As most of you know, every couple of months, Lidl launch a “Wine Tour” promotion offering a parcel of thirty or so wines usually at great prices – but which are only available while stocks last.
Their July Wine Tour starts today and this time, unusually, contains three wines that are over £10 (a Loire sauvignon, Rhone red blend and, of course, Champagne).
Nevertheless, there are still 25 wines under £8 and about half of those are between £4.99 and £7.
As usual, the scores of their three-person Masters of Wine panel are also on display both in store and on the Lidl website.
Here are a handful of wines on the promotion that I particularly rate.
As ever, where hyperlinks and pictures are available, they appear alongside the text to help you find that specific wine.
Let’s start with a white
Here is a Languedoc chardonnay that, in terms of depth and an almost viognier-like viscosity, is very different to the versions from 450 miles further north in Chablis.
I know that the MW team did not rate this as highly as I do, so would be interested in what Midweekers think – do add any thoughts you have in the Comments section.
Rich and textured, 2020 Val de Salis Chardonnay Reserve (£6.49 and 13.5% abv) exhibits peach, ripe pear and cooked apple flavours coupled with good lemon acidity, saline hints yet marzipan, mace and butterscotch elements too.
Same producer but a switch of colour
Southern France has always been strong on light coloured, dry, food-friendly rosé and it is good to see that style getting more and more traction over here.
However, this guy from Languedoc not only partners food well but also has enough sweetish ripeness for “stand alone” drinking.
Perfumed and fashionably pale, 2020 Val de Salis Rosé Aurore (£6.99 and 12.5%) provides light and floral red current and strawberry flavours with grapefruit acidity and tropical fruit depth – yet counterbalancing savoury touches too.
Reds for warmer days
Rising temperatures and powerful reds do not mix well and hot days often call for a switch to lighter, low tannin options that will stand light chilling.
Beaujolais can meet the need nicely as illustrated by this well priced “crossover” wine that sits somewhere between Beaujolais Villages and the more substantial wines for which Morgon and the region’s other cru appellations are justly famed.
Floral but dark in colour, 2019 Collin Bourisset Morgon (£7.99 and 13.5%) has easy drinking raspberry and cherry flavours accompanied by good acidity, herbal and savoury spice influences with ideal “summer red wine” softness and juiciness.
And for not so warm days
British summers are just as likely (almost overnight) to transpose the 31°C we enjoyed last weekend to a less than balmy 13°and if (when) it does, fuller Rhȏne reds come into their own – but the 14% alcohol in both the next wines means they do work best as an accompaniment to food.
First, then, a Sunday Best option
Although the Southern Rhône provides many perfectly serviceable, modestly priced, red blends (often under the Côtes du Rhône classification), the region’s top-level wines (from the crus) represent a step change in quality – and then some.
Of the nine Southern Rhone cru appellations, Gigondas gets close to the style of the illustrious Chateauneuf du Pape and, in this case, at a quality level that would usually attract a £20+ price label.
Well worth digging deep for, the bright yet smooth 2019 Gigondas Puech Morny (£14.99 and 14%) delivers smoky, concentrated blackberry and loganberry flavours supported by firm acidity (but soft tannin) and suggestions of cinnamon, black pepper and savoury depth.
And for a much younger option
For another sound Southern Rhone crus, head west from Gigondas to Lirac – right across from Chateauneuf du Pape but on the opposite bank of the river – where great value (and softer) reds can often be found.
This example is from the last vintage and is a nicely configured wine that gives a clear indication of what the region’s style is all about yet is most suitable for times when maturity is not strictly necessary.
Smooth and aromatic, 2020 Chateau Chante Mistral Lirac (£7.99 and 14%) contains smooth raspberry and plum flavours nicely complemented by good acidity and gently evolving tannin but with clove, oregano, chocolate and menthol elements too.
Now for some sweetness.
Jurançon – close to France’s border with Spain – is a great region for sweet wines and this one fits the bill perfectly for anyone seeking an uncomplicated example that neatly balances its honey driven sweetness with citrus acidity.
For me, though, it is a notch below the complexity achieved by one of the stars of previous Lidl Wine Tours – the sweet Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh from slightly further north.
Bright and lengthy, 2019 Jurançon Doux (£7.99 and 12%) offers us perfumed peach and dried apricot flavours supplemented by late but zesty grapefruit acidity and suspicions of honey and lemon curd.
Bubbles to finish
Unlike many words used in the Champagne region, Premium Cuvée is not a regulated term but usually signifies a blend that the producer considers to be a cut above their standard fare.
That is certainly the case with this champagne where balance, sophistication and delicacy are all in evidence and fully justify a price a little above Lidl’s (still great value) standard champagne – and still below what many comparable versions would cost.
Beautifully balanced with attractive biscuit aromas from the start, Bissinger Champagne AOP Premium Cuvée Brut (£19.99 and 12.5%) is centred around apple, orange and peach flavours partnered by background nuttiness, lively lemon acidity and traces of citrus pith that lead on from its long lasting mousse.
Drop by again for Monday’s regular post that reveals my Top Tips on what to buy now and tells you what supermarket promotions are in place.
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