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Lidl Goes Italian with this Wine Tour

Today, being the last Thursday of the month, sees the arrival of another Lidl Wine Tour.

To tie in with, I believe, broader promotions, the main focus this time switches from the New World to Italy.

However, there are also contributions from Spain and Argentina.

One or two components of earlier Wine Tours re-surface today but, that needn’t be a bad thing.

One is merely a move onto the next vintage while the other was a delightful offering from just before Christmas that I, for one, rated highly.

An important feature of these promotions though is the way it helps customers to consider wine they may never have heard of.

Two examples from the current list are Sicily’s zibibbo and a three cornered Spanish blend.

Both are excellent and well worth seeking out with the Spanish option actually topping my list of white wines.

Here then are my top six choices from the Wine Tour.

Although, once again, pictures are included where possible (to make locating the wine easier) – there are no hyperlinks today as the promotion only goes live this morning.

Starting with Chardonnay

2022 Alma Mora Reserve Chardonnay (£7.49 at Lidl while stocks last and 13% abv):

While most wines in this Tour are Italian, this is an Argentinian interloper and illustrates how well producers there do with chardonnay.

That country’s warmth ripens the grapes well, but the height of many vineyards keeps acidity levels up – and chardonnay responds well to that combination of conditions.

Fresh with muted vanilla influences, this everyday (rather than spectacular) example is centred on zesty ripe melon and peach flavours.

Those qualities are built into a creamy texture that is attractively enlivened by sharp grapefruit acidity.

A returning hero

2022 Corte Allodolla Lugana (£8.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%):

This wine featured in the December Tour, and I recommended it then but it has developed a bit in the interim.

Happily though, none of the changes have affected its overall quality.

White gold in colour and soft, the wine (made from turbiana grapes near Lake Garda) still displays the cultured peach, orange and mildly sweet flavours I mentioned last time.

However, the acidity has rounded a little while the savoury components seem to have given way to hints of chocolate.

Another re-appearance.

2022 Duca de Castelmonte Zibibbo (£8.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 12.5%):

The previous vintage of this wine formed part of the January 2023 Wine Tour but there is every reason to showcase this little known grape variety.

Zibibbo is the Sicilian name for a grape from the muscat family that really deserves a wider audience  

This year’s offering has the same melon flavour base and grapefruit acidity as last time with similar freshness and lightness of texture.

It does seem a little drier than the last vintage and also appears to introduce a “sour dough” savouriness that I rather like.

That backdrop actually goes well with the wine’s greengage, sherbet, lemon curd and clove constituents.

Finally to the star of the show for me.

2022 Coto de Ibedo Vino Blanco (£8.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 12.5%):

While cocktails of three white wine grapes seem common in Portugal, I have encountered it less frequently with Spanish wines.

However, this combination of two popular Vinho Verde grapes (treixadura and loureira) with godello works brilliantly.

Such “easy to walk past” wines are one of the joys of Lidl Wine Tours allowing folk to try something different at reasonable prices.

Its bold opening leads straight into this Ribeiro wine’s ripe pear and red apple flavours given zing by sharp citrus acidity.

Slowly, though, herbal, crème brulee and even mint traces emerge to add complexity to its neatly configured viscous depth.    

Moving onto reds.

2022 Duca di Sasseta Primitivo (£7.49 at Lidl while stocks last and 14.5%):

This producer has two Puglia reds in the Wine Tour but this is the better option for immediate drinking.

My instinctive first choice (the Appasimento) has plenty of sumptuousness and depth but its tannin is still a bit firm; further maturation would do no harm.   

Dark and dense, this one features rich blackberry and prune favours coupled with nippy acidity – but limited tannin. 

There is also an edge of sweetness with suggestions of cinnamon and vanilla joining the party.

Top of the bill among the reds.

2022 Cardilla Nero d'Avola (£7.49 at Lidl while stocks last and 13%):

This headlines a rising star grape that features increasingly frequently in Sicily’s quality red wines – nero d’avola.

These emerging versions highlight the grape’s ability to reconcile two seemingly contradictory aspects – robustness and gentleness.

Aromatic and stylish, the result here exhibits textured cherry, plum and loganberry flavours, but there is little tannin.

Other components include clove, chocolate and Brazil nut influences that all fuse well into a tasty and great value option.

Seriously worth trying if you are unfamiliar with the variety.


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Comments

14 Comments

Paul Davies

I do very much like an Italian Wine Tour that ends up with a star Portuguese wine!
I admire the way Portugal resisted uprooting its 250 odd indigenous grape varieties for international staples like Chardonnay etc.
It is now paying dividends as Portuguese wines are varied, interesting,different and often very
good value.
I also like the approach of Portuguese wine makers who think nothing of blending 4,5 or more different grape varieties from different vineyards- sometimes doing a swop with another producer Not for them, the cachet- often false- of a 100% single grape variety grown in a single vineyard They are more interested in taste,balance and consistency .Muito obrigado,Portugal!

