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Aldi Spring Summer 2024 Press Tasting

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The Aldi Spring Summer 2024 Press Tasting took place on 14 March 2023 in London. This event presented a diverse selection of 99 wines with options for those seeking low and no-alcohol alternatives, catering to the growing demand for healthier lifestyle choices.

Additionally, the event featured some wines with innovative packaging, underlining Aldi’s efforts to stand out in the competitive retail market. This focus on design and sustainability reflects a new trend in the industry towards more environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

The wines presented at the tasting fall into three main categories: core lines, seasonal offerings and new introductions set to hit the shelves around 18th March 2024.

These are the wines I thought stood out, together with my notes.

Contevedo Cava Brut NV 11.5% ABV £5.45.
This sparkling wine, composed of a blend of 35% Maccabeu, 35% Xarel-lo, and 30% Parellada, is made using the traditional method. It presents a delightful aromatic profile, characterised by floral and citrus notes on the nose, seamlessly complemented by the taste of crisp apples. This combination, along with its vibrant fresh acidity, makes for an invigorating and enjoyable drinking experience. Cava remains underappreciated, but for those with discerning taste and a keen eye for value, it represents a remarkable bargain.
Availability: Core line, in-store, available now.

Specially Selected Prosecco DOCG NV 11.5% ABV £7.49.
This premium Prosecco, originating from Veneto, Italy, is crafted from 85% Glera and 15% other grape varieties, offering a step up in both taste and texture from its DOC counterparts. For an in-depth understanding of the distinction between Prosecco DOC and DOCG, refer to a previous tasting. This Prosecco DOCG boasts a richer texture than what is typically found in DOC versions, alongside a more perfumed aroma that closely mimics the scent of real peaches, a refreshing departure from the sometimes more artificial peach flavour often associated with DOC Prosecco. The wine displays a harmonious blend of fruit and floral notes, with an ‘extra dry’ classification that lends it a slight sweetness. It also possesses good length, leaving a lasting impression.
Availability: Core line, in-store, available now.

Rosé Zerozecco NV 0% ABV £2.99.
This German wine stands out for its innovation, offering a unique beverage made from 50% de-alcoholised wine, with a high residual sugar content of 40 g/l to compensate for no alcohol content. Marketed as having medium sweetness, its exact grape composition remains unspecified though the label does say it’s made from 50% de-alcoholised wine. While it caters to a growing consumer interest in alternative, lower-alcohol wine options, I wasn’t totally convinced the mouth-feel was like wine. Positioned as an inexpensive, perhaps novelty choice, it meets the demand for innovative drinks, though it may not appeal to all, particularly those seeking the complexity typical of wine.
Availability: Seasonal line, available now.

Baron Amarillo Rueda Verdejo 2023 13.0% ABV £5.99.
This wine, made from 100% Verdejo grapes, aligns more closely with my personal taste preferences. It is a dry white wine originating from the Rueda DOC region in Spain. The wine exudes a captivating aroma of melon and peach, leading into a palate that combines the flavours of stone fruits with a distinct mineral quality. Its profile suggests it would pair exceptionally well with fish. Not only does this wine stand out for its taste and aromatic complexity, but it also represents excellent value, offering a high-quality drinking experience at a great price.
Availability: Seasonal line, in-store 18th March 2024.

Specially Selected Coteaux de Béziers Viognier Grenache 2023 13.0% ABV £8.49,
Originating from France, this dry white wine, made from 70% Viognier, 30% Grenache Blanc, stands out for its bouquet of floral scents, followed by lychee and apricot, creating a rich and nuanced profile. The wine has a well balanced acidity, ensuring a finish that is both refreshing and satisfying. Availability: Seasonal line, in-store 18th March 2024.

Chardonnay NV 0.05% ABV £2.99
This offering, a 100% Chardonnay from the Western Cape region of South Africa, represents a more successful venture into zero-alcohol wines. With a residual sugar content of 25 g/l, it adeptly compensates for its lack of acidity, creating a more balanced and enjoyable tasting experience. This attempt at a non-alcoholic wine fares better in comparison to the previously mentioned Rosé Zerozecco, offering a profile that is more reminiscent of traditional wine, albeit with a sweet disposition. This Chardonnay showcases the potential for innovation within the non-alcoholic wine segment, providing a more satisfying choice for consumers looking to enjoy some of the complexities of wine flavours without the alcohol.
Availability: Seasonal line, in-store 13th May 2024.

Kooliburra Australian Shiraz Cabernet 2022 11.0% ABV £4.89.
Originating from South Eastern Australia, this successful blend combines 55% Shiraz, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Petit Verdot, 2.5% Chardonnay, and 1% Ruby Cabernet, resulting in a harmonious composition. It offers a rich palette of flavours, including blackcurrant and plum, with a hint of spice adding depth and complexity to the profile. The wine is well-balanced, boasting a medium body, medium acidity and tannins. While it may not be categorised as a fine wine or exceptional wine, the quality it delivers at its very low price point is remarkable. A must-try for those in search of a quality wine experience without the high-end price tag.
Availability: Core line, in-store, available now.

