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Thursday, 2 June 2022

Three Off-Piste Whites From Lidl

Three inexpensive whites from Lidl made from off-piste grapes

With #1 child back from university exams and family visitors staying with us, we have been doing various "wine lessons" to cover off a few of the basics of wine - classic regions, grapes and styles.

The theme of this tasting was off-piste whites; all three grapes here are somewhat unusual, but worthy of exploration.

- Austrian Gruener was more or less the grape that first got me into wine and it remains a personal favourite

- Godello hails from north west Spain's Galicia region; I've had a few over the years and always enjoyed them

- Falanghina was completely new to me; and not completely what I expected. In a good way.

Also unusual is that these wines were all purchases as a result of lockdown when all tastings and events had been summarily cancelled, based on recommendations (see further reviews below).

Sassi del Mare Falanghina Beneventano, 2019 (£7.99)

Dark yellow in the glass and relatively neutral on the nose, I wondered if this had oxidised in the year-plus since I bought it, but a bit of subsequent internet checking revealed that this is what it's supposed to be like.

It is very different from the standard crisp-fresh white and is more of an old school oily-waxy wine.

citrussy with pear and quince, white flowers and ripe, yellow stone fruit and dry straw; oily texture with good underpinnings.

Well made and thoroughly enjoyable.

Match with richer dishes, such as pate.

CEO Godello, Galicia, 2019 (£7.99)

Native to Spain and increasing in popularity, Godello is still relatively uncommon, so don't be surprised if you've never had it before

mint, bay and preserved lemons; fresh and citrussy with ripe stone fruits and zippy lime marmalade, white flowers and salinity with good underpinnings.

Well-made and thoroughly enjoyable.

Match with starters or a main of white meat or grilled oily fish.

Gruener Veltliner, Johann Quest, Niederosterreich 2019 (£6)

Gruener is Austria's signature grape, as well as its mostly widely grown. The Grueners of the Wachau are, I believe, world-class wines that can be considered as in the same league as top white Burgundies and the best German Rieslings.

This is my first Austrian Gruener from Lidl - see here for an unusual Italian Gruener from Suedtirol. It's also my personal favourite wine of the three here.

citrus, florality and white pepper; citrussy-zippy with fresh, linear acidity and slatey minerality, white pepper and classic Gruener celery-and-lentils.

Well-made and thoroughly enjoyable.

Serve as an aperitif; or match the fresh acidity to grilled oily fish or even steak with herb butter.


Further reviews

The Godello was Tom Cannvan's Wine of The Week: From Spain, the Ceo, Godello 2019, wine review - YouTube

His written review here: CEO, Godello 2019 - wine-pages

Also reviewed by Dave Cronin: CEO Godello : Hidden Gem : Lidl : Vinoviews

The Gruener reviewed by A Time For Wine: Grüner Veltliner – Lidl – A Time for Wine

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