(2022) It's from Tuscany, it's Sangiovese, and it's... white. Very unusual, the Sangiovese was picked early and vinified without the grape skins for a crisp, 12.5% alcohol white wine. There may just be the faintest blush to the colour, then aromatics of orange blossom and citrus, a little creaminess, are bright and attractive. In the mouth there is real zest and vivacious personality here, peach and zesty lime flood the palate, with bold texture and plenty of fruit concentration. It zips along nicely thanks to good acids, maybe Pinot Gris being the closest comparison I can think of for this interesting wine - the choice of winemaker Sofia Barbanera.
(2022) A Sicilian wine bottled in what Laithwaites is describing as 'wild glass' - 100% post-consumer recycled glass. A bright cherry colour, lifted and beaujolais-like cherry and raspberry aromas with a touch of floral character. Very juicy and pretty, a similar marriage of bright, lipsticky red fruits but the tannins and good acidity do kick in to give this a little bitter, Negroni-like note in the finish.
(2022) I really enjoyed the 2019 vintage of this pitch-perfect white Burgundy, and am delighted to say the 2020 follows on very successfully. It has a similarly bright but succulent profile, a note of tangerine and lemon on the nose, but creamy too with an oatmeal sheen. The palate is medium-bodied, and while the peachy ripeness of fruit fills the mid-palate, that citrus and salts core of acidity keeps it fresh and mouth-watering into the finish.
(2022) From Valtellina in Lombardy, just north and east of Piedmont, and home to some very fine Nebbiolo wines (known locally as 'Chiavennasca'), that's the major component here along with small quantities of the local Pignola, Rossola and Brugnola varieties. This is a charmer: soft and translucent in colour, there's a mature truffle and sweet earth and tobacco fragrance, then a palate where the gentle sweetness of the Nebbiolo pushes through. Cherry is the dominant impression, both the sweet pulp of the flesh and grip and tang of the skins, and though vinification is in steel, there's a little spice and hint of nutty toast plus some firmness in the finish of a delightful wine.
(2021) By sheer coincidence, I had spashed out on a bottle of 1er Cru Chassagne-Montrachet the evening before tasting this wine from further south in Burgundy. I could have bought nine of these for the pice paid, and whilst I am in no way claiming this is of Chassagne 1er Cru standards, I have to say there were genuine similarities and the wines were not as far apart as those prices would suggest. Balanced, elegant, typical Saint-Véran, the touches of oatmeal and crushed almond over pristine white fruits move on to a gently honeyed palate, the racy acidity sharpening the finish after some sweet and luscious mid-palate fruit. A touch of stony minerality also adds to the subtle complexity. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2021) A decade or so ago Picpoul was relatively unknown outside of its Languedoc homeland, but it rather burst onto the scene and soon everyone I met was talking about this new kid on the block. Here's a classic example of what people like about the variety, a fresh and zippy white, with plenty of crisp apple, pear and a touch of peach fruit, a typical herby twang and very nicely pitched acidity. There's a similar wine from the same producer in Majestic at time of review too. Watch the video for more information and food=matching ideas.
(2021) While searching online for clues to the producer I found a few reviews mentioning the classic descriptors for Pouilly Fumé, like 'flint' and 'smoke'. I have to say I found very little of that character in a wine that majors much more on its succulent fruit, with plenty of ripe pear and apple, maybe just a touch of green herbs. Zippy acidity offsets quite sweet, quite concentrated white fruits in the mouth, for a very pleasing white with good fruit, body and balance. Part of Lidl's summer 'Wine Tour'.
(2021) One of the stars of this selection, as it should be given it is also the most expensive. Gigondas is close to Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhône Valley and makes broadly similar wines from the same grape varieties like Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. This is all dark, rich bambles and black forest gateau on the nose, spice and meaty, velvety black fruits the order of the day. In the mouth it carries a fair clout: 14% abv is typical for this appellation, here adding a touch of heat to the smooth, sweet, black-fruit flavours of the palate. Robust tannins and acidity kick in towards the finish.
(2021) Producer Leroy Chevalier appears to be a négociant bottling wines from various appellations, and the grape varieties here are unstated buy most be local varieties such as Mauzac and Muscadelle. Pale green in colour, the nose is pretty and attractive with the floral and leafy, soft green herbal notes, a touch of elderflower typical of this region's dry whites. The palate is bright, softly-fruity and the epitome of easy-drinking, with a nice juicy tangerine core of acidity for a very pleasant summery mouthful of wine. Part of Lidl's summer wine tour 2021.
(2021) The nose is rather neutral on this Alsace Riesling, apple and lemon, maybe the vaguest suggestion of honey. On the palate there's some residual sweetness, and good clarity, lemon being the predominant note to fruit and acidity. If you are an Alsace fan looking for incisive character of the best Rieslings it may disappoint, but it falls into the category of 'very pleasant' rather neatly. Part of the Lidl summer 2021 wine tour.