Brian Elliott

Yes. We sometimes overlook the fact that even those early Vinho Verde’s were careful blends – not just the simple wine we assumed. The beauty of blends is that they can be adjusted for different vintages and, over time, to cater for changing consumer tastes without compromising the “brand”.

Paul Davies

Hello Brian,
Blooper.I assumed the wine was from Portugal.Ribeiro is in Spain.But Galicia is very close to Portugal.Comments about Portugal still stand.I still like an Italian Wine Tour that ends with a star wine from Spain.

Brian Elliott

As you say, the one lauded today is indeed from just over the border but that does not alter your main thrust about how good it can be if a country sticks with indigenous grape varieties and blends them skilfully.

Paul Davies

May I underline your recommendation of the Lidl Coto de Ibedo Vino Blanco.This- SPANISH- white wine is a very satisfying blend and a great choice.
I cannot believe it is not from Portugal, but perhaps Blanco instead of Branco might have been a clue!

Brian Elliott

Agree on both counts – (a) it is a great little wine and (b) it is very Portuguese in style.

Chris Barclay

Beautifully written Paul and I better understand why I love Portuguese wine. Brim Full of Flavour!

Richard Wheeler

I loved this article with two of my favourite wines – Zibibbo and Lugana.

Being reminded that Mid Week Wines has introduced me to so many Lidl wines over what must be decades.
February 29 should be made a Bank Holiday!

Brian Elliott

Good to hear from you Richard and yes it was 2015 that the site started, and you were among the first subscribers. Very happy with the idea of a MidWeek Wines Bank Holiday but let’s not make it on a date that only happens every four years.

Eddie Walker

Doubly appreciative of today’s effort Brian to give us chapter and verse on the new Lidl Wine Tour but also informing us about things Lidl themselves are not mentioning!

Seems as if wrapping matters around it being a general Italian week promo’, they exclude some of the bottles you mention from both the Lidl Weekly Magazine starting 29/2 and the online website. It means we would never have knowledge of that excellent 2022 Coto de Ibedo Vino Blanco mentioned above, if you hadn’t flagged it up.

Maybe I place too much store on these retail outlets getting things ”right” but I personally feel it’s a sign of our times that needing to be correct is something long-gone from our culture.

We hopefully will find out what-is-what though previous enquiries direct to Lidl have only elicited ”excuses” of the kind …. not everything advertised is available in every store … or whenitsgoneitsgone …. . Add to that now … but stuff we don’t advertise might be available!!

On a more positive note thank you at least to Lidl for trying to give us wine we can get enthusiastic about and sticking with it. It’s only a few short years ago that anything Italian, special or out of the ordinary was a no-no in Lidl stores in Britain, though it did already exist in Europe. 10 years back they tried with a Montefalco Sagrantino that a store near me got stuck with, I managed to have a shelfload at a massive discount. Their loss my gain. Likely will never happen again.

Just to say your Monday MWW recommendation of the South African Sauvignon Blanc at Morrisons is as interesting and exciting as we might expect. Amazing stuff that hit me with salinity and squelchy citrus elements I really appreciated. A terrific, fresh, tantalising discovery.

Might I just mention that while in Morrisons I grabbed another bottle of their Calvet Carcassonne that knocks me out every time I try it! A beautifully put together cuvée as ever we might find for 8 quid, likely, in the main, based on Carignan. I come back to my contention that to be able to access such stuff as this on my doorstep is one of the joys of life these days.

Eddie Walker

Had my closest branch of Lidl closed down for good yesterday! One of 4 I regularly use so no great imposition but another indication of down levelling in the north east. To go with the closure in my town centre of M&S, Debenhams and House Of Fraser department stores. People who live in locations in England where this doesn’t happen are not expected to supply either sympathy nor empathy. They do need to understand what is going on elsewhere and be informed.

On a brighter note I returned to Morrisons and had more of the Best South African Sauvignon Blanc Brian has recommended this week and the Calvert Carcassonne that sends me to drinking heaven!

Brian Elliott

Lidl do seem to have a policy of closing older stores when new ones are opened but, on a broader canvas, High Streets are indeed becoming depleted. Although that is happening throughout the UK, I agree that it does seem more common as you head away from the south-east.
I am rather pleased to hear praise for that SA Sauvignon since I worried I may have been overscoring it because I enjoyed it – while others may not be so impressed; but not so it appears.

Phil Bradshaw

Yes – that Coto de Ibido is sensational for £8.99 – just cracked one and will be making a trip tomorrow to clean the shelf for my summer tipple.

Brian Elliott

Yes, really nice blend and one that I felt Lidl did not give the prominence it deserved. Glad you enjoyed it too.


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