Since January has now given way to February, there will be a new Lidl Wine Tour on the shelves of this retailer.
Another twelve or so bottles have been singled out for “while stocks last” promotions with prices that range from £6 to £12.
The focus this time is on the southern hemisphere, and that makes sense.
With European wines, some versions from 2022 are becoming tired now while the replacement vintage may not yet be ready.
So, it is right to look instead at wine from Australia, New Zealand, Chile etc. where harvest times are different.
I have chosen six wines from the Tour, across a range of price points, that have impressed me .
The images and hyperlinks provided should help you to find them in crowded displays.
Starting with a white usually associated with France
2022 Origen Roussanne Reserva (from £6.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 14.5% abv):
White grapes that originated in France’s Rhone Valley get world-wide attention these days especially in South Africa, but here is a great example from Colchagua in Chile.
While marsanne is probably better known than its regular partner – roussanne – the latter tends to be the richer and weightier of the two and that is reflected in the fullness on display here.
Yellow and colour and smooth to the taste, it contains full apple, quince and celery flavours coupled with modest lemon acidity, quinine savouriness and traces of camomile and honey.
Well worth a look if you are not familiar with the more savoury whites like this.
From the unfamiliar to a grape that couldn’t be better known
2022 River Terrace Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (£8.49 at Lidl and 13% abv):
This sauvignon is not on the main Wine Tour list but is well worth seeking out as it is a rather neat, and good value option.
Over the years, Marlborough sauvignon blanc has become richer and riper and this wine demonstrates the point as it has more tropical fruit influences than is often the case, and fewer gooseberry ones.
With both clarity and softness, it brings us clean peach, tangerine and mango flavours supported by good orange acidity, and pithy suspicions of bitterness to add contrast.
Moving up the price ladder.
2021 Daschbosch Chenin Blanc (£11.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%):
Head north east from Stellenbosch and you encounter Breedekloof and, in this case, wine made from what is still South Africa’s most planted vine – chenin blanc.
Despite attention shifting to the country’s red wines, skilled and dedicated winemakers still make excellent chenin.
Those masterpieces bring out the rich texture and depth of flavour that well-made versions often exhibit.
Creamy in texture but needing a little time to open up, this one delivers ripe apple, tropical fruit and grapefruit marmalade flavours.
That foundation is attractively enlivened by sharp acidity and a hint of lemon curd sweetness on the finish.
Now for some reds
2022 Andean Vineyards Malbec (£5.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 12.5%):
No new world collection would be complete without malbec from Argentina’s Mendoza region and today’s choices are no exception.
This one does not secure high markings on the Lidl website but I think that sells it short.
To me, it is a pleasantly aromatic option with a wider flavour range than its £6 price label would indicate.
Dark with coffee elements, it exhibits soft damson and raspberry flavours accompanied by lively acidity (but limited tannin), touches of baking spice and a smoky liquorice savouriness.
The Tour includes four Australian reds under two different labels; one pair is straight shiraz while the other two provide an Aussie take on Bordeaux blends.
Personally, I felt that the shiraz pair did not perform as well as the other two – and even each of those “winners” had distinct differences.
If you want a bottle to take home and start drinking straight away, then the Second Fleet is the option for you.
Given a little patience – or, if that is your plan, even “cellaring” for a year or more – the Church Block should repay the £3 or £4 extra that it costs.
Let’s compare them in more detail.
2021 The Second Fleet Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot (£7.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%):
That Second Fleet version is from South Australia’s prime cabernet country – Coonawarra.
It combines cabernet and merlot with the lesser known petit verdot, which is a grape prized for the colour and structure it adds to blends.
Nowadays, it is used less frequently in Bordeaux because it ripens so late.
Medium bodied with limited aromas, the result here, though, displays smooth plum, bramble and raspberry flavours with good acidity and sage, vanilla and cola components – but limited tannin.
And its companion
2021 Church Block Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot (£11.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 14.5%):
Providing an Australian twist, this adds shiraz to the cabernet and merlot mix and has a significantly higher alcohol level than the Second Fleet.
It is from McLaren Vale – north of Coonawarra and right on the edge of Adelaide itself – prime red wine country famed for its shiraz and cabernet but also producing grenache and now experimenting with Italian varieties.
Opening with a typical “Bordeaux” nose, this follows on with cherry and mulberry flavours and firm tannin but, as I have hinted, really opens up with decanting.
Additional contributions come from charcoal, menthol, allspice and cedar constituents and a sound acidic freshness.
Subscribe for FREE!
Do you want every review I write, direct to your inbox, absolutely free?