Lidl's Wine Cellar range
The wines for Lid's Wine Cellar range are selected by four MWs, including Richard Bampfield, so quality, typicity and value for money should be a given.
The first two wines from Lidl that I reviewed - a Mosel Riesling and a Bordeaux - scored well on all fronts, but topped out at less than a tenner. I was keen to see what they could achieve with a slightly more generous budget in some trickier areas.
The Two Italian Reds - Italian reds are hardly known for being good value; add in that one of these has some aging and the other is made from partially-dried grapes and finding good examples at a sensible price becomes a real challenge.
The Two Whites - given that many people might baulk at paying £15-£20 for a wine from a specialist merchant, let alone a budget supermarket, I added in a couple of more everyday whites.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano Macinatico 2012 (£6.99) classic Italian white; aromas of melonskin and a touch of beeswax. Ripe tropical citrus acidity and savoury almonds on the finish. Clean as a whistle, balanced and moreish - very enjoyable and good value. A good aperitif; match with light starters or creamy mushroom pasta; does not improve with extensive aeration, so drink it all up once you've opened the bottle.
Pouilly-Fumé AOP, 2012 (£7.99) very pale sandy yellow, citrus and melon skin nose; lemon-and-lime fruit, zestiness with good, fresh linear acidity and some salinity / minerality. Opens up and becomes more rounded with some aeration. Good length and persistent finish. Good.
Match with meaty white fish - sea bass or sea bream - prawn risotto or goat's cheese with rocket.
Brunello di Montalcino Medici Riccardo 2008 (£19.99) translucent ruby in the glass, from the off this smells more complex and interesting. Ripe red cherry and redcurrant fruit belies a focused, lean, muscular structure that has some mellowness from aging - it's almost Iggy Pop in a glass. There's also some truffley aromas, oaky spice and a long finish.
At £20, this is hardly cheap, but it is good value for a classic Italian red of this quality and age. Very Good. Match with beef or venison. Improves with aeration and, whilst drinking very nicely now, could be cellared for good few more years.
Amarone della Valpolicella, 2010 (£15.99) made from partially dried grapes, this Amarone is a full-on sort of wine; cherry and damson fruit, some spicy balsamic and a port-like herbal character. Ripe, mouthfilling and spicy with lush dark berries, cigar box and dried fruit, it is balanced with fresh acidity and a long, complex, savoury finish.
Personally, I'd prefer a little bit more rasping sour cherry fruit for contrast, but in any case this is an accomplished wine. Good. Match with game in a fruit sauce, such as duck breast with cherries.
These wines are all faultless - both in the sense of being technically correct and also very enjoyable. They are also fairly priced for the styles they represent; it really is a case of you pays your money and you takes your pick.
Lidl's Wine Cellar range also gets reviews from Kevin Ecock (here) and Simon Woods (here).
Other related articles
Two Wines From Lidl's Wine Cellar Range
Lidl - website homepage, Wine Cellar