Lidl's latest promotion begins this mornings and I have selected the following half dozen wines that seem to me to strike exactly the right balance between value and quality.
Incidentally, a new Lidl promotion often means that a few of their outlets will be offering survivors from the last one at discounted prices; perhaps your local store is one of them.
As usual, click on the image for a bigger picture to help track down the bottle in question.
Bordeaux does sauvignon too!
In our rush to Marlborough and the Loire, we often overlook the excellent results (and good value) Bordeaux can offer with sauvignon blanc – sometimes as a blend with Semillon and sometimes (as here) on its own.
Enjoy then the smooth and leafy 2015 La Boucaude Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc (£5.99 and 12.5% abv) with its fresh, grassy opening and the nicely integrated lemon and lime acidity that supports it.
Another neglected aspect of France
Try, for instance, the blend of two of their best grapes in 2015 Pfaffenenheim Pinot Gris Riesling (£7.99 and 13%) which skilfully combines firm lime edged acidity with appealing rounded, textured apple components.
Meanwhile further south
Sticking with France but changing to red wines, we move to that powerhouse of great value everyday wines – Languedoc – but catch up with a variety that has only been a serious option there for a mere 50 years.
While 2014 Merlot Pays d’Oc Val de Salis (£5.79 and 13.5%) is much lighter bodied (and lower in tannin) than most wines thereabouts, it still comes through with very pleasant cherry and plum fruit supported by distinctly nutty undertones.
But over the Border
2012 Pagos del Rey Rioja Reserva (£6.99 and 13.5%) has bold – but medium bodied – cherry fruit and softer tannin than many reservas yet still offers minty, plum touches to add complexity to that cherry based spine.
Staying in Spain but getting sweet.
Andalucia usually makes us think of sherry but the area around Malaga is stepping up its game with table wines and is also producing increasingly impressive versions of its more traditional sweeter wines.
For example, 2015 Carpe Diem Dulce Natural Malaga (£5.99 for 50cl bottles and 15%) has a nicely balanced fusion of apple freshness with more predictable flavours of oranges and honey that lead into marmalade centred depth.
Finally to sweetness of a different kind
Opt then for the delightful floral, strawberry fruit of Henri Delattre Rosé Champagne (£14.99 and 12%) which also has deceptive depth plus an edge of gentle sweetness but counterbalances it all with lively acidity too.
Best of the Rest
Another impressive Spanish red
Talking about Spanish wines regions – as today’s main feature does – not too many people have heard of Yecla, north of Alicante, but winemakers there use its very favourable terroir to create good reds from the powerful monastrell (aka mourvedre) grape.
Certainly 2014 Heredad del Rey Monastrell Syrah Seleccion Reservada (£5.99 – instead of £7.99 from yesterday until 21 February – at Waitrose and 13.5%) blends that variety with shiraz to create full bodied wine that has only gentle tannin but does deliver fresh damson and cherry fruit with hints of fennel and nutmeg.
Back to France for a white
While the eastern end of the Loire around Sancerre and Pouilly remains “Sauvignon Central” certainly at top price levels, great ordinary versions can be unearthed further along the river’s meandering route to the sea.
One such example is the textured 2015 Exquisite Touraine Sauvignon Blanc (£5.49 at Aldi and 12.5%) with vibrant green apple fruit and a combination of sherbet, lime and lemon to provide the necessary acidic freshness.
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