Lidl’s Easter promotion begin today and offers just under 40 different wines from £4.99 – although my recommendations start at £5.99.
Once again there is an excellent balance between quality and value while the focus continues to be on Europe – although a few more Italian wines are featured this time, including a delightful Brunello de Montalcino.
As before, I am also telling you about a couple of good value wines from other retailers.
Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded display.
A revival continues
Enjoy then the sharp and lively acidity behind 2015 Muscadet Sevre et Maine (£5.99 and 12% abv) and note the contrast it provides to the wine’s grapefruit and quince fruit and the substance that envelopes it.
But enduring stories also have a place
Meanwhile – but perhaps with more substantial fish dishes in mind – white burgundy still has a brilliant story to tell and this well priced example perfectly illustrates the basic building blocks that underpin its ever-popular style.
Mellow and smooth, 2015 Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Beaune (£9.99 and 13%) has attractively fresh lemon and tangerine fruit nattily counterbalanced by hints of butter and spice.
So does bold experimentation
That oak has introduced depth (and some aniseed influences) to 2015 Rias Baixas Barrica (£7.99 and 12.5%) without dimming the wine’s lively apple acidity or the white plum elements that accompany it.
Half bottles but no half measures in quality
Of the two orthodox champagnes in this promotion, I preferred this one (in handy half bottles) to the Premier Cru version (at £16.99) but those who value depth over liveliness may, of course, take a different view.
An energetic mousse gives impressive vigour to Champagne Brut Premium (£9.49 for half bottle and 12.5%) which is intensified by the vibrant acidity that embellishes the wine’s lemon and green apple fruit and supporting suggestions of brioche.
Lovely example of an old friend
Switching to reds, we move to Italy for an ever-present on most Italian restaurant lists – but not many, I suggest, show off the corvina quite as gloriously as this classy but very kindly priced version.
Classic nutty and sour cherry flavours abound in 2013 Valpolicella Superiore (£6.99 and 12%) where they are neatly integrated into a smooth but substantial texture containing a touch of nutmeg but wrapped in more restrained tannin than many Italian reds.
Languedoc takes the high ground
There is real softness to 2015 Saint-Chinian (£7.99 and 13.5%) and the cherry, damson, vanilla and cinnamon flavours it contains – enhanced, rather than overshadowed, by measured tannin and lively acidity.
Claret – of course
Lidl’s very first promotion of this type was dubbed the “claret offensive” so today’s collection would not be complete without contributions from Bordeaux – and, for me, this one (narrowly) gets ahead of the other two on the list.
Traditional mint and vanilla components surface early in 2013 Pauillac (£11.99 and 13%) but the fruit is more cherry and loganberry than I expected (although that in no way diminishes its appeal) and it certainly harmonises well with the wine’s mellow, spicy backdrop.
A well priced classic Italian
Tuscany’s Montalcino has something of a micro-climate and that may be the reason for the lengthily aged and very different style of sangiovese it produces (and calls Brunello). Although these days much less of it is actually “brown”, wine from hereabouts remains one of the Italian classics.
Luxuriate in the nutty, vanilla depth of 2010 Brunello de Montalcino (£15.99 and 15%) with its bright cherry and mulberry fruit and skilfully balanced tannin levels.
Best of the Rest
Great value Spanish red
I praised this Gran Reserva from Carinena, rather than Rioja, about 18 months ago but, with this promotion, it remains one of the best value reds currently available and shows no sign whatever of passing its “sell buy” date anytime yet.
Indeed, there is still really spritely acidity to 2008 Marques De Carano Gran. Reserva (£4.50 – instead of £5 until 9 April – at Tesco and 12.5%). That liveliness nicely augments its plum, raspberry and sour cherry fruit and the accompanying mocha, cinnamon and vanilla touches.
More quantum leaps in quality
See that progress in action with the aromatic and textured 2016 Zebra View Chenin Blanc (two for £12 – £6 a bottle in Scotland – instead of £8 until 24 April at M&S and 14%). Its red apple and banana fruit is deepened by peach and melon ripeness yet kept fresh by zesty lime acidity.
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