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Lidl’s Wine Tour Travels South

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.

Australian Reds

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. 

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Richard Wyndham

Hi Brian, I had lost touch a bit with Lidl – after the exciting game of chasing old Wine Tour bottles prior to new Wine Tour release became much less productive.

The Chenin Blanc wine looks attractive, plus it is not a bulk Lidl bottling, so producer details are available, which though not affecting the wine quality, it is nice to know the wine’s “context”, and also facilitates entry into my cellar tracker app.

I’ve come to appreciate Chenin Blanc recently, especially if one strays beyond the entry price points. I particularly remember a marvellous dinner where the host offered a SA Chenin Blanc and a good Cotes du Rhone with a roast pork and apple sauce main course. Although my natural instinct is always to pair reds with roasts, here, particularly because of the sauce, the Chenin was just the perfect match.

A recent large white Rhone tasting event showed me the merits of Roussanne, Marsanne and Clairette etc. Your Roussanne example from Chile looks great value, I feel a white wine “bake-off” with roast pork & apple is needed!

Brian Elliott

Bake off sounds a good idea but I think that the bookies favourite will be the chenin. After all, we partner pork and apple sauce (with its slightly sweet, clear cut, apple components) Am I not also describing chenin there? Roussanne may be a bit too savoury but only your practical test will provide the definitive answer.

Dave Cronin

Hi Brian
Always good when the Lidl Tour comes around, nice selection again. I love the way they regularly seem to introduce some lesser-known wines as in the case of the Roussane and I will be grabbing a bottle or two.
I will grab a bottle of the Malbec as well, despite, as you say the lesser Lidl scores, trusting your judgement as always.
The second Fleet I had many times and is consistently good, I also have a few of the Church Block’s I bought at my local Lidl a few weeks ago at a discounted price of £7.99 (which surprised me, first time I’ve had a bargain at this store) I cleared the shelf, I have put some by to see how they are at a later date.

Brian Elliott

Good point about the outliers that appear in these tastings – next time a presentable Zibibbo I believe.
Be interested in your thoughts on that malbec – maybe I had the wine equivalent of rose tinted glasses when I tried it. Buy a single bottle of the Church Block, as a test, before loading up – it is just a little savoury for an Aussie red.

Eddie Walker

Thank you Brian for your continuing and excellent MWW blog.

Not a lot engages me to be honest with the new Lidl, ”New World” Wine Tour but I’m sure others will enjoy your recommendations.

However, as ever, Lidl does throw up for me some other interesting propositions, seen when I was doing my weekly grocery shopping in one of my local branches yesterday.

I already had a previous shout from you that was the Portuguese Azinhaga de Ouro Douro (January 25th MWW), that I’ve been taking my time drinking this week. What struck me was the strong characteristic that gets called vanilla that I presume is oak, in this case quite evident. It often gets a bad call too-much oak, and indeed I was never much taken with the strongest of oaked Rioja years ago. A disguise probably for it actually being poorly made wine. But this Douro is not poor. I find it very enjoyable and it’s a Lidl shelf item there to be had all the time, not as a WIGIG bottle!!

But here’s a thing. Looking out of interest to see the ”wooden crated” Tour wines there was masses of bottles there that are not actually listed anywhere on the Lidl website! Some I’m sure are older, unsold WT offerings, not reduced, difficult to recall, but there’s stuff there of likely huge interest to folks who are enthusiasts. We just have to dig around. And sure WIGIG’s and likely won’t be replaced … but then again might be. Lidl unpredictability at work!

The point being, for me anyway, it makes sense to give Lidl’s wine shelves a good looking over for all manner of unusual bottles.

Just to mention I also got last week’s MWW shout from the Co op, 2020 Irresistible Salice Salentino. Super, Italian stuff and way better than the offering I spotted at Sainsbury’s that was the new Discovery range #27 Dolcetto d’Asti.

Paul Davies

Church Block is an old favourite and I enjoyed a bottle at Xmas.The Lidl price is about £3 less than two other
larger supermarkets are selling it at.However my
enjoyment was enhanced by the £10.50 I paid two
months ago.

Brian Elliott

Always tastes that little bit better when it has been secured at a nice crisp price.

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