(2019) An uncommon rosé from Dão in Portugal, a blend of 50% Touriga-Nacional and 50% Alfrocheiro, weighing in with 12.5% alcohol. It has the requisite pale and contemporary colour, but backs that up with a lovely nose of small red berries, delicate spicing and a little rose-hip, floral nuance. In the mouth it balances its juicy redcurrant and raspberry fruitiness and tartness with enough sweetness and acidity to give a harmonious, dry finish. The stylishness here belies the lowly price tag as part of Lidl's 'Wine Tour' kicking off in stores on 23rd May 2019. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) A typical blend of grape varieties from this area that is a southern extension of the Rhône Valley, this is made up of 35% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Vermentino, 15% Marsanne and 5% Viognier. There's gentle pear and a little boiled sweet, cold ferment character, then a touch of mint leaf of basil. In the mouth there is plenty of sweet peachy fruit in a wine that is light, arguably a touch dilute, but then that does aid the freshness and ensure it avoids the blowsy tendency of those southern varieties, the juicy lemon acidity balancing well into the finish. A highly quaffable, lowish alcohol wine that's perfect for drinking this summer. In Lidl stores as part of their 'wine tour', spring 2019. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) The mountainous inland region of Dão produces some great wines in northern Portugal, including this excellent blend of 40% Aragonez (tempranillo), with 30% each of Alfrocheiro and Touriga Nacional. Oak aged, this has a sumptuous and very inviting nose, filled with tobacco spice and dark berry fruits, there's a hint of cocoa and of a lighter, raspberry or even floral character. In the mouth the fruit really punches through, ripe, creamy and sweet, the gentle, background tannins and acidity together with that vanilla and tobacco spice linger in the finish. A great little buy in Lidl's spring 2019 'wine tour' which kicked off on 28th March. Note however, reports have reached me on 30th March of several stores being sold out of this wine.
(2019) Coming from the volcanic 'tufo' soils of Campania, Greco has found popularity recently along with southern vine siblings Fiano and Falenghina. This is a modest but pleasing example as part of Lidl's Spring 2019 'wine tour' which kicked off on 29th March, nicely concentrated aromatically with pear and lemon, a hint of grippy citrus peel and melon skins too. In the mouth it is fresh and quite weighty, and if lacking an ounce of fruit perhaps, it makes up for it with concentration and good peppery length. A bit of personality here.
(2019) A fair example of the new approach to Australian Chardonnay this, from Coonawarra, yet 12.5% abv suggests early picking (though it is possible some alcohol reducing technology was used too - who know?). The nose is about citrus and rosy red apple, a little touch creamy richness, but fairly brisk and straightforward. In the mouth there is a dollop of sweetness: it's a dry wine because of the acid balance, but there's no missing the hit of residual sugar. Fruit verges on the tropical but always stays lemony and firm.
(2019) There's decent varietal and regional expression here too in a wine costing less than six pounds, a juicy and buoyant cherry and plum nose, a touch of pepper and spice, and good, strong aromatics. In the mouth that sweet, ripe, mouth-filling fruit dominates, the soft-ish tannins and acid giving good balance. Good value this.
(2019) A Coonawarra Cabernet, so an absolutely classic combination of site and variety for South Australia, this is arguably the star of the selection tasted here, from its intense youthful colour to its expressive aromatic lift of green pepper, blackcurrant and spice. On the palate it has a rich black fruit character, lots of cassis-like sweet brightness, a rasp of plummy acidity and some smooth tannins gives a bit of tension, and whilst there's evidence of a slightly dilute character, the fruit giving way to lip-tingly spice in the finish, it is very good at the price and authentic.
(2019) From the hilltop town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, really a rather lovely Vernaccia as part of Lidl's 'Wine Tour' in January 2019. Vernaccia di San Gimignano often has something of a Chablis about it, and so it is here: an unoaked, super-fresh and delicately fragrant white with a touch of blossom to its apple and cool, mountain stream pebble character. I suspect a little lees-ageing has added a hint of creaminess to the texture on the palate, where again orchard fruits and orange-rind flavours have just a touch of saltiness and firm acids to perk them up leaving this bone-dry, bracing and really rather cool and classy. Watch the video for more information and note that, as part of the Lidl Wine Tour, the wine may sell out fairly quickly.
(2018) It may not be on your radar as yet, but there's a buzz about the crémant wines of France - France's 'other' sparkling wines made by the Traditional Method with in-bottle secondary fermentation, but not in Champagne. From Burgundy, this is a blend of 92% Chardonnay and, intriguingly, 8% Gamay.
(2018) Part of Lidl's French wine tour of special parcel wines in autumn 2018, 'Joseph Scalzi' is presumably a fantasy label as I can find no record of a Corsican producer of that name. The blend is 45% Nielluccio, 35% Sciaccarello and 20% Grenache, and pours a medium ruby colour with aromas of pulpy, soft red fruits and a little herbal, herbaceous twang. In the mouth there is good fruit, a little plummy fleshiness, then pert, nimble cherry acidity and some grainy tannins to add a little grip and savouriness, the finish just hints at a not unpleasant sourness. Watch the video for more information.