja Reserva (£5.75 at Aldi and 13.5%):
Aldi are strong on Spanish – especially Rioja, where their friendly prices make that the “go to” section in most Aldi stores.
Here is a reserva which is a designation three rungs up the region’s four level classification hierarchy, and is seldom found at prices starting with a “5”.
Rounded and with modest tannin, this example brings us assertive plum and cherry flavours.
Meanwhile, that foundation is attractively coupled with vanilla, rosemary, mocha and clove constituents and given vibrancy by sharp acidity.
Finally, Rioja’s main rival
2020 Specially selected Ribera del Duero (£8.49 at Aldi): Spain: 14.5%:
While aging and blending are especially important with Rioja’s wines, some say that those from Ribera del Duero can be fuller, more intense and more focussed in tempranillo itself.
Judge that for yourself from the rich cherry and blackberry flavours that are revealed here once the smooth, savoury opening has receded a little.
These are joined by softening acidity, proportionate tannin and suggestions of black pepper, vanilla and woodsmoke.
Tidings from Eddie
“I find conditions that apply to supermarket offers can, at times, be confusing! We must read the small print so as not to be disappointed.
Personal experience has shown in the past that what might be advertised on-line as an offer sometimes does not apply in-store.
So, this notification comes with the caveat that you may need to be cautious about what is said viz ”from the range below” and ”selected bottles”.
But let us presume there is little ambiguity intended and almost all that Asda offers in the wine aisle is included here.
Although, for sure, nothing under £5.50 appears to feature in 25% off deals these days.
However, it does seem that Asda are currently on a long and customer friendly run of 25% off buy 6 bottles.
So, all being well, here is a deal that runs for a considerable length of time – until Wednesday 25th October in fact.
Better still, note the added value offered by double-dips because some shelf priced bottles are already reduced by a £1 or £2.
Current stand-outs for me include an Italian white, the Extra Special Gavi that can be as little as £6.18
And a very acceptable Bordeaux that comes in under that £10 magic figure for finding good claret, is the Montagne-Saint- Emilion at similar money.
Once again, may I mention the Via Vincini Gran Rosso that is £8/£7/£5.25?
It must be the best kept secret of all where quality of evocative Italian red wine meets exceptional value.
Thanks Eddie, very helpful stuff
My next post (on Monday) contains terrific recommendations of Top Tips for you in the weekly feature of the same name.
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