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Premium Discounter Discoveries – Lidl

With 25 well chosen wines between £5 and £8, the Lidl Wine Tour that starts today is, again, a welcome event. Here are 6 or 7 if its highlights that impress me.

As most of you know, every couple of months, Lidl launch a “Wine Tour” promotion offering a parcel of thirty or so wines usually at great prices – but which are only available while stocks last.

Their July Wine Tour starts today and this time, unusually, contains three wines that are over £10 (a Loire sauvignon, Rhone red blend and, of course, Champagne).

Nevertheless, there are still 25 wines under £8 and about half of those are between £4.99 and £7.

As usual, the scores of their three-person Masters of Wine panel are also on display both in store and on the Lidl website.

Here are a handful of wines on the promotion that I particularly rate.

As ever, where hyperlinks and pictures are available, they appear alongside the text to help you find that specific wine.

Let’s start with a white

Here is a Languedoc chardonnay that, in terms of depth and an almost viognier-like viscosity, is very different to the versions from 450 miles further north in Chablis.

I know that the MW team did not rate this as highly as I do, so would be interested in what Midweekers think – do add any thoughts you have in the Comments section.

Rich and textured, 2020 Val de Salis Chardonnay Reserve (£6.49 and 13.5% abv) exhibits peach, ripe pear and cooked apple flavours coupled with good lemon acidity, saline hints yet marzipan, mace and butterscotch elements too.

Same producer but a switch of colour

Southern France has always been strong on light coloured, dry, food-friendly rosé and it is good to see that style getting more and more traction over here.

However, this guy from Languedoc not only partners food well but also has enough sweetish ripeness for “stand alone” drinking.

Perfumed and fashionably pale, 2020 Val de Salis Rosé Aurore (£6.99 and 12.5%) provides light and floral red current and strawberry flavours with grapefruit acidity and tropical fruit depth – yet counterbalancing savoury touches too. 

Reds for warmer days

Rising temperatures and powerful reds do not mix well and hot days often call for a switch to lighter, low tannin options that will stand light chilling.

Beaujolais can meet the need nicely as illustrated by this well priced “crossover” wine that sits somewhere between Beaujolais Villages and the more substantial wines for which Morgon and the region’s other cru appellations are justly famed.

Floral but dark in colour, 2019 Collin Bourisset Morgon (£7.99 and 13.5%) has easy drinking raspberry and cherry flavours accompanied by good acidity, herbal and savoury spice influences with ideal “summer red wine” softness and juiciness.

And for not so warm days

British summers are just as likely (almost overnight) to transpose the 31°C we enjoyed last weekend to a less than balmy 13°and if (when) it does, fuller Rhȏne reds come into their own – but the 14% alcohol in both the next wines means they do work best as an accompaniment to food.

First, then, a Sunday Best option

Although the Southern Rhône provides many perfectly serviceable, modestly priced, red blends (often under the Côtes du Rhône classification), the region’s top-level wines (from the crus) represent a step change in quality – and then some.

Of the nine Southern Rhone cru appellations, Gigondas gets close to the style of the illustrious Chateauneuf du Pape and, in this case, at a quality level that would usually attract a £20+ price label.

Well worth digging deep for, the bright yet smooth 2019 Gigondas Puech Morny (£14.99 and 14%) delivers smoky, concentrated blackberry and loganberry flavours supported by firm acidity (but soft tannin) and suggestions of cinnamon, black pepper and savoury depth.

And for a much younger option

For another sound Southern Rhone crus, head west from Gigondas to Lirac – right across from Chateauneuf du Pape but on the opposite bank of the river – where great value (and softer) reds can often be found. 

This example is from the last vintage and is a nicely configured wine that gives a clear indication of what the region’s style is all about yet is most suitable for times when maturity is not strictly necessary.

Smooth and aromatic, 2020 Chateau Chante Mistral Lirac (£7.99 and 14%) contains smooth raspberry and plum flavours nicely complemented by good acidity and gently evolving tannin but with clove, oregano, chocolate and menthol elements too. 

Now for some sweetness.

Jurançon – close to France’s border with Spain – is a great region for sweet wines and this one fits the bill perfectly for anyone seeking an uncomplicated example that neatly balances its honey driven sweetness with citrus acidity.

