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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