Every couple of months, Lidl institute a “Wine Tour” promotion – usually with a central theme – containing a parcel of thirty or so wines that are only available while stocks last.
A new “Tour” started last week, featuring wines from Spain and Portugal within a £4.99 to £8.99 price range.
Lidl’s January Wine Tours can sometimes be a bit of an ante-climax but this one is anything but – with an amalgamation of well-tried yet impressive grape varieties and a few surprises that work equally well; you have done a good job guys!
Having tasted most of the high scoring wines from this Wine Tour, here are my top picks.
An unusual white
While many drinkers are making the step up from the light, carbonated blends of Portugal’s Vinho Verde to, for example, the region’s excellent alvarinho, few take a further step onto varieties like avesso.
So, do take the opportunity presented by 2019 Encostas de Caíz Avesso Vinho Verde (£6.49 and 12.5% abv) to do so and, as a consequence, relish the wine’s textured but smooth peach and quince flavours and the savoury edge and mild but discernible acidity that accompany them.
A welcome return
I praised this guy when it appeared last May, and time has done nothing to dim the appeal of this excellent example from the border country between Galicia and Northern Portugal.
It perfectly illustrates why the godello grape shines so brightly.
Rounded with real freshness, 2019 CEO Godello Monterrei (£8.49 at Lidl and 12.5%) offers zesty apple, white plum and peach flavours with good grapefruit acidity and a long (vaguely saline) finish.
Definitely not out of season
When it provides a good food match (as this blend led – I think – by touriga nacional does), there is nothing wrong with winter-time rosé and this example is versatile enough to be an aperitif or drink-anytime option too.
Pale with engaging floral aromas, 2019 Cabriz Dão Colheita Selecionada (£6.99 and 12.5%) also has strawberry and red currant flavours supported by pithy orange “starburst” acidity with hints of chocolate and aniseed buried inside its appreciable depth.
Onto the reds
Mourvedre is probably best known by that (French) name but back in its Spanish homeland (where it is called Monastrell) it is now producing breath-taking wines and does so as a solo performer rather than as part of a blend as is often the case in France’s Rhone Valley.
One of the best inexpensive examples I have encountered recently is the aromatic and dark 2019 Eje Monastrell (£7.49 and 14%) from Alicante with its bright loganberry and cherry backbone, good acidity, suggestions of cocoa, sage and sweetish spices but only minimal tannin.
Head North West next
While the world acclaims Rioja, many in Spain actually prefer the intensity and acidic verve that characterise the wines of Ribera del Duero (despite both regions being large-scale tempranillo users) and here is a good illustration of why Ribera might get the nod.
Even though this is one of the dearest wines in this promotion, make sure you snap up a bottle or three of the inky coloured but floral 2015 Hachon Ribera del Duero Reserva (£8.99 and 14%) where ripe and well-defined cherry and blackberry fruit combines harmoniously with good acidity, clove, mint and milk chocolate elements, firm tannin and just a hint of sweetness.
Sticking with that river
Once the Duero river crosses the border from Spain into Portugal (and changes the vowels in its name), we start to think of the port industry.
Never, however, overlook the quality of the Duoro region’s table wines that so often make remarkable use of familiar grape varieties (in this case touriga nacional and tinta roriz – aka tempranillo).
Enjoy then, the soft plum, cherry and blackcurrant foundation of 2018 Entre Quintas Douro Reserva (£6.99 and 14%) which is so ably supported by firm acidity, limited tannin and a medium bodied texture containing suggestions of herbs, black pepper and baking spice.
Last but certainly not least
If that Ribera was my favourite among the Spanish reds then this guy occupies a similar position among the Portuguese equivalents with its monster (but shrewdly balanced) dollop of alcohol and skilfully assembled combination of touriga nacional and local Alentejo grapes.
2018 Monsaraz Reserva Alentejo (£6.99 and 15%) has fantastic dark and aromatic damson and loganberry flavours with mint, nutmeg and cinnamon components and firm (but not excessive) tannin.
Be sure to tune in again on Monday when we reveal the week’s Top Tips and bring you up to date on Supermarket promotions.
P.S. Don’t forget, too, to sign up for our joint Zoom events next month where we look at the core range at Lidl (rather than its promotions) and do the same for Aldi a week earlier.
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