(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.
(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) 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) From a domaine established in 2005 by brothers Marc and Alexandre Bachelet, this is a pretty fabulous Bourgogne Blanc by any measure, beautifully oaked and sharp as a tack with only 12.5% alcohol. There's a gently nutty creaminess to the aroma, sesame seeds and something sea-salty and river stone-fresh. Tempered white fruits - melon, pear and a citrus thrust - but that nutty and textured creaminess balances and supports beautifully. Terrific minor Burgundy of great class.
(2021) What a lovely wine, tertiary notes of sous bois and incense delicately woven through cherry fruit. From the Savigny and Pommard communes, and aged part in tank and part in 20% new oak barriques, the wood sits lightly but supports the dry cherry and cranberry fruit very nicely, tannins and good acid adding a bit of heft and the finish is spicy, intense and balanced.
(2021) This a monopole vineyard is on a north-east facing slope of clay over limestone, planted 40 years ago. It does not see any oak. Pale green-gold, the aromas are crisp and stoney-mineral flecked, some creamy yeastiness, and just a suggestion of peachy ripeness to the fruit. The palate has a pithy streak of lemon and underripe apple that is dry and succulent, but there's a prettiness to this to offset the nervous acid thrust.
(2021) A rich, ripe and hedonistic red Marsannay, made with 30% whole bunches, the colour is a transluscent bright garnet, and the aromas touched by woodsmoke and spice, but fruit packed on top, lovely incense and floral highlights floating above. Again, plush and sweet on the palate, crushed red berries and a nice liquorice stripe of tannin and acidity, giving cut and length against the weight of fruit. A delight to drink now, but should cellar well.
(2021) Feom gravelly slopes north of Marsannay. Quite meaty, dense and earthy, gamy aromas dominate here, but as it opens in the glass a little more floral and red fruit character comes through. Onto a palate of sweet and fleshy plum fruit, spices too, in a rich, deep style of Burgundy, chocolaty tannins adding to the plushness and concentrated depth of the wine. Lacks a little of the Château de Meursault's charm, but a powerful expression of Pinot Noir.
(2021) Classic Chablis, only 12.5% alcohol and fresh as a daisy, this is unoaked Chardonnay from a family domaine that does not show the flinty character associated with the Kimmeridgean soils of some Chablis vineyards, but does have the hallmarks of zipping freshness, sweet and ripe fruit, but always sliced through by its acidity and sheerness. Elegant, subtle, as I say proper classic Chablis that doesn't shout, but speaks very confidently. Heaven-sent for fish and shellfish, watch the video for more information.
(2021) This Pinot Noir-led blend (57%) has roughly equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier too, and saw a full 36 months of bottle ageing before disgorgement on 29th January 2020. Light gold, with plenty of effervescence and small bubbles, aromas marry toast, biscuit and a touch of meatiness with vivid lemony fruit. On the palate there's a bracing, sea-spray lick of salty acidity, and though the fruit stays in the citrus spectrum, there's ripeness and creamy texture to keep this enjoyably drinkable.