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Now its Christmastime at Lidl

After last week’s Christmas specials from Aldi, it is time to look at the equivalent promotion from Lidl; it begins this morning.

Since this is the last conventional post before we start the Christmas format, the Best of the Rest section looks at wines from Lidl’s recently revamped core range.

Meanwhile the Top Tip has news I think you will like about their champagne.

Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded display.

 Another left field Italian white

Falinghina (pronounced with a hard “g” incidentally) is another rising Italian white wine star that until recently was little known outside its local area. In this case that is Campania in south western Italy – where it is regularly used to partner fish.

See what the fuss is about with the great value 2016 Falanghina  Beneventano (£6.99 as part of the Christmas promotion and 13% abv) with its soft apple and lemon fruit, minty depth and neatly contrasting savoury depth.

What’s in a name

Whether a wine is labelled “pinot gris” or “pinot grigio” is usually a big hint about the style that has been adopted, but what are we to conclude when the German name is used?

In truth 2016 Grauer Burgunder (£7.99 and 13%) from Baden is much closer to versions from Alsace than those from warmer parts of Italy and brings us impressively mellow, dry white wine with apple and quince fruit, good acidity and an attractive savoury spice backdrop.

A really well priced red

Switching to reds, I was impressed by the shrewd way that another Christmas special marries Sicily’s soft and relatively meek frappato nero grape with the more assertive and self-confident shiraz of international variety fame.

Gentle but with shiraz’s firm twists of tannin, 2016 Syrah Frappato Terre Siciliane (£5.99 and 14%) brings us appealing raspberry and red cherry fruit with verve, freshness and delightful concluding touches of milk chocolate.

And, of course, a quality champagne

More about the core range champagne later but here is a skilfully blended version that occupies a higher rung of the sophistication ladder and, to me, is better than the similarly priced Senneval Grand Cru.

With soft apple and pear fruit Champagne Bissinger Premium Cuvee Brut (£17.99 and 12%) has carefully configured poise and balance invigorated by rounded acidity that caresses and encourages your taste buds rather than assails them.

Just desserts now

It would not be Christmas a Lidl if there were no impressive sweeties and the seasonal list has three good £15.99 Icewines – of which the Vidal remains the best to me. But it’s a trebbiano based dessert wine from Tuscany that I want to call to your attention today.

While there are predictable honey elements to 2009 Vin Santo del Chianti (£9.99 for 50cl and 16%), these are counterbalanced by a sharp acidity that gives life to the wine’s orange and peach fruit and to the savoury edges that support it.

Best of Lidl's Core Range

Look at this for value

Here is an astonishingly priced white from Chile’s Central Valley which is often used in its home country for the local brandy and has a similar name to an (unrelated) sweet sherry grape.

Distilling 2015 Cimarosa Pedro Jimenez (£3.99 and 12%) is a shame because – as it illustrates here – the grape can produce inexpensive wine with gentle lemon and red apple fruit, modest levels of acidity and a slightly saline finish.

And a party red

Puglia’s primitivo is often the “go to” grape for good value, crowd pleasing red wine and this kindly priced part of Lidl’s core range illustrates that point well and, consequently, will appear on many people’s red party wine shopping list.

Enjoy then the soft but mellow 2016 Primitivo Peuceta (£4.99 and 13.5%) with its raspberry and plum fruit, limited tannin and chocolate centred depth.

Top Tip

Finally, it would be a dereliction of duty not to alert you to a very limited timescale price reduction on Lidl’s great value house champagne. This discount starts today and expires on Sunday but, as ever, supplies will vary between stores so no “hissy fits” please if your local branch sells out quickly.

However under this promotion Comte de Senneval Champagne Brut (12.5%) will be £8.99 – instead of £10.99 – until 26 November giving you even less excuse not to relish its gentle apple and lemon fruit and the smooth toasty, brioche components that accompany it.

 

 


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