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Forget Black Friday, today is Golden Thursday

Today's new Collection from Lidl includes a superb dessert wine that, to me, is a veritable crock of gold at the end of an impressive rainbow of varied wines.

Building – it seems – their major Wine Cellar promotions into quarterly events, Lidl launch their Christmas collection this morning. Among the impressive wines I have highlighted here is an Ice Wine that I think amounts to liquid gold.

As ever, these wines are available while stocks last – and the most popular ones usually sell out very quickly.

Click on any of the bottles pictured for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.

Excellent white under a fiver

Bergerac now aligns itself with South Western France rather than Bordeaux but, judging by this great value sauvignon-led blend, no one told the grape varieties.

Enjoy then the gooseberry and lemon fruit in 2014 Tour de Lonchat Bergerac Blanc (£4.99) and the sherbet acidity and appealing substance that accompany it.

Yes, inexpensive white Burgundy

Bourgogne Blanc
Bourgogne Blanc

Current prices ensure that everyday and white burgundy are not words that often appear in the same sentence but this has all the right components without the heavy price label.


Clean and textured, 2014 Bourgogne Blanc Philippe de Bois d’Arnault (£7.99) deftly brings together green apple fruit, lively acidity and touches of honey too.


Riesling everyone will surely love

 Alsace Riesling
Alsace Riesling

Do me a favour and force feed any lingering doubters about Riesling’s quality that you know with this beautiful white from Alsace. It is brilliant.


With delightful apple and grapefruit flavours 2012 Riesling Grand Cru Ollwiller (£8.99) has vibrant acidity yet also provides mellowness too – from its touches of honey, sweeter spices and mango ripeness.

Chile’s signature red

 Cimarosa Chile Carmenere
Cimarosa Chile Carmenere

Moving on to the reds, here is an often underestimated near relative of merlot that Chile has made its signature grape.


While the tannins in 2012 Cimarosa Carmenere Limited Edition (£6.99) are quite soft, the acidity is reasonably assertive but works well with the cherry and blackcurrant fruit and the grape’s characteristic chocolate elements.

What Spanish folk rate above rioja

Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero

Back in Europe though, many Spaniards freely admit that rioja is actually their second favourite red among their country’s vast array of wines.


Top spot on the podium goes to something like 2010 Altos de Tamaron Ribera del Duero Reserva (£6.99) which, as here, often provide cherry and blackcurrant fruit neatly supported by texture and minerality and, perhaps, the merely mild tannins this example contains.

….. and for a bit more money

Brunello di Montalcino
Brunello di Montalcino

Although there is lovely St Julien at £19.99 my big ticket choice from this collection is actually a top quality sangiovese from a very special corner of Tuscany.


Luxuriate in the dense, black cherry backbone of 2009 Brunello di Montalcino (£14.99) and the nutty chocolate influences that supplement it but avoids the really chewy tannins the grape variety sometimes generates.

The first of the sweeties

Royal Tokaji
Royal Tokaji

A literal abundance of riches in the collection gives us, first, a well priced example of Hungary’s classic version of its wonderful, traditionally made and classified dessert wines


Who cannot enjoy the depth and well managed acidity that 2009 Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos (£18.99 for 50cl) puts behind its orange and peach fruit and the suggestion of golden syrup that embellishes it?

 …. and the promised superstar

 Pillitteri Ice Wine
Pillitteri Ice Wine

Finally, though, to the top of the bill which astonishes both in its quality and its price because the complex production process in Canada is hard to manage and, inevitably, labour intensive.


Nevertheless, 2013 Vidal Ice Wine Pillitteri Estates Winery (£14.99 for a half bottle) brings you minty freshness to mingle with the apple centred acidity and grapefruit marmalade flavours that defy superlatives.

Before you head for the checkout

Straying off my usual patch, Lidl also have the excellent Glenalba 34 Year Sherry Cask Finished Blended Scotch Whisky (£49.99) with mellow cereal influences, spicy chocolate depth and barley sugar style sweetish edge.

That whisky is a seasonal special but, among Lidl’s on-going lines, I also enjoyed the textured and nicely balanced The Winter Warmer Spiced Dark Beer (£1.49 for 500ml – 5.5% abv) with appealing touches of ginger and clove; it comes from Oxfordshire’s Hatherwood brewery.


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