For me, though, it is a notch below the complexity achieved by one of the stars of previous Lidl Wine Tours – the sweet Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh from slightly further north. 

Bright and lengthy, 2019 Jurançon Doux (£7.99 and 12%) offers us perfumed peach and dried apricot flavours supplemented by late but zesty grapefruit acidity and suspicions of honey and lemon curd. 

Bubbles to finish

Unlike many words used in the Champagne region, Premium Cuvée is not a regulated term but usually signifies a blend that the producer considers to be a cut above their standard fare.

That is certainly the case with this champagne where balance, sophistication and delicacy are all in evidence and fully justify a price a little above Lidl’s (still great value) standard champagne – and still below what many comparable versions would cost.

Beautifully balanced with attractive biscuit aromas from the start, Bissinger Champagne AOP Premium Cuvée Brut (£19.99 and 12.5%) is centred around apple, orange and peach flavours partnered by background nuttiness, lively lemon acidity and traces of citrus pith that lead on from its long lasting mousse.

Drop by again for Monday’s regular post that reveals my Top Tips on what to buy now and tells you what supermarket promotions are in place.

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12 Responses

  1. Wow! That Gigondas Puech Morny has risen steeply in price (£14.99)! As part of a Lidl wine tour a couple of years ago, this was priced at just £9.99!
    Having said that, it is very good wine. But at £14.99 it is in competition with many other decent Bordeaux wines, for example.

  2. Hi Derrik…. Currency and other issues are pushing up wine prices discernibly but, as you say, the new price does take this guy into a different league. Quality Southern Rhone blends, however, tend to be expensive and this one remains excellent value for money even at £15.

  3. Hi Brian. I will have to keep this email handy along with the current weekly in-store Lidl magazine, including the complete run down of the new New Tour. I kept the last one and took it shopping when I went in on Thursday to find … as is often the case … a wire bin with a lot of the last Tour bottles priced at £3.99. So I’ll do the same in around 8 weeks time in the hope that what hasn’t been sold of this batch is discounted too, taken from the wooden crates to make way for the ”autumn tour”. Most of what I got was originally £7.99 … a dozen bottles of this and that, mainly whites, that had scored quite highly but weren’t wanted by the customers! The Marlborough Summerhouse NZ-SB frinstance, is fabulous. Fingers crossed that there are some Gigondas remainders reduced next time. I would never afford £14.99 at Lidl for any bottle. But the Morgon for me looks the best current buy plus the lower-points Collin Bourisset Macon, both now at 7.99. Cheers Brian … good stuff as ever …

  4. …to Dave Cronin …. Brian … … et al … My best pal was on to me to say the store I usually use a little further away also had a wire basket full of discounted stuff. Last time I got 6 of the Bastide Miraflors from the May Tour for £3.99. Those bottles had been deliberately sent to that store from another close by because its record over the previous several weeks showed apparently good sales of that wine from that location, according to the staff member on the check out! This time I settled for what I’d got already as I shopped more locally and had already spent quite a bit … and didn’t dash out to see what more there was around the whole district where I have 7 stores all within 10 miles!!!! Who knows what the policy is with all this stuff? Brian? Cheers for now ..

  5. Eddie and Dave ….. MidWeeker Chris sheds more light on the Lidl promotion strategies in a reply to my May 27 post about an earlier Lidl Wine Tour.

  6. Just tried the de Salis Chardonnay. Cracking wine, just as you describe with an extra something which I described as acacia honey. Definetly going back for a couple more bottles. Only negative I suppose is that I would struggle to have identified it as Chardonnay w/o the label so not really varietal typical.

  7. Hi Phil and many thanks for responding to my request in the post for feedback on the chardonnay. It was exactly the point you make about varietal typicity that prompted me to ask what others thought. In a blind tasting, I would possibly have identified this as viognier but, nevertheless, I felt it deserved recognition (and a push) especially as chardonnay has such a broad flavour range anyway. I am glad you enjoyed it and do, please, keep adding your thoughts to the comments section.

    1. Agreed Nigel – the balance and softness on display there is well above most £20 champagnes. Be interesting to see what is included in the new Lidl Wine Tour due to start later this month.

  8. That Loire white should be good to drink straight away but top range Gigondas will mature for at least five years yet. Many less expensive ones (under £20) should be ready after two years in my view.

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