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Catch Up with the New Lidl Wine Tour Here

My favourites from that retailer’s latest promotion.

Another month has passed, and it is time for the next Lidl Wine Tour.

The latest collection has Iberia as its main focus with a good selection at, largely, affordable prices.

All but one of the list is under £9 so its content is neatly grouped around that £7.99 “sweet spot”.

There is also a wallet-friendly Cava to put some fizz into your summer drinking.

However, several unfamiliar grape varieties or groupings are on display so be prepared to be a little adventurous.

I like to think, however, that the recommendations here mean that I have “got your back” if you are being daring.

Once again, pictures (but not hyperlinks this time) are included where possible to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

Starting with an unusual white

2022 Hacienda Uvanis Garnacha Blanca (£6.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 12.5% abv)

Proceedings open with quite an unusual white grenache from Navarra which has had time on its lees.

Surprisingly, that process has not provided richness but, instead, seems to have added a pithy dimension to the wine’s grapefruit traces.

It does so, however, without affecting the lightness of the finished article.

Nicely perfumed, and to supplement that light body, it has complex cooked apple, pear and greengage flavours complemented by traces of peach, ginger and tangerine.

On to Portugal for my star white.

2023 Joao Pires Peninsula de Setubal (£8.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 12%):

While Setubal (just south of Lisbon) is now acquiring a reputation for classy red wine, it has long history of success with the luscious Muscat of Alexandria grape.

This is an excellent example of that variety’s capabilities, shown off here at a very affordable price. 

Soft with pineapple aromas, it features off-dry peach, orange, honey and apple flavours with a smooth but delightfully concentrated depth.

Well balanced acidity ensures that its off-dry character never tips over into the realms of unbridled sweetness.

Summertime red wine

2021 Agramont Graciano (£7.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%):

Like that white grenache, this is from Navarra – and uses the graciano grape to create ideal summertime drinking.

Increasingly, the “fickle to grow” graciano is being used in Rioja blends next door to add aromas and freshness but, here, it goes it alone.  

Dark in colour with an aura of sweetness, the result exhibits bright loganberry, plum and pomegranate flavours.

These are accompanied by savoury edged depth, mild tannin, lively acidity and suggestions of mint, baking spice and molasses.

Rioja shows its lighter side

2018 5 Oros Rioja Crianza (£6.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 14%):

This is not as full as some currently available Riojas, but that can be exactly what some red wine drinkers are seeking.

Its (comparative) lightness is accentuated by quite sharp raspberry acidity while the aging involved in its Crianza status keeps everything nicely mellow. 

Classic Rioja aromas lead you invitingly into its soft cherry, blackberry and sun-dried tomato flavours and medium bodied texture.

That foundation is pleasingly embellished with a mineral edge and supplementary elements that include vanilla, thyme and cinnamon touches.

An excellent Portuguese red

2021 Torre de Ferro Reserva (£7.49 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%)

I was taken with this blend of the customary varieties that feature in many examples of sound Portuguese red wines.

It hails from the Dao region which is rapidly upgrading itself from merely being the home to simple but quite dull wines that was once its reputation.

Smooth and medium bodied, this delivers cultured plum, cherry and loganberry flavours rounded out by traces of mint, cocoa and allspice.

Its acidity is quite firm but the tannin level is precisely in proportion.

And on to my star red

2023 Vina San Juan Merlot Syrah Tempranillo (£6.49 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%):

Despite its modest price, this is the stand-out red for me and hails from La Mancha – south of Madrid.

Although the precise proportions are unclear, it seems to be led by merlot rather than tempranillo, although he latter does play a part in the blend.

Full and inky coloured, it offers us ripe black cherry, strawberry and plum flavours with a chocolate, aniseed and violet background and firm acidity – but a little sweetness too.

Ending with bubbles

Cava Amorany Cuvée Especial Brut (£7.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 11.5%):

When the prosecco bandwagon was at its height, one felt that inexpensive Cava may have given up.

This proves otherwise by exploiting the extra class that bottle (rather than tank) fermentation provides yet still capturing the freshness that helped make prosecco so popular. 

With an exuberant opening and small – but short-lived – bubbles, it has fresh red apple and ripe melon flavours.

Those constituents are neatly supported by citrus fruit aromas and lively grapefruit acidity.

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38 responses

  1. Hi Brian,

    The Torre de Ferro Reserva bottle looked familiar, so checked my records.

    I bought the 2018 vintage, list price £7.99, and drank in December 2021. My comment then was: “excellent, some bottle age, not as hefty as some Portuguese wines.” Nice to see that not all wines increase in price!

    Incidentally when I first started using the Cellar Tracker app thought it was quite a faff, and gave up on it.

    My cellar increased, so I tried again. Now I cannot see how I could manage without it. When I take delivery of new wines, sitting down and entering the details, taking and uploading bottle pictures – if not in their database, all adds to the pleasure!

    To misquote librarians, a bottle in the wrong place is a bottle lost.

    1. Feel free to tell us a bit more about Cellar tracker Richard. How many bottles are needed to make it worthwhile?

  2. It always amazes me that so few wines taste of grapes,but your star Jôao Pires white does just that.In a very short six day window, I managed to get it at £7.99 with Lidl plus,which was good value;not so sure at the full price.Looking forward to trying your star red.

    I do think that Lidl has an availability problem.Despite a diligent search from Day 1 ,involving five Lidl stores in two cities, for a wine recommended by Brian in a previous wine tour ,the wine was nowhere to be found.

    There was a very interesting comment made by Fiona Beckett ,wine writer in last Saturday’s Guardian:

    “That Asda and Morrisons are frequently as good as ,if not better value for wine than Aldi or Lidl, and have a better range”.

    I agree with her; but would also include Tesco and Sainsbury’s.The Co-op ( despite being beset by availability issues) and even Waitrose- on 25% off deal -deserve to be added as well.

    Do not get me wrong, there are some good wines and good value in Aldi and Lidl, but they are not the automatic VFM that they once were.

    But to finish off with a nice wine.

    After the exit polls for the General Election are announced tonight, and whether my chosen political party has won or lost,I will be opening a bottle of the very good and impressively balanced Asda Crémant d’Alsace sparkler, down to £9 from £11 and the toast will be “To better times”.

    1. Hi Paul,

      I try to be philosophical about availability. Good wines aren’t always large volume, so would sort of prefer supermarkets to have limited stocks of good parcels rather than only stocking large quantity wines. And there is the excitement of finally finding your bottle in the 3rd branch visited! Though I try not to Yelp in joy, as it can alarm the staff.

      Having said that, Eddie recently reminded us of the exciting English Pinot Noir/Précoce rose at Aldi. So I went, again, to find it. No luck, nothing on the shelves. So I remain philosophical, but slightly annoyed.

    2. Agree with you Paul (and Fiona Beckett) that the discounters do not offer the stand-out value of a couple of years ago. I also celebrated with a bottle of Crémant d’Alsace – but in my case for Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France win yesterday! He could do it again today after pedalling past Mercurey, Chassagne Montrachet and Meursault among others.

      1. Hi David,

        I am a big fan of the grand tour cycling, and love the daily highlights at 7pm. Mark’s win was so thrilling.

        Perhaps you could write a feature on “Wine & the Tour de France (… Tour de France)” and send to Brian? I’d love to read it, perhaps with Kraftwerk playing in the background!

        1. Hi Richard,

          I sent an email to Brian on Monday listing the wines I’d chosen for each stage – mainly from supermarkets. I’m sure he’d forward it to you if you asked him.

          1. Sounds an interesting read and was also delighted for Cav yesterday, especially after his crash last year. Hopefully Brian will share in due course.

            I’ve been made aware of a marathon (not the chocolate bar now know as snickers) in Medoc that you have to drink a glass of wine. I wasn’t built for speed or distance but reckon I could do this. Be great if we could get “Team MidWeekWines” over to it with Brian at the front

          2. I think I would still be drinking my way through the wines of the current leg – the one mentioned earlier in this Comments section.

      2. I fancy that pound for pound the premium discounters do just shade it but the others do have some great wines and remain firmly on my radar.

    3. I think everyone would say “Amen” to better times whatever they mean to each individual. One “better time” would be to see distribution more successful but I do believe that company wide any Lidl 90 pointer seldom lasts a week.

  3. Hi Brian,
    Nice selection
    Like Richard I recognised the Torre de Ferro and looking back through my notes, I enjoyed it as well, but didn’t note down the vintage. The Agramont looked familiar as well, I’m sure I’ve bought some, don’t think it was Graciano though.
    The San Juan looks like one I may well enjoy, not so sure about the 5 Oros (Gold) may be a little light for me.

    1. It is probably is light for your tastes and there is an Agramont in the core range that gets rated highly.

  4. Have to agree with frustrations about availability of recommended wines in Lidl. It’s recently been made worse for me with the closure of the local branch! But if I do happen to be near another Lidl in the next week or so the Wine Tour bottle I’ll be searching for is Roero Arneis from Piedmont at £8.99. Have a bit of a soft spot for Arneis and Decanter review seemed to rate it well – https://www.decanter.com/decanter-best/best-lidl-wines-331843/

      1. Welcome to the Comments section Howard and thank you for pointing that out. It is £9 at Ocado – where M&S are slowly moving online wine sales as part of their ongoing partnership.

        1. Thank you! Been lurking for a while…thank you for the consistently good recommendations!

    1. The Arneis I had was a rogue bottle and out of condition, but Decanter guidance is usually sound.

  5. Hi Brian,
    Thought that the San Juan was excellent and well worth it’s £6.49 price point. A few old faithful from Lidl in there that never seen to disappoint for me, especially the Dao. I actually preferred the everyday Agramont Lidl do over this one.
    On the Joao Pires, wow, pretty blown away with this and have already stocked the cellar. The Hacienda I think needs food with it to fully appreciate and open up what it has to offer. I’ve not quite worked that bit out yet so any assistance or recommendations greatly received.


    1. I accept that the Hacienda is several rungs below the Joao Pires but I did include it because it is unusual and that pithy grapefruit undercurrent provides zing and individuality.

  6. Hi All
    It’s strange sometimes how varied the stock is between Lidl stores. I’m lucky in having around 8 to choose from, so if one doesn’t have a wine in then chances are the next one will. All of these were available, including the Roero Arneis (sorry Keith!) bar one. I can’t get hold of the Torre de Ferro Reserva for love nor money.
    I’m particularly looking forward to trying the San Juan as I believe it’s a Felix Solis, the producer behind another very good offering I picked up at Lidl, namely the Soliera Tempranillo. Equally, if the Hacienda Uvanis Garnacha Blanca is as nice as The Wolftrap Grenache Blanc I’ll be well happy.

    1. It is Felix Solis, Rhiannon and right up there for me. That’s a good comparison for the whites – same grape of course – and broadly similar treatment.

  7. Brian … all …

    What’s to try that’s available? What to invest our hard-earned budget in, within a certain price range?

    Lidl is my weekly shopping destination but I use Sainsbury’s almost as regularly. In and out of Aldi, Asda and Iceland too, though from the latter mainly seafood and only occasionally a choice bottle; they stock a lot of the usual suspects I don’t ever bother with.

    I use five or six local Lidl branches all within 7 miles, and am buying less wine from all of them because … too often they don’t stock what I really want when I want it after seeing it advertised … plus I’m not seeing much that gets me excited more than my regular TWS drops that I rate very highly more than any other of my suppliers.

    Most importantly I think Lidl are overpricing a lot of their Wine Tour because they can claim a cheap, wide-choice, value, basic range on the bottom shelf as well as their mid level, New World, Deluxe range mainly around £6 to £8.

    So it doesn’t surprise me they think they can get £8.99 for the Joõa Pires … but let’s be more honest and say 9 quid! OK I got a bottle with £1 off with my Plus app … but still 8 quid. I’m a Portugal nut especially Setubal, Lisboa and Tejo so I will give these things a try and I did find it very interesting, quite complex, thoroughly enjoyable but the kicker is …I won’t buy it again at £9; move on!
    But wait! When the Lugana was in the Wine Tour it got reduced to silly money, £4.50, and that WAS a cracker for the price!

    At Lidl I also got the Bajoz Toro 2023 at £7 but am not impressed. Half the bottle still remains. Maybe too young. Certainly ordinary.

    So it’s back to what we both hunt out and spend our money on. And here any budgeting rules I usually impose on myself will go out of the window when I start experimenting!

    I’m sorry for Richard or anyone trying to find the Specially Selected English Pinot Noir & Précoce Rosé at Aldi. Aldi too can be poor for keeping up stocks. I regularly can’t get what I want that is advertised, especially their specific 12 year old malt whisky! But then I wouldn’t mind betting this English rosé could never be produced in large enough quantities to satisfy demand, so it was always going to be exclusive. Try the Assyrtiko Syrah rosé instead if it’s there, for the same £10.

    Though I rarely shop at Tesco these days I did go and get their Tavel Rosé on a double dip at £7.50, that I think that to be a top steal for exclusive Rhône rosé drinking.

    The Asda Roditis-SB at £7 is still top of my list for a summer white of enchanting quality. Though Le Tour in the Rhône has gone north of Beaujolais for today’s start out of Mâcon to Dijon I have a rather decent Saint-Joseph, Vidal-Fleury 2018 that Asda sent to report back on. We shall try it ….

    1. Yes variable stock levels are an issue – and it does not help sites like this when folk get excited by something I recommend and then find it is unavailable. Still on the trail of that Asda white by the way.

  8. Hello Brian,
    Just some information on the Vina San Juan.
    The label looks like a nudist colony dancing around a bonfire, but it is meant to depict the night time celebration of Saint John of Toledo.
    More importantly the Felix Solis technical sheet on this wine recommends that it is served at 13 C.I wonder how many of us drink it at that temperature?

    1. Fiona Beckett ,wine writer in today’s Saturday Guardian, also made the Vina San Juan one of her four best picks. But Brian,you got there first!

  9. I got diverted from today’s subject – the Lidl Wine Tour – by another Tour earlier but can I just add that I very much like the look of the Hacienda Uvanis Garnacha Blanca. Not only because as the cheapest white in this selection it’s more like the Lidl of old, but also because some years ago I enjoyed an excellent Rioja Blanco from Aldi that was (I think) 100% Garnacha Blanca and better than I find the the more usual Viura offerings. Supply problems notwithstanding, I shall search out a bottle tomorrow. And, cheapskate that I am, I’ll add a bottle of the Via San Juan.

    1. Thanks for posing that question Chris in what I think is a first time post here. A year or two back, Chris Mercer offered this guidance in Decanter, and I see little to quarrel with there. It also aligns with the producer’s advice quoted by Paul elsewhere in this comments section. In addition, MidWeek Wines good friend Dave Cronin recommends putting red wine in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving on hot days – and that has worked for me too with lighter wines
      • Light, fruity reds: Aim for around 12-13 degrees Celsius (54 – 56 degrees Fahrenheit), but some can go down to 10 degrees, too.
      • Medium-bodied reds: Serve between 14 and 16 degrees Celsius (56 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit)
      • Full-bodied reds: Serve between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius, (61 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit)

  10. Hi Brian,

    You asked … How many bottles are needed to make CellarTracker worthwhile?

    Is CellarTracker for me?

    Possibly No – if you:
    (1) Think you pretty much know what you have in your racks, so aren’t worried about overlooking a bottle(s). (2) And don’t particularly want to check back on what you have drunk in the past.

    Probably yes – if you:
    (1) Have have enough bottles that you can lose track of what you have. (2) Input your wine details into a spreadsheet or cellar book – as CellarTracker facilitates efficient capture of full wine details and you can get a picture of the bottle as well. (3) Like to recall past bottles that you have drunk, with any associated tasting notes.

    Remember that “CellarTracker is a free site/app with paid subscription to access additional features”. (I think the base facilities cover all that most people will want)

    They do suggest that you might like to make a subscription/donation (which I now do, after a few years of free use) in line with the value one gets. (That’s a good idea, I know a couple of apps/websites where someone puts in lots of effort and much expense for no monetary reward!!)

    I have refined my CellarTracker processes over the years, so operation is now quite slick. But you do need to be methodical.

  11. The San Juan is really good. Just wondering if it might improve with another year in the bottle.

    1. Hi John and welcome aboard the Comments Section. Time alone will tell but my instinct is that this wine is not a keeper. Once the fruit taste-alikes begin to fade, I suspect that the wine’s savoury elements will elbow their way forward and eclipse its main strengths – its fruit-based flavours. I could be wrong though, but that is my best guess – drink it young.

  12. Few sporting events are as evocative where wine is concerned than Le Tour … de France! The early stages this year through rolling Italian countryside was a fabulous watch and brought back so many memories. But can anything beat yesterday’s contribution with a time trial starting in the amazing commune of Nuits-Saint-Georges in the arrondissement of Beaune of the Côte-d’Or department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in Eastern France … full titling here … through to Gevrey Chambertin? Authenticity helps when making these offerings to viewers to see a real deal on TV in their own living room. Yes … this IS what it looks like. You got the bottle … read the label … and it’s all true … Of course, affording their very best is another thing completely but it’s nice to dream.

    1. Indeed it is and Burgundy is a nice area to travel around as so many of the producers’ premises are straight forward affairs with little ornamentation – and a real contrast to the Chateaux of Bordeaux.

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