Chapter & Verse Shiraz 2022 11.0% ABV £5.25.
From South Eastern Australia, this wine merits attention for its innovative packaging. Encased in a tall, thin plastic bottle reminiscent of spirits packaging, it represents a forward-thinking approach to reducing environmental impact through lighter shipping. The blend itself is composed of 95% Shiraz, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% other varieties, culminating in a medium-bodied wine that offers a subtly fruity raspberry taste. While it may not possess the robustness I typically look for in a wine, its soft, easy-drinking nature is likely to appeal to many.
Availability: Core line, in-store, available now.

Château Moulin-Borie Listrac Médoc 2016 14.0% ABV £10.99.
This blend from Médoc, France, combines 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, resulting in a dry wine with less than 1 g/l of residual sugar. It is characterised by its good balance and a more serious demeanour, both in terms of taste and price point. The wine’s maturity is reflected in its colour, which leans towards an older, red-brown hue. Aromatically, it offers red fruit notes that lead into a palate rich with the tastes of spiced plum, blackberry and cassis. Its medium body is supported by well-balanced tannins.
Availability: Seasonal line, in-store, available now.

Baron Amarillo Rioja Reserva 2018 13.5% ABV £6.29.
This wine is made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. It has an intense aroma of oaky nuances, black cherry and blackcurrant, a profile that beautifully carries through to the palate. Its body is medium to full, offering a rich and enveloping tasting experience. Among the wines tasted, this one stands out as one of my picks. The balance of its intense flavours with the structural backbone of tannins, results in a wine that is both complex and harmonious. This wine is offered at an excellent price given the high quality and depth of character.
Availability: Core line, in-store, available now.

Unearthed Italian Malvasia Nera 2022 13.5% ABV £8.99.
This wine, made entirely from Malvasia Nera grapes, offers a different and intriguing profile originating from Puglia, Italy. The palate is treated to a delightful combination of cherry, plums and chocolate, complemented by a hint of spice that adds depth and complexity to the tasting experience. This wine is aromatic and well-balanced, with a body that straddles the line between medium and full.
Availability: Seasonal line, in-store 18th March 2024.

Castellore Reprobates ‘Lite’ NV 11.0% ABV £6.99.
This intriguing blend from Italy, comprising 70% Merlot, 15% Shiraz and 15% Negroamaro, captures attention for its ‘Lite’ designation, signifying a lower alcohol content than typically found in similar wines. The decision to try this wine was motivated by its promise of a lighter alcohol volume, an increasingly popular trend among wine people seeking more moderate consumption options. Contrary to initial expectations of sweetness due to its residual sugar content of 10.0 g/l, the wine presents a more nuanced palate. It surprisingly does not lean heavily into sweetness, instead offering a vibrant profile of red berry fruit flavours. The body of the wine is medium, delivering a taste experience that belies its lighter alcohol by volume (ABV) classification, presenting a richness and depth you might associate with a more higher ABV wine.
Availability: Seasonal line, in-store 18th March 2024.

Cambalala South African Shiraz 2023 13.0% ABV £7.99.
This distinctive wine, originating from the Western Cape of South Africa, is a blend of 85% Shiraz with the remaining 15% comprising other varieties. The noteworthy feature of this wine is its innovative paper packaging, which sets it apart in the wine industry. The packaging is not only eye-catching but also environmentally conscious, being five times lighter than the average glass bottle. This significant reduction in weight contributes to a lower carbon footprint during shipping. This wine presents a lighter profile than you might expect because South African Shiraz tends to be more restrained.
Availability: Seasonal line, in-store 18th March 2024.

Specially Selected Barossa Shiraz 2021 14.5% ABV £7.49.
This blend from Barossa Valley, Australia, consists of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, creating a rich and complex wine that is full-bodied and well balanced. The wine has a deep aromatic profile, with prominent notes of blueberry that pave the way for a tapestry of rich red fruit flavours upon tasting. Diverging from the often jammy characteristics historically associated with Shiraz, this modern interpretation offers a dry yet perceptively sweet experience, attributed to the fruitiness and a residual sugar content of less than 1 g/l. This Shiraz possesses medium tannins that provides a solid foundation, supporting the wine’s rich flavour profile without overwhelming it. This quality distinguishes it from most other Australian Shiraz wines at this lowest price level, which I experienced at the recent Australia Tasting, which tended to lack body and tannins.
Availability: Core line, in-store, available now.

The Baron Amarillo Rioja Reserva and Specially Selected Barossa Shiraz emerged as my top picks, showcasing attributes typically reserved for their pricier counterparts.