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Discounter Discoveries – Lidl Wine Tour

As most of you know, Lidl run a “Wine Tour” promotion every couple of months which highlights parcels of 20-30 selected wines that are only available while stocks last. 

Although there is no strongly focussed theme this time (nine countries are represented), the upward march of prices is evident.

Two thirds of the items in the promotion cost £6.99 or over but, nevertheless, the Premium Discounter’s determination to deliver value for money in any current context, remains clear. 

I tasted a dozen or so of the wines in this latest promotion and here are my top picks.

Reflecting the modern trend for briefer posts, that promotion is the main content today but a Sunday Best selection and an (often online) £8-£12 recommendation should now appear most weeks, starting next Thursday.

As usual, associated hyperlinks and pictures are used where possible.

Inexpensive but ideal summer white   

I struggled to find the grape variety used for this great value, uncomplicated white from Portugal’s Peninsula de Setubal but guess that the ubiquitous fernao pires is at work here.

Its aromatic base points to that variety but, pleasingly, this version avoids the inability to hold acidity for long that can detract from fernao pires overall appeal.

Scented and medium bodied, 2021 Paço do Bispo Branco (£5.99 and 12.5% abv) has simple red apple, peach and ripe melon flavours combined with good grapefruit acidity and an allied lime peel finish.  

MY STAR WHITE

Oh Boy! What lovely wine this is – and a welcome return to the Wine Tour.

While the Tokaj region in north eastern Hungary is legendary for its sweet wines, its volcanic geology works well for dry wines too.

Here, that terroir draws the best from the hárslevelű grape – a variety that sits just behind furmint in the country’s grape hierarchy.

Rounded and ripe, 2021 Carpinus Hárslevelü (£7.99 and 12%), offers us a brilliant collection of apple, grapefruit, peach and lime flavours enlivened by tangerine acidity and given complexity by suggestions of herbs and clover.

Now a red for this time of year

Summertime calls for lighter reds since hearty versions with 14%+ alcohol really do not mix easily with hot weather, so Italy’s versatile barbera grape is ideal for those days when the mercury starts to climb.

I say “versatile” because versions can vary from fresh, juicy and young wines to serious options with complexity enhancing aging – or, like this one, somewhere between the two.

Soft with only gentle tannin, 2017 Barbera d'Asti Superiore (£7.49 and 13.5%) provides medium bodied cherry and plum flavours coupled with good acidity, touches of liquorice, menthol and cinnamon and an underlying sweetness.

MY STAR RED

Before summer takes away the demand for weighty red wines have a look at the most expensive still wine in this promotion, and one from a grape that pushes barbera into second place among Piemonte’s reds – nebbiolo.

Often dubbed the “tar and roses” wine for its aromas, much Barolo production has now changed from burly wines, chewy tannin and other components that need time (often years) to mellow and tenderise.

Although its sour cherry flavours mean Barolo is not to everyone's taste, current versions like this are often softer, more approachable and ready sooner yet still exhibit those distinctive star qualities.

Big on roses but more restrained on tar, 2012 Barolo Riserva (£14.99 and 14%) delivers soft raspberry, damson and cherry flavours supported by good acidity and hints of figs, liquorice, molasses and star anise but pleasingly modest tannin.  

Other Sound Reds:

  • 2018 Kékfrankos (£6.99 and 13%): A Hungarian alternative to that Barbera with relatively light raspberry and red cherry flavours.
  • 2020 Juliénas Collin-Bourisset (£8.49 and 12.5%): A denser Beaujolais than many with chocolate hints behind its floral plum and blueberry flavours.
  • 2018 5 Oros Rioja Crianza (£6.99 and 14%): A middle of the road, traditional Rioja with prune and thyme flavours and firm tannin.
  • 2018 Château Sainte-Clothilde (£7.49 and 14%): Once decanted, this is traditional claret with graphite and bay leaf savouriness rivalling its cherry and mulberry flavours.

News on Promotions

  • Sainsbury’s are offering 25% off when customers buy 6 or more on selected bottlesof wine in a deal that runs until 5th June. Check their website for details and exceptions though.
  • Asda has a similar deal (as set out on their website) that also runs until Sunday but, again, do check for exceptions and conditions.
  • Clubcard holders can qualify for something similar at Tesco (as this site reveals) but their deals runs an extra day until 6 June. As ever, check the details carefully.
  • To complete the set, Morrisons also have a multi-buy promotion under way but discounts begin there at 3 bottles although that does seem to be restricted to their premium (The Best) range. This also expires on Sunday.  
  • With a more orthodox promotion, Lidl are dropping the price of their Prosecco Spumante Conegliano from today, bringing it down from £7.49 to £5.99 until next Wednesday for Scotland and Wales but this Sunday elsewhere.

Unlike the multi-buy options the Lidl deal applies across the whole UK.  

Join me again on Monday for what I recommend as Top Tips at a High Street store near you.


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Comments

9 Comments

Richard

Hi Brian, Couldn’t get hold of the Paco di Bispo, or the Joao Pires Branco, as neither of these whites were stocked at my local stores. Will try again, as Portugal seems to be on a real roll at the moment. I did enjoy the Cabriz Dao rose at 2021, a very useful lighter style food wine as it would work well with summer lunches or dinners – and be enjoyed by both casual and serious wine drinkers, at a mere £6.99.
Would endorse your comments on the Carpinus, a really lovely, and interesting wine . Thought the Julianas was excellent value at £8.49 – my bottle was 13.5%, and agree it was more hefty than, say, a typical Fleurie. Also enjoyed the Leopold Gruner Veltliner, a grape which has gone off my radar for no particular reason. Good value at £7.49, and went well with our current glut of asparagus!
I try to remember the most enjoyable wines of a current Lidl Wine Tour, as our local stores sell off many of the previous Wine Tour bottles at £3.99 – when the new Wine Tour wines come in!

Brian Elliott

Thanks, Richard, for those additional thoughts on bottles in the Wine Tour – that will be greatly appreciated by other subscribers. I have not tried that gruner but if it matches Lidl’s core range version, it is certainly well worth pursuing, even for those of us without a glut of asparagus – but consumed with jealousy for anyone who has!

Eddie Walker

Thank you for that Richard. As a long time Lidl shopper I have watched their wine selling “process ” year on year. But talking to others countrywide it’s not a given that every one gets the opportunity of the 3.99 reduced bottles that make way in the crates for a next Tour! You like me are lucky and I have had some cracking deals of wines reduced by as much as £6 a bottle on occasion!! Gruner Veltliners are rightly getting some good press these days but from Sainsbury’s right now on the 25% deal another fabulous white is the Jurancon Sec at £6 that Im sure .would deligjg too. Cheers ..

Brian Elliott

Agree that South-west France has some excellent wines especially for Plaimont.

Steve Perry

The only selection I’ve tried so far from this latest “Summer Wine” tour is the Xeitosino Riberio at £5-49, but have to admit to being somewhat disappointed. I’m a huge fan of both Alberino and Godello, and as this is from that same Galician region, thought it might be worth checking out. However, found it quite rough and harsh tasting, certainly thankful l I only bought the one bottle.

Brian Elliott

Sorry to hear that you were disappointed by that Wine Tour white. It is not one I have tried but, as you suggest, its source does look promising. Being philosophical, I guess it is the occasional disappointment that intensifies the pleasure when an unexpected treasure emerges. Cold comfort, nevertheless, when you have just endured something that does the opposite of tick the right boxes. Thanks for signalling this up to other MidWeekers though.

Steve Perry

I’ve no real complaints Brian, overall I’ve found some great wines at Lidl, although personally, I tend to use Aldi more. I think it’s a better store all round and we’ve now got 3 branches in our town, all within a mile or so from I live. By comparison, there’s just one Lidl and it does look a little tired and “run down”, compared to it’s Aldi cousin.

Paul Davies

Paco do bispo seems to be a blend of fernao pires with some Arinto and verdelho.My rusty Portuguese translates the title as the Bishop’s Palace.It is really interesting that Portugal wine makers go for blends of grapes in red and whir wines.eg Porta 6 and Lisboa 7 ,whereas other European countries tend to value single grape varieties from single vineyards.In Portugal and Spain it is about blending as much a# cultivation.

Brian Elliott

Hi Paul and thanks for the additional information. As you suggest, Portugal is adept at blending, but then they have had years of experience creating the blends used for port and with the widespread (but diminishing) number of “field blends”. There is something authentic and engaging about inheriting a vineyard with an almost random patchwork of vines assembled over the years as dead vines are replaced with whatever variety is handy. The uncertainty about what has ripened well each year – and will thus drive the ensuing “field blend” wine – has a real appeal. Not to accountants however!


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