To complement the Lidl Wine Tour promotions that appear every two months, I try – on the other months – to feature new arrivals or vintages (or anything simply pretty good) in Aldi.
Together, those retailers populate my Discounter Discoveries features that appear towards the end of each month – and today it is Aldi’s turn.
It is fitting to bracket those retailers together because both nimbly negotiate that value tightrope between price and quality.
More significantly for this site, both have proved as benignly “disruptive” (as far as drinkers are concerned) to the world of wine, as they have in the rest of the grocery sector.
But, enough background, let’s talk about the wine.
Wherever possible, each listed wine adds a picture and a hyperlink to help you pinpoint the bottle concerned on shelf or website.
Light wine for summer days
Given its vintage, this example of Austria’s flagship grape is not a “keeper” but is still providing satisfyingly delicate and lively patio wine to garnish a sunny day.
Floral and light, 2020 Specially Selected Grüner Veltliner (£6.49 at Aldi and 12.5% abv) brings us ripe pear and red apple “taste-alikes” embellished by tangerine acidity, white pepper, vanilla and “Crunchy Bar” honey influences.
Solving a “nice to have” problem
Barbecuing can create something of a dilemma.
Hot weather and hearty wines are not easy bedfellows, yet what we are cooking can be overwhelmed by insubstantial wines – but here is an option.
Despite being medium bodied, 2021 Castellore Italian Primitivo (£4.99 at Aldi and 13.5%) has sufficient texture and the right cocktail of cherry, plum and blackcurrant flavours to hold its own with moderately grilled meats.
Those elements are palatably supplemented by limited tannin, good acidity and an edge of sweetness all built into that aforementioned texture and the chocolate and allspice components it contains.
Completing the red, white and pink trio
Here is a wine that defies my crude rule of thumb that the lighter the colour of a rosé the more enjoyable many people will find it.
Probably because it is 70% cabernet sauvignon, this is darker than “Provence Pink” on your colour chart but it still provides complexity, delicacy and a low level of residual sugar (less than 5 g/l).
2021 Specially Selected Rosé Cabernet Grenache (£5.79 at Aldi and 12.5%) is from Bulgaria’s southerly Thracian Valley (towards the Turkish border) and is driven by long crab apple, red currant and red cherry flavours.
Decidedly summery with attractive sweet touches, it also has traces of celery and rhubarb that provide contrasting dryness and savouriness and is given vitality by grapefruit acidity.
My Top Choice
Not just because it’s such a good shellfish accompaniment, Languedoc’s Picpoul de Pinet has become a firm favourite in the UK.
The volume of its distinctive tall, green bottles on the wine shelves is because a third of the region’s entire output finishes up over here.
Although the 2021 Picpoul vintage did not quite match its two brilliant predecessors, it still provided excellent examples like this – which, at just over £6, represents terrific value for money.
Long and nicely textured, 2021 Specially Selected Picpoul De Pinet (£6.49 at Aldi and 12.5%) delivers grassy greengage, kiwi fruit and melon flavours combined with crisp acidity and suggestions of oregano, lemon balm and grapefruit pith.
Friday Night Special
Climate and other conditions make New South Wales Hunter Valley a discouraging place to grow grapes – but, happily, nobody told semillon vines.
It is probably the extra acidity its grapes seem to retain thereabouts that makes the difference – which is particularly noticeable in unoaked versions like this.
Textured with zingy verve, 2021 The Society’s Hunter Valley Semillon (£8.95 at The Wine Society and 11%) centres around pithy orange and grapefruit flavours.
That foundation is neatly enlivened by sharp, clean tasting lemon acidity and given complexity by sherbet hints and vaguely savoury elements.
To “bookend” that Aldi rosé from Eastern Europe and also feature a wine that would not be out of place with a double figure price, I have dropped a little down the normal Sunday Best price range.
My choice is a pinot-based rosé from inland Croatia – Slavonia, towards the border with Hungary – in an area that also produces acclaimed sweet wines.
Aromatic with a gentle herb background, 2020 Kutjevo Rosé (from £8.99 at Laithwaite and 12%) opens with initial apple peel flavours that are quickly superseded by ripe melon, peach, red currant and rhubarb components.
Classic rosé delicacy is also in evidence, but the wine gets vibrancy as well courtesy of its crisp grapefruit and tangerine acidity.
Little change on this front this time so the feature will be back next week with the latest update on deals available on a High Street near you.
Join me again on Monday for my eagerly awaited recommendations on great value wine purchases right now – in the weekly MidWeek Wines Top Tips feature.
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