My previews of some wines from Lidl’s bi-monthly Wine Tour events have proved very popular with wine-pages’ visitors. Special parcels of wines are brought into shops and all sold on a ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ basis. I sampled six wines from the event which kicks off on Thursday 21st January 2021 and lasts as long as stocks do. The focus for this tour is Iberia, with over 20 different wines from across Spain and Portugal. My top honours go to the whites this time round, a fine single-varietal Vinho Verde and a re-stocking of an excellent Godello that many people considered the stand-out from the wine tour last summer. Both reds tasted are good too, the Ribera one for those who enjoy a wine with plenty of spicy America oak. In truth, all the wines have their place, so I hope this mini-guide is useful.
(2021) A fun and frothy blend of local grapes Bical, Cercial, Arinto and Baga, this is a classical method wine, with second fermentation in individual bottles, but in all honesty there is little evidence of autolysis - the biscuity, nutty effect of the yeast ageing - the wine is rather more like a cross between a decent cava and a Prosecco. Pear fruitiness and sweetish character in the mouth along with a frothy mousse and nice balance of acidity make it a fun summer in the garden contender. It offers decent value at £6.99, though don't expect a fine Champagne lookalike.
(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.
(2021) A single varietal Vinho Verde from the Minho in northern Portugal, this has a charming nose, lime leaf and tangerine, touches of soft leafy green herbs. It bursts onto the palate with a surge of sweet, ripe fruit, juicy ripe apple and luscious pear, fine acidity and the tangy finish is persistent. A very nice Vinho Verde this.
(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) I liked this wine when it came into Lidl two years ago (in the previous vintage) from the mountainous Dão region whose wines always display good freshness. A blend of Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, aged in barrel, this is mellow and succulent, briar, cherry and savoury Asian plum on the nose, the palate is medium-bodied with a tangy red berry freshness, but the sweetness of the fruit at its core builds, the tannins almost imperceptible, and a twist of bittersweet cherry tang in the finish. Not one to lay down I suspect, but drinking really very nicely.
(2021) From the Pagos Del Rey winery which I visited many, many years ago, this is a Reserva meaning it spent at least 12 months in barrel. It has a very deep, almost crimson-black colour for a five-year-old wine, and immediate aromas of cherry, blueberry, liquorice and briar. There's an obvious slick of vanilla adding to quite a plush opening salvo. In the mouth there is good intensity to the fruit, a fairly charry quality to the oak, but that bittersweetness of liquorice and endive sits nicely against the juicy, fleshy fruit. Tannins are soft and background, this finishes on sweet fruit, acidity and that charry and spicy oak.