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Time for Another Lidl Wine Tour

An Argentinian red blend and a delightfully soft Portuguese white are among the stars of the latest Lidl Wine Tour reviewed today.

Two months have zipped by and so it is time, once more, for another Lidl Wine Tour promotion.

The customary 30 or so wines appear in the retailer’s displays on the usual “when it’s gone it’s gone” basis.

Mainly European, its offerings extend to a £13 Rhone red that will excite lovers of mineral and liquorice based savouriness.

At the other end of the spectrum, prices start at £5.99 but – reflecting rising prices everywhere – only 4 wines in this Tour are under £6.

So, take a look at my selections and see what takes your fancy.

Once again, pictures and hyperlinks are included where possible to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

Let’s start in Gascogne

2021 Confidence de Gascogne (£5.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 11.5% abv): 

South West France triumphs once again with a white that combines value and zing in a way that underlines how that region excels with the humble colombard grape.

It is partnered here with sauvignon blanc to create a wine that, to me, significantly outperforms the 84 points the Lidl website awards it.

With floral fragrance and sherbet lemon components, the result delivers vivid greengage, peach and green apple flavours enlivened by sharp grapefruit acidity and pithy depth.

Speaking of verve and green apples

2021 Riesling Rheingau Trocken (£6.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 11.5%)

Germany’s Rheingau is not only riesling’s original home but was also one major source of the “medium sweet” German wines that poured into the UK 50 or so years ago.

Nowadays, though, over three quarters of the wine produced there is dry and a little over 10% of it is actually red (principally pinot noir).

So, dry with nicely integrated constituents, this example is centred on undemanding green apple, ripe pear and melon flavours.

Those ingredients are given zip by good lime acidity but then everything is boosted by appealing suggestions of mango and peach.

Next comes a 90 pointer

2022 Encostas de Caíz Avesso (£7.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 13%) 

I praise Northern Portugal’s little known white grapes regularly so was pleased to see this avesso earning a brilliant 90 points on the Lidl website.

Typically, it has a little of Vinho Verde’s carbonated effervescence to add energy and vitality.

Light bodied and smooth, it exhibits spritzy quince, apple and apricot flavours coupled with lively sherbet lemon acidity.

Hints of the sweeter spices then add sophistication to the package.

Now for the first of the reds

2021 Peuceta Primitivo Puglia (£5.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%):

It is no accident that primitivo grapes do so well in Italia’s Puglia region.

The long, hot summers there help this sun-loving variety to prosper while the area’s moisture retaining soil ensures serious drought conditions are avoided.

Cooling breezes from the Ionian and Adriatic seas also help control the overall heat.

However, judge the quality of the wines it produces for yourself with this nicely crafted but great value offering

Concentrated with a nutty background, it is centred on textured plum, cherry and blackcurrant sauce flavours.

These are complemented by touches of baking spice and ginger and pleasingly modest tannin.

Can’t have value reds without Portugal.

2019 Torre de Ferro Reserva (£6.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 13.5%)

Poor granite based soil can be good for wine production partly because its coarse graining helps provide good drainage – especially if the vineyard slopes steeply.

Portugal’s Dao region has plenty of illustrations of those characteristics.

Incidentally and counter intuitively, poor soil where plants struggle for nutrients, can be a good thing.

Where a vine has to a devote major effort to merely surviving, the berries it produces are often smaller and – here’s the good news – thus contain more concentrated flavours.

Full yet smooth, the wine itself features dense blackberry, loganberry and damson flavours.

Then mocha savouriness, balanced acidity, soft tannin plus black pepper and incense components all join in.  

To South America for a beefy blend

2020 CXV Premium Red Blend Argentina (£9.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 14.5%):

Although the label is silent about the contents of this blend, I am guessing it involves two of Argentina’s top three grapes (by volume) – malbec (obviously) and cabernet sauvignon.

The result is big and rounded and very much on the mark for the beef that plays such a prominent part in that country’s cooking.  

There is a vague sweetness to the rich flavour range here which includes intense prune, black cherry and mulberry elements along with aniseed, thyme and chocolate influences.

Finally to a giant of the Southern Rhȏne

2020 Vacqueyras (£12.99 at Lidl while stocks last and 14.5%):

Physically close to Chateauneuf du Pape and often so in terms of quality (but seldom in price), Vacqueyras is one of the top level Crus of Southern Rhȏne.

This is a particularly savoury and full example of red Rhone’s but lovers of that style will appreciate that £13 is a great price for a skilfully crafted Rhȏne Cru wine awash with meaty and liquorice components.

Smooth and ebullient, it provides concentrated blackberry and figgy flavours embellished by good acidity (but limited tannin) partnered by tarry sage, cinnamon and black pepper hints.

Note:- Some stores may have the (pictured) 2021 vintage – which I have not tried – so these comments only apply to 2020 versions, which should be widely available.

After today’s review covering £6 to £13 price points, it’s back to concentrating on budget level stars in Monday’s Top Tip selections. Make sure you join the party.

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19 Responses

  1. Hi Brian, trust this finds you well and most of your recommendations found there way to my basket last week with the bulk being made up of that Argentinian red. I just think it’s absolutely on point and so good. The Dao has been a regular over the years at Lidl and, for me, always hits the mark. The riesling and vinho verde I had last week and thought there were some similarities on the taste profile. Not sure if this is true or not but I once read that there was some belief that many years ago German monks visited Spain with rielsing vines, planted them and albarino was born. Vinho being the Portugese cousin you’d think there was a link back. Anyway, even if urban legend, it makes for a good camp fire story……….
    I do enjoy Lidl’s core range Primitivo and it’s just over £5

  2. If there is none on the shelf, it is worth asking a helpful assistant to check their store. Some may have just been unloaded. Show them the picture on your phone if necessary.

  3. Probably because of those similarities there are indeed theories that albarino “originated in the Rhine valley or was brought by French Cistercian monks on pilgrimage from Cluny in the 12th century”. DNA evidence seems to argue against it, but I still prefer the romantic (and campfire) version you mention.

  4. Hi Brian & all,,
    The offers keep coming – Aldi on three of their big ticket price wines, one a week for next three weeks.
    Ending today though in week 1 is the 2016 Chateau Moulinet ‘Pomerol’ – was beyond my price & value point at £19.95 but half price at £9.95.
    A dozen now laid down for another day – NB chose an off piste chimney pots Aldi store to find stock but was first time lucky !
    Read up is at its best aerated & well aired, chambré & food matched etc or will disappoint – we’ll see .
    Appreciate views on the others in week 2 Château D’Arsac Margaux & week 3 Princes De France Condrieu. All also same half price.
    Regards

  5. Hi Brian, At my daughter’s for lunch today, she opened up a bottle of the Caiz Vinho Verde, what a lovely wine and well worthy of the 90pts, it may well be light-bodied but there’s some complexity, it’s packed with citrus, green herbs, and a touch of saltiness but still has that lively slightly sweet/ spritzy feel, really enjoyed it.
    I have a bottle of the Ferro in my rack from a while back, some of the others I will grab next time I’m in store. Nice choices!

  6. Yes, it is the balance of the wine that impresses. It will work as a companion to food or just on its own – and is a million miles from the pre-millennium Vinho Verde that is now so … well, last century.

  7. The Encostas de Caiz is my wine of the month. Well worth it’s 90 points due to freshness and balance. Pears and Apples, decent weight, combined with minerality means it packs a punch with 13% alcohol. Finishes nicely due to the spritz with a hint of honey. The Avesso grape is worth seeking out.

  8. Some of those varieties from the Vinho Verde region do indeed deserve solo performances instead of being “bit part players” in fairly bland blends. As you say, it was this wine’s ability to combine gentleness with a bit of weight that made this stand out for me.

  9. I also liked the 2019 Torre de Ferro Red Dao and using your helpful search button Brian, I see you loved the 2016 vintage 2 years ago. The Lidl MW’s rate this at 89 points, it costs £6.99. I checked it really did win a gold medal and found out about who actually makes the wine, seems to be “Global wines”

    https://www.globalwines.pt/en/inicio_en/#brands

    They are vertically integrated, even having an 80 seat restaurant right through to growing their own grapes. The other brand I know is “Cabriz” so they also make impeccable white and rose wines.

    They grow traditional Portuguese grape varieties and own 450 ha in Portugal and regularly ripen their grapes enough to reach 13.5% alcohol and still harvest them with enough acidity to always give balance and attack. The Cabriz rose demonstrates this well and Brian’s tasting notes describe all manner of things such as:

    ‘orange “starburst” acidity with hints of chocolate and aniseed buried inside its appreciable depth’

    All “Global’s” wines also seem to be spot on for balance so when wine buyers taste they have an expectation of scores in the high 80’s and low 90’s and keen prices. Read up on their corporate customer list. I’m impressed and particularly by the contents inside their bottles. I’m sure Brian can add more info but can he translate starburst for me?

  10. Good research – very helpful stuff. As for “starburst”, it is a nod towards the sweeties of the same name (used to be called opal fruits). They seem to explode in the mouth with a combination of sherbet and citrus fruit elements. That was the “taste alike” impression I was trying to convey.

  11. Thanks for that helpful translation of Starburst and I do remember Opal Fruits and I was addicted and then came popping candy much later and that was even more explosive.

    Here is a very positive nod for the Haraszthy Sauvignon Blanc 2022 and the search button takes me back to when you reviewed the 2020 vintage. It still has the ‘bubble gum’ to continue the “sweets” analogies and grass and a suggestion of a tingle on ones palate so don’t fridge it too much but yes it a harbinger of Spring. It’s citrussy and herby and is that ginger? Great if you love a dry wine for say sea food and Hollandaise.

  12. Now that the remainder bin is a permanent feature in Lidl and no one can remember the original price customers tend to walk on by however I managed to spot a decent haul of 2022 Daschbosch Sauvignon Blanc which used to be £7.99 and now it’s remaindered it is £5.99. It should last another year easily. The bouquet is strongly citrus supported by Lemon grass. The taste is tropical fruits supported by herbs and there is the vibrant acidity of the Loire wines. There’s 88 Bampfield points. If you enjoy bone dry wine search for this.

    Now the reduced wine bin is a permanent feature it’s advantageous to spread your wine purchases out evenly allowing us to use the Lidl card to do a monthly grocery shop with a 10% discount coupon every month. Let’s see if Brian likes this strategy.

  13. Nice description of the wine Chris, which, from what you say, may justify a slightly higher score than 88.

    As for the Lidl suggestion, I am all for any ingenious ways to fight back in the war against inflation – loyalty cards, regular discounts and “remainder bins” can all have an effective part to play.

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