A new Wine Tour started in Lidl stores recently and will continue until stocks run out, or until the January Wine Tour begins – whichever happens first.
The promotion includes the usual seasonal collection and, once again, features Ice Wine and Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos – both at astonishingly good prices.
So, I have paused our four-part review of Christmas wines to bring you my personal favourites from the collection.
These are spread across the price points and are wines that I rather hope you enjoy.
Do remember, though, that these really are WIGIG options so availability will vary from store to store.
As is normal here, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on the shelf or web page although not all prices are correct on the website.
Starting in Italy’s Campania Region
2021 Greco di Tufo, (£7.99 at Lidl and 13% abv):
Inland from Naples, and in elevated vineyards with a very rare geology, come the easy drinking white Greco di Tufo wines.
It is equally at home as an “offend no one” party option or for a more serious task where its lightness but intricacy will score highly.
Light bodied but opening with pronounced fruit aromas, this delivers delicate and bright apple, greengage and white currant flavours accompanied here by fresh citrus peel acidity and a savoury celery and dill background.
Staying in Italy but changing colours
2018 Barbera D’Asti Superiore (£6.49 at Lidl and 13.5%)
Not just changing colour but moving 700km north, we find the seriously underestimated Piedmonte grape, barbera, with its dark colour but, often, light texture.
That is especially true of Barbera D’Asti as is offered here – whereas Barbera D’Alba is frequently regarded as a more powerful and complex wine.
Textured with light sweetish hints, this version brings us textured cherry, loganberry and blackberry flavours coupled with good acidity, modest tannin and suggestions of oregano, cedar and star anise.
Next stop, Portugal
2020 Monsaraz Reserva (£8.49 at Lidl and 15%):
With their distinctive red flesh and deep colour, Alicante Bouschet grapes were once major players in several European countries but, apart from a few isolated outposts, its main presence nowadays is in Portugal’s massive Alentejo region.
And it is from there that this hearty example comes in the form of a deceptively high alcohol blend with touriga nacional and trincadeira.
Soft and smooth, it provides rich plum, blackcurrant and blueberry flavours supported by good acidity and firm (but not intrusive) tannin and a clove, tobacco and vanilla depth.
Next Two Champagnes
Comte de Senneval Rosé Brut (£19.99 at Lidl and 12.5%):
Opinions vary about why pink champagne has a price premium.
Producers argue that its production method is costlier while other think its appeal as a romantic choice makes buying seem less price sensitive.
One things is certain, though, suggestions that it is usually sweet(ish) are well wide of the mark – as this Brut version illustrates.
Indeed, even though this soft but dark coloured version supports its minty aromas with ripeness on the finish, its predominant feature is a dry and extensive cocktail of flavours.
They range from strawberry and red currant to pink grapefruit and tangerine with several stops in between.
Moving on to a Vintage version
2014 Comte de Senneval Millesime (£19.99 at Lidl and 12.5%)
Lidl usually tries to include a vintage champagne in its Christmas collection.
I’ll drink to that as the extra aging time involved provides a yeasty or biscuit dimension that adds a layer of complexity – and, hence, luxury.
See how that works here but, above all, appreciate the wine’s keen price; vintage champagne is often significantly dearer.
Despite quickly fading bubbles, this has a lovely mouth-feel to accentuate its apple, raspberry and orange flavours and associated sharp lemon acidity.
Those elements, in turn, are counterbalanced by pastry and new bread richness.
And two to decant.
Finally, I pick up on two really promising and well-priced red wines that are only just entering their “ready to drink” window in my view.
Consequently, they will respond well to (or even seem to demand) decanting, aeration or whatever air-exposure method you favour.
First up is a claret.
2019 Chateau de Landiras, Graves (£11.99 at Lidl and 13.5%)
Graves is usually thought to be the “original” exporting region from Bordeaux to the UK dating right back to the 1150’s.
The well-draining, gravelly soil of the region’s name has long been ideal for cabernet sauvignon – although merlot is widely grown there too.
Without exposure to air, the savoury elements of this wine (graphite and sage for instance) emerge first.
Next it is the wine’s smooth texture, good acidity and soft tannin that grab attention.
Only later do the cherry, prune, menthol and chocolate elements emerge but decanting does seem to advance them much further up the queue.
Then to Chile
2018 Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva (£11.99 at Lidl and 13.5%):
When conditions and yields are right, Chile’s Maipo Valley (home to this choice) produces terrific wines from, in particular, the so-called Bordeaux varieties.
This version is made by the acclaimed Santa Rita operation and is a flagship wine of theirs in most vintages – often featuring fruit from the more elevated parts of the region.
Soft and smooth, the wine exhibits minty cherry and blackberry flavours coupled here with gentle tannin, hints of sweetness and a vanilla and cinnamon depth.
Once again, though, decanting does open things up quicker and more emphatically.
Remember that two of the current promotions are due to end shortly. Both the Clubcard one at Tesco and the Morrisons one are due to end on 4 December.
However, by the time you read this, new sets of price reductions will have started in the Co-op and also in Waitrose.
Call in again on Monday when the talk is about “House Wines” and the spotlight falls on Top Tips that offer especially good value at a store near you.
Subscribe for FREE!
Do you want every review I write, direct to your inbox, absolutely free?