(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.
(2018) Lidl's summer 2018 'Wine Tour' saw a parcel of wines enter stores on July 26th. On sale while stocks last, this is a Riesling from the top German region of the Rheingau, where drier styles are something of a specialism. There's a touch of beeswax and classic flint and petrol of Riesling on the nose, over clear lime and apple fruit. In the mouth that dry, apple and pear core acidity is super-fresh, whilst the fruit is citrussy and bright, hinting at sweetness before that dry, balanced finish. Watch the video for more information, and also note the Grüner-Veltliner 'Granit' 2017 from Domäne Wachau, also £8.99 in the Wine Tour, is another top pick.
(2018) Composed of 70% Castelão and 30% Aragonês, two grapes typical of the Península de Setúbal in Portugal, this is a dry and perfectly quaffable summer pink at a very good price. With only 10% alcohol the grapes have obviously been picked early to retain good acidity and freshness, but there is a summery red berry fruit and a hint of tobacco and dried herbs, finishing with a nice balance between strawberry sweetness and citrus acidity.
(2018) This blend of 30% Macabeo, 30% Xarel.lo, 30% Parellada and 10% Chardonnay was one of my favourites in this small selection, light in colour with a moderately persistant mousse, apple and citrus but also a touch of marzipan and something herbal - tarragon perhaps, and a touch creamy/biscuity. In the mouth soft and nicely balanced between fruit, more of that herbal tang and a citrus peel acidity.
(2018) An interesting wine, produced by négociant Pierre Chavin, it is organically certified and made, so Lidl informs me, from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir by the charmat or tank method. It is Brut but tastes sweeter, and is crammed with soft, pulpy strawberries and berries, perhaps a lower pressure than most sparkling wines too, adding to the mouth-filling richness of easy-drinking fruit, but balanced and very summery.
(2018) A very typical blend of Douro grape varieties, 60% Touriga Nacional, 25% Tinta Roriz and 15% Touriga Franca, this spent 12 months in a mix of American and French oak barrels. Fragrant with balsamic notes, plenty of chocolate and vanillin oak showing, and lots of ripe dark berry fruits. In the mouth a big swirling pool of black fruits, for me just a bit too much oak giving a slightly resinous quality, but it's plush, deep, creamy and packed with fruit, and will find many fans especially if matched to venison, with a touch of bitter chocolate enriching the sauce perhaps.
(2018) From the prime regions of Monção and Melgaço in the north of Vinho Verde country, this is Alvarinho, or Albariño as it's known just across the border in Spain. Pale green in colour, it has a crunchy apple freshness and a faint hint of salty sea breezes. In the mouth, a delightfully fresh and biting blast of citrus and apple is backed up with just a suggestion of creaminess and more texture than most Vinho Verde. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas, and see our review of more wines in Lidl's summer Wine Tour 2018.
(2018) LPS stands for Laposa, a wine estate in the Badacsony region of Hungary. This Riesling is reasonably aromatic, flitting between apple and citrus and a touch of floral character. In the mouth it is similarly dry, apple-fresh, and enjoyable but doesn't really have the decisiveness or mineral zing that Riesling lovers look for.
(2018) Along with the dry Furmint, one of the stars of the line-up for me - though you have to like a fair thwack of charry, spicy oak in your wines. In this Priorat it is matched by plenty of berry fruit, smoky and mineral in its own way, and a hint of Parma violet to the aroma. It has excellent drinkability, made principally from Grenache with some Bordeaux varieties in the mix, giving a fruit freshness and silky richness to the palate. A grippy bite of tannin and good, clean acidity completes the picture of a wine that's a banker for barbies this summer.