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Great Reasons for Thanksgiving to Lidl

Lidl's' “when it's gone its gone” promotions now work on a bi-monthly basis and  its Christmas offers start this morning.

They contain over forty wines and the overall standard is very high but here are a few of the highlights.

Since it is a Christmas collection, I have concentrated on higher than normal price points but the full list does contain a couple of good £6 wines too.

As usual, click on the image for a bigger picture to help track down  the bottle in question..

Surprisingly complex for the price

lidl-sassi-del-mare-falanghinaLet's start with one of those Italian whites recently given a new lease of life. Here is a version that is slightly above entry point prices – but significantly above entry point finesse.

I particularly enjoyed the combined lemon and red apple fruit in 2015 Sassi del Mare Falinghina (£7.99 and 13.5% abv) but was also impressed by the lightness of the texture and the extra complexity its concluding touch of spice introduces.

Well priced Loire sauvignon

lidl-fief-des-pierres-blanches-quincyOur next stop is on the Loire for one of those sauvignon blancs that run Sancerre (and its like) close for quality but with gentler price tags.

 

There is typical freshness and firm acidity in 2015 Fief des Pierres Blanches Quincy (£8.99 and 13.5%) but those lemon influences are attractively supplemented by peach centred depth and just a hint of minerality.

Great example of modern Rioja

lidl-glorioso-rioja-reservaSwitching to reds, modern style Rioja has won the region many new friends by successfully turning up the acidity level and fruit contribution but strictly controlling the tannin and oak based elements.

Those characteristics come through clearly in the well-priced 2012 Glorioso Rioja Reserva (£9.99 and 13.5%) where there is a real lightness to the cherry and red currant fruit which is, indeed, enlivened by bold acidity and where its cinnamon and muted tannin finish provides a stylish sign-off.

Naturally, there is claret on the list!

lidl-chateau-moulin-de-la-bridane-saint-julienOf the main Bordeaux Medoc communes, Saint Julien did better than most with the very challenging 2013 vintage and, if some of its wines lack the unbridled power of better years, many have proved to be ready earlier than usual.

With soft cranberry, blackcurrant and raspberry fruit, 2013 Chateau Moulin de la Bridane Saint Julien (£13.99 and 12.5%) is certainly ready and – with the help of a lot of skilled winemaking – brings us good quality, medium bodied claret with proportionate tannin and firm acidity.

Revel in the depth and texture of Amarone

lidl-amarone-della-valpolicellaWith its careful grape selection and flavour intensification through weeks of drying before pressing, amarone is certainly the aristocrat of valpolicella red wines and this is not only an excellent example but a very keenly priced one too.

The depth and texture of 2012 Amarone della Valpoicella (£12.49 and 15.5%) shine through clearly here to show off the wine’s bold loganberry and red cherry fruit – with only gentle tannin – and the pepper, clove and vanilla backdrop that supports it.

Possibly a fizz you have never tried

lidl-franciacorta-borgo-regio-brutFull marks to Lidl for sourcing sparkling wine from the small “fizz only” Franciacorta appellation in Lombardy with this chardonnay-based special at an amazingly competitive price – and unlike prosecco, this is made by the traditional method.

Pursuing the points of difference with prosecco 2012 Borgo Regio Franciatorta (£8.99 and 12.5%) is a much more savoury wine with a chalky mineral background. It had rave reviews at recent Wine Gang events, but try a bottle and see how well it ticks boxes for you.

And so, of course, to Champagne

lidl-bissinger-champagne-premium-cuveeHere though are more traditional bubbles with one of the four mid-teen priced champagnes in this latest Lidl collection. While not being the most expensive, this did – by my reckoning – out score the other three.

There is attractive, soft apple fruit to Champagne Bissinger Premium Cuvée NV (£16.99 and 12%) that is nicely balanced by firm lemon and lime acidity and a slightly nutty backdrop.

Six sumptuous sweeties

lidl-pillitteri-estates-ice-wine-vidalThe full list contains six dessert wines from four different countries which start at a mere £7 – but so many of you enjoyed the wine that I recommended last year that I am featuring it again.

Canadian ice wine is incredibly costly to produce, so 2015 Pillitteri Estate Vidal Ice Wine (£14.99 for half bottle in a box and 11%) is remarkable for it price alone – but its sophisticated smooth orange flavours, raspberry style acidity and tongue tantalising density take it into a different league.

By the way, there is also a cabernet sauvignon version this year that one of the MW's involved in the selection process rates even more highly than the vidal.

Finally, home to port

Despite being tawny in style, Colheita ports, eschew the customary “20/30 year etc decade ladder” to bring us single vintage wines that, of course, have spent the lengthy barrel time needed to create that tawny colouration.

lidl-saint-clair-port1997 Colheita Saint Clair Port (£14.99 and 20%) is a lovely and well priced example – with Christmas style nuts, dried fruit and oranges among its cocktail of flavours but, above all, it has exactly the right counterbalances between its fresh acidity and the gentle sweetness it delivers.



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Comments

6 Comments

Diana Thompson

Great recommend for the Franciacorta – thanks Brian. I put it to my Festive Wine Workshop last week and it went down a storm – most people thought it was £15+. Stock up early for Christmas – not sure that stocks will last long at this rate!

Brian Elliott

Thanks for updating us Diana – and I am really pleased to see that your Wine Workshops are taking off so well.
As for the Franciacorta, I fancy it is the savoury background and chardonnay basis that gives us such appeal ….. Brian

Liz Weeks

Hi
Was thrilled to see your review of another Ice Wine (absolutely LOVED last years) and rushed off to my local stores x 2 to be greeted by complete bafflement and it was pointed out to me that it doesn’t feature in their promo leaflet.
Have now contacted Customer services who also have no knowledge of the wine – altho’ I’m not the first to ask …….do you have info to pass on because as the pre Christmas clock ticks it looks like like a ‘ no show’……………??

Brian Elliott

As we have discussed since the comment, these wines should now be in most larger Lidl stores although there was a hiccup in deliveries during the first week of the promotion.

anne Horne

Hi Brian,I have enjoyed a chardonnay from Lidls ,think its their own label but have not seen it in my local store for a while can you investigate?

Brian Elliott

Happy to help Anne. Presumably it was part of their Cimarosa brand but do you remember the colour of the bottle top and lower part of the label? That tells us which country it came from. Use the Midweek wines email address for a quicker response …… Best …… Brian


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