Lidl Wine Tour, July 2020

It’s two months since I reported on a bunch of new wines in UK Lidl stores, part of their bi-monthly special wine selection which they bill as the Lidl ‘Wine Tour’. These wines, many of which are one-off parcels, often follow a theme, in this case there’s a distinctly New World slant having switched from the last wine tour’s Mediterranean focus.

Many wine-pages readers got in touch to say how much they enjoyed my recommendations last time round, finding the wines offering great value. Time was against me for this new tour, so I only managed to taste a small selection of four wines, but I must say they really were quite impressive once again: whoever is buying these wines for Lidl is doing a fine job at the moment.

This Wine Tour kicks off on Thursday 23rd July 2020, with the wines on sale as long as stocks last: “when it’s gone, it’s gone.” Don’t delay if you fancy them.

White Wines

(2020) Margaret River in Western Australia is synonymous with high quality Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blends for its white wines, and it is rare to see one for less than £12 or so from this premium, ocean-influenced region. This is a 2020 vintage, harvested just a few months ago, so obviously not a wine that has seen extended and expensive barrel ageing, but in fact I thought it was lovely, the cut and vivacious, zesty punch of the Sauvignon showing a touch of oily green bean weight on the palate, with very good fruit and a fine, slicing citrus core of acidity. Really rather delicious summer drinking with just 12.5% alcohol, and dry in the finish.
(2020) Chile's coastal Casablanca Valley was its original cool-climate region, with Chardonnay one of its key varieites. This has clearly seen some oak, with a buttery, toasty sheen of nutty oak over pear and citrus. In the mouth it has real fruit ripeness and sweetness, but balance too, the support of the creamy oak and fresh acidity meaning the more tropical, pineapple and Ogen melon flavours that develop on the mid-palate, finish with a bit of crispness and texture. Impressive for a £6.99 wine.

Red Wines

(2020) Mourvèdre labelled as coming from the coastal region of South African viticulture, which covers many well-known wine regions, though the Lidl website says Stellenbosch specifically. At £5.99 what do you expect? Well in this case a delicious gluggable spicy and fruity red, dark bramble and pepper aromas leading on to a smooth palate with plum and ripe blackberry fruit, not a lot of tannin to speak of, but enough grip to give it some savoury and barbecue-friendly appeal for sure.
(2020) Central Otago has emerged as New Zealand's premier Pinot Noir region, with high quality producers and suitably premium pricing. Having toured there just before lockdown I still can't give clues to the actual producer of this wine (Outlook Bay is a Lidl brand, not a specific producer) but at £9.99 it's as cheap as Otago Pinot gets. Nicely pale and transluscent in colour, there's a huge perfume of truffle and beetroot, all those vegetal Pinot aromatics, smokiness and a hint of something floral or like wild herbs. In the mouth sweet and juicy fruit, with a nicely rustic nip of tannin and plenty of spiciness, sweet mid-palate fruit giving way to a peppery, spicy clove finish. The 14.5% alcohol adds a touch of heat, but it's a nice and authentic Otago Pinot.

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