(2021) The vineyards of Bardolino, around Lake Garda in northern Italy, specialise in pink 'Chiaretto' wines. Though the blend here is not listed, expect local varieties like Corvina, Corvinone and Molinara, made in a pale and attracive Provençal style. Rosehip, watermelon and small scents of raspberry and redcurrant lead on to a palate that is basically dry, with a little hint of sweetness in the finish, but balanced, fruity and the perfect summer in the garden rosé with its easy-drinking style and 12% alcohol.
(2021) Cru Beaujolais from the village of Fleurie, this is Gamay made in a bright and attractive style, yet with a bit of depth and savoury vinosity too. A vivid, youthful purple in colour, the nose has a little of the lipstick and watercolour paintbox character of Gamay made with partial carbonic maceration (a technique that give fruity wines, a little lower in tannin). The sweetness and vivid flavour of kirsch cherry and ripe, sweet plum comes through, those tannins gentle and creamy, and the acid perfectly poised. I think this is one of the stars of this selection. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
See reviews of five more wines from the tour at Lidl Spring Wine Tour 2021.
(2021) Adorned with '91 Point' stickers from Lidl's in-house critic, but that is best taken with a very large pinch of salt: by any standards this is a pleasant white wine, but ranking it with the fine wines of the world requires a big stretch of the imagination. Made from partially dried grapes, this does not come from Avellino in Campania, home of the most famous Fiano, and indeed may be the local Puglian variant, Fiano Minutolo (I don't know the definitive answer). It has creamy and ripe pear fruit on the nose, a little bit of Picpoul-like herbs, then a sweet-fruited and just off-dry palate, with good stone fruit, apple and lemon zest to finish.
(2021) From Monterrei in Galicia, way up on the Atlantic coast of northern Spain, this was a real hit with me when I tasted it back in May 2020, and many wine-pages visitors let me know they loved it too. Seven months on, the wine is just as good: sea-spray bright, tangy, vivacious and delicious. This and the Caiz Vinho Verde are a fine pair of whites for your consideration.
(2021) A barrel-fermented Chardonnay from Navarra in the south of Spain, as cheap as chips at £5.99 and nicely understated on the nose, just a creamy background to ripe, red apple fruitiness. On the palate it is straightforward, lemony, more juicy apple and it is clean and well-made. Not a distinctive Chardonnay, but a light- to medium-bodied quaffer, oak way in the background.
(2020) A certified organic white from Sicily, increasingly the source of interesting mid-priced and elegant white wines of character. There's a touch of talcumy, powdery florals on the nose, pear fruit and a litle herby note adding subtle complexity. In the mouth it has real presence for a 12.5% abv wine, a grippy, nectarine and peach skin character, a touch of yellow plum skin too, dry and with a definite saline lick to the acidity, its a wine that balances sweet mid-palate fruit and fresh, salty acidity very nicely. Daily Drinker club members buy for £9.00.
(2020) A blend of 65% Viognier with Chardonnay, the local Obeidi and a touch of Muscat, this is a crisp and fresh rather than overtly aromatic white. Stone fruits and a touch of more exotic lychee lead on to a palate that is smooth and elegantly framed, the zippy acidity and richness of texture meaning the dry, but fruity flavours don't show a strong Viognier character it's true, but it is clean and cool, with good balance.
(2020) The Gran Reserva designation is not legally defined in Chile, but here it signals a heavily oaked, ripe and rich wine, complete with super heavyweight, ostentatious bottle. The nose is laden with chocolate, coffee and plum, with a bitter cherry edge. Slick and supple in the mouth, creamy oak and plush, smooth and super-ripe black fruit floods the palate. Spicy too, tannins are sweet and don't disrupt the picture, but balance is good overall if you are a fan of the 'blockbuster' style.
(2020) It's fairly rare to see a white Ventoux on the shelves, this region of the Rhône Valley certainly more famed for its reds. The blend is unspecified, but from the appellation expect Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc, maybe Roussanne too. There's a slight hint of bronze to the colour, and an apple-dominated aroma, before sweet and juicy fruit on the palate. Medium-bodied with a bit of texture, the pithy citrus acid balances the finish.
(2020) A big and bountiful Californian red blend of 80% Zinfandel, with 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Sirah, blended and matured for 16 months in American oak. Creamy, spicy and voluptuous on the nose, there's tons of blueberry and plum fruit, before the palate that is sweet-fruited and Christmas-cake spiced, rich and full, but with a fairly firm tannin background and cherry-pit acidity giving more spice and savouriness on the finish. A juicy steak or anything from the chargrill with this one.