, , , ,

Lidl Italian and Iberian Wine Tours

Posted by

On 7 February 2024, I attended a Lidl wine tasting which showcased wines planned to be introduced during the Italian and Iberian wine tours in February and March 2024, respectively. Additionally, a selection of wines from Lidl’s existing collection was also being shown.

Wine tours at Lidl are the wines displayed in wooden crates, each accompanied by scores. A specific wine from a tour is typically available for up to two months, although it may sell out sooner if it proves popular. The concept behind these tours is to refresh the selection periodically, ensