In a clear statement that “we are not just discount stores”, Aldi introduced its Lot series of wines earlier in the year. Four premium wines priced around £10 went into stores for as long as stocks lasted. In the run-up to Christmas, the exercise has been repeated and here is what I consider the pick of the selection.
All Lot series wines are priced at £9.99 but are only available while stocks last – the riesling is at an ongoing price.
Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.
A secret no longer
Inland from Tarragona you will find one of Spain’s best kept secrets, Priorat; here garnacha (grenache) and carignan dominated red wine is produced from vineyards that sit atop the local geological oddity – llicorella (a form of slate and quartz based schist).
Long, aromatic and intense, 2010 Lot Series Priorat (£9.99) provides assertive herbal, plum and aromatic raspberry fruit with touches of mocha and cinnamon, firm acidity, a neat mineral edge and pronounced tannins that mellow nicely on the palate.
Orthodox but brilliant
My top pick from this series, however is more predictable but the cooler climate of South Australia’s Clare Valley suits cabernet sauvignon perfectly and, when things are done as well as they are , star billing is fully justified – predictable or not.
The 2014 Lot Series Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (£9.99) is not available everywhere in the UK but displays rich yet soft blackberry, mint and cassis flavours accompanied by firm acidity, suggestions of spice and chocolate with a skilfully balanced tannic twist to underpin it all.
Superb riesling too
Moving on from the Lot series – but not the Clare Valley – here is wine that Aldi have now made available right across the UK, and one that showcases Clare Valley’s other speciality, riesling.
And 2014 Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling (£6.99) is an absolute star with its bright, apple based texture, faint but traditional kerosene aromas and dry, crisp lime based acidity that sweetens into more mellow citrus influences towards the finish. Fabulous wine!
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