It’s that time again, as Lidl UK rolls out its latest Wine Tour and I publish a snapshot of just a few of the featured wines. As always these are parcels of wines that are brought into shops to be sold on a ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ basis. I sampled six wines from the event which kicked off on Monday 22nd March 2021 and lasts as long as stocks do. The focus for this tour is mainly on Italy, and while the Morellino di Scansano from Tuscany is one of my top recommendations, the other red wine honour goes to France and the authentic and delicious Fleurie 2019, a Cru Beaujolais from producer Collin-Bourisset. Top white for me, a dry Furmint from Tokaji in Hungary. Having said that, this was another good selection at attractive prices, with something to please most palates.
(2021) Fior d'Arancio means orange blossom in Italian, and yes, this sweet and low alochol sparkling wine from the Veneto region of northeast Italy does indeed show a little of that character. The always floral Moscato Giallo grape variety is no doubt responsible for that, in this fragrant take on the familar Moscato d'Asti style of Piedmont. Frothy, sweet and eminently drinkable, who could not love a wine like this at under £6, balanced as it is by gentle but effective acidity? Match it to fruity summer desserts, but otherwise, stick a bottle in the fridge as soon as summer sunshine is forecast and plan a long day doing very little in the garden.
(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) Furmint is the main grape of the famous sweet wines of Tokaji in Hungary, but more and more dry white wine examples are appearing on the shelves, including this very well priced and classy example that brims with succulent pear and apple fruit, a touch of herbal character, and a palate that has some weight and texture, a deal of sweet, ripe stone and orchard fruits, and excellent, gently saline acidity. For me the white wine star of the small selection from Lidl's Wine Tour tasted here.
(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) Morellino di Scansano is an appellation towards the coast of Tuscany, making wines from the great grape of the region, Sangiovese. This oak-aged example has rich berry fruit on the nose, quite a subtle sheen of vanilla which is attractive, and hints of the cherry fragrance so often found in Sangiovese. In the mouth this is medium-bodied, with a creamy but elegant weight of fruit, smoothed and rounded tannins and good balancing acidity. Highly drinkable this.