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Discounter Discoveries: A New Lidl Wine Tour

A new Lidl Wine Tour has just started, and today’s post picks out some of its stars that grabbed my attention.

A new Wine Tour started in Lidl stores recently and will continue until stocks run out, or until the January Wine Tour begins – whichever happens first.

The promotion includes the usual seasonal collection and, once again, features Ice Wine and Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos – both at astonishingly good prices.

So, I have paused our four-part review of Christmas wines to bring you my personal favourites from the collection.

These are spread across the price points and are wines that I rather hope you enjoy.

Do remember, though, that these really are WIGIG options so availability will vary from store to store.

As is normal here, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on the shelf or web page although not all prices are correct on the website.

Starting in Italy’s Campania Region

2021 Greco di Tufo, (£7.99 at Lidl and 13% abv):

Inland from Naples, and in elevated vineyards with a very rare geology, come the easy drinking white Greco di Tufo wines.

It is equally at home as an “offend no one” party option or for a more serious task where its lightness but intricacy will score highly.

Light bodied but opening with pronounced fruit aromas, this delivers delicate and bright apple, greengage and white currant flavours accompanied here by fresh citrus peel acidity and a savoury celery and dill background. 

Staying in Italy but changing colours

2018 Barbera D’Asti Superiore (£6.49 at Lidl and 13.5%)

Not just changing colour but moving 700km north, we find the seriously underestimated Piedmonte grape, barbera, with its dark colour but, often, light texture.

That is especially true of Barbera D’Asti as is offered here – whereas Barbera D’Alba is frequently regarded as a more powerful and complex wine.

Textured with light sweetish hints, this version brings us textured cherry, loganberry and blackberry flavours coupled with good acidity, modest tannin and suggestions of oregano, cedar and star anise.

Next stop, Portugal   

2020 Monsaraz Reserva (£8.49 at Lidl and 15%):

With their distinctive red flesh and deep colour, Alicante Bouschet grapes were once major players in several European countries but, apart from a few isolated outposts, its main presence nowadays is in Portugal’s massive Alentejo region.

And it is from there that this hearty example comes in the form of a deceptively high alcohol blend with touriga nacional and trincadeira.

Soft and smooth, it provides rich plum, blackcurrant and blueberry flavours supported by good acidity and firm (but not intrusive) tannin and a clove, tobacco and vanilla depth.

Next Two Champagnes

Comte de Senneval Rosé Brut (£19.99 at Lidl and 12.5%):

Opinions vary about why pink champagne has a price premium.

Producers argue that its production method is costlier while other think its appeal as a romantic choice makes buying seem less price sensitive.

One things is certain, though, suggestions that it is usually sweet(ish) are well wide of the mark – as this Brut version illustrates.

Indeed, even though this soft but dark coloured version supports its minty aromas with ripeness on the finish, its predominant feature is a dry and extensive cocktail of flavours.

They range from strawberry and red currant to pink grapefruit and tangerine with several stops in between.  

Moving on to a Vintage version

2014 Comte de Senneval Millesime (£19.99 at Lidl and 12.5%) 

Lidl usually tries to include a vintage champagne in its Christmas collection.

I’ll drink to that as the extra aging time involved provides a yeasty or biscuit dimension that adds a layer of complexity – and, hence, luxury.

See how that works here but, above all, appreciate the wine’s keen price; vintage champagne is often significantly dearer.

Despite quickly fading bubbles, this has a lovely mouth-feel to accentuate its apple, raspberry and orange flavours and associated sharp lemon acidity.

Those elements, in turn, are counterbalanced by pastry and new bread richness.   

And two to decant.

Finally, I pick up on two really promising and well-priced red wines that are only just entering their “ready to drink” window in my view.

Consequently, they will respond well to (or even seem to demand) decanting, aeration or whatever air-exposure method you favour.

First up is a claret.

2019 Chateau de Landiras, Graves (£11.99 at Lidl and 13.5%)

Graves is usually thought to be the “original” exporting region from Bordeaux to the UK dating right back to the 1150’s.

The well-draining, gravelly soil of the region’s name has long been ideal for cabernet sauvignon – although merlot is widely grown there too.

Without exposure to air, the savoury elements of this wine (graphite and sage for instance) emerge first.

Next it is the wine’s smooth texture, good acidity and soft tannin that grab attention.

Only later do the cherry, prune, menthol and chocolate elements emerge but decanting does seem to advance them much further up the queue.

Then to Chile

 2018 Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva (£11.99 at Lidl and 13.5%):

When conditions and yields are right, Chile’s Maipo Valley (home to this choice) produces terrific wines from, in particular, the so-called Bordeaux varieties.

This version is made by the acclaimed Santa Rita operation and is a flagship wine of theirs in most vintages – often featuring fruit from the more elevated parts of the region.

Soft and smooth, the wine exhibits minty cherry and blackberry flavours coupled here with gentle tannin, hints of sweetness and a vanilla and cinnamon depth.

Once again, though, decanting does open things up quicker and more emphatically.

Promotions

Remember that two of the current promotions are due to end shortly. Both the Clubcard one at Tesco and the Morrisons one are due to end on 4 December.

However, by the time you read this, new sets of price reductions will have started in the Co-op and also in Waitrose.

Call in again on Monday when the talk is about “House Wines” and the spotlight falls on Top Tips that offer especially good value at a store near you.

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12 Responses

  1. Morning Erik and good to hear from you. Glad we are in accord on the savoury aspects of that wine – it seemed to score highly with the Lidl MW’s too.

  2. Morning Brian, interesting read as always. I opened that Cab Sav last Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it although when returning to it Sunday it did seem to be tasting better. Will make sure it’s decanted with the remaining bottles and the Graves. Enjoyed the vintage champagne but appreciate it’s complexity and flavour profile are not for all so the Montadoun (£14.99) is a good alternative. Personally thought the Tokaji was outstanding this time round.

    1. I certainly felt that both wines went up a notch by Day 2, and your experience seem to confirm that. That Montadoun was certainly well received at a fund raising tasting I did a week or so back but I will look in more detail at “bubbles” in 15 December post.

  3. Interesting that 2 of you found the wines slightly better on day 2 after opening. I’ve also found that twice recently, but forget which wines.

    Brian I’ve just discovered your site and immediately signed up! I enjoy discovering good wine at reasonable prices.

    I agree with your recommendation of the Monsaraz from Portugal’s Alentejo region. What a great discovery. Excellent smooth tasty red.

  4. Thanks for signing up Julian and welcome aboard. Since cash flow imperatives often mean wines gets released too soon, access to air can soften and open up red wines nicely. Recently, I had a tight and tannin dominated Barolo that I left in an open jug all night and it was superb on Day 2. Glad you enjoyed that Alentejo red though.

  5. Oh dear it seems the excitement of the Lidl Wine Tour change over bargains has now gone and the maximum discount is typically £2 a bottle and £1 on the less expensive wines. Also fruit seems to be a missing dimension and I thought I had found an exception in the Monsaraz however the fruit is now muddied over, the alcohol at 15% overpowers masking everything and it’s about the only Portuguese red wine I find soul less.

    To my mind Lidl value is still to be found in their core range however Wine Tour £3.99 specials are no more! I will cry myself to sleep tonight and now turn to explore Aldi and please Mid Week community suggest new pastures for me to explore!

    Thank goodness I built up ample stocks of past goodies and will buy a few Chianti Riserva 2019 “Corte Alle Mura” at £6.49 to stock up some red Lidl Magic going forward.

    1. Time will tell whether this is a new policy on Wine Tour “remainders” or simple a “one-off”. Either way, I have no doubt that other MidWeekers will have steers aplenty about where to go next.

  6. I tried the Monsaraz 2020 again after 6 hours and after 24 hours and hey ho the fruit mask has lifted and the blackberries and raspberries are delish! Typical Portuguese behaviour that I should have realised from the past.

    Comparison with some Medalla Real 2018 Gran Reserva with more oak aging shows the Cabernet class however the Monsaraz is also superb fun value for money at £5.99.

    Changing the subject again I will open a bottle of the Chianti Riserva 2019 from the “core range” Corte Alle Mura later and report back.

    Changing to whites and looking at the £5.99 reduction offerings I am not grabbed by Greco di Tufo which is very good but unexciting. I’m on the track for a bargain but the Cabriz seems to be not on offer so I will try the Vicarius Furmint which I remember as delicate and the Prosecco Brut looks appealing or is it just the fancy bottle? I’ll report back.

    Come on community, what is your reaction to Lidl’s management’s latest Wine Tour change over tactics? How are you reacting?

  7. Glad that the Monsaraz finally revealed its charms. So often Day 2 is a better option for trying full and relatively young reds. I hope that the Chianti is less coy about showing itself in its full glory.

  8. Just drinking my last bottle of the 2020 Morgon from Collin Bourisset and am stunned by the suggestions of raspberry, cherries and strawberries above the main palate of herbs, spices, meatiness, woodiness, and mushroom flavours.

    Rated by Richard Bampfield in 2022 at at 90 points the wine seems to be improved. Perhaps Brian can cast light on how some a Morgon can surprise us. Part of this is because the negotiant owns vineyards and crafts it’s own very expensive wines for the well heeled! Did we get what someone thought were the “failures?”

    It’s one of the best bottles I have enjoyed for ages. It was priced at £8.99 and I paid £4! Remember the name Collin Bourisset. There may be some bottles of their rose wine floating in the Lidl bins so give one a try.

    Brian, can you throw any light as Burgundy is not familiar to me, why is CB so dependable?

  9. Hi Chris … I have no insider knowledge on this, but instinct suggests three possible reasons why these wines impress:
    Experience – The business has been going for 200 years allowing ideas and winemaking skills to be finessed over time.
    Position – Their estate seems to have a foot in both Macon and Beaujolais enabling them to transfer what they learn from one region into their winemaking for the other one.
    Latest Trends – Climate, demand and opportunity currently seem to mean that wines from parts of Beaujolais (especially Morgon) are becoming more Burgundian in style with consequent taste (but not price) implications.
    Only guesswork on my part though Chris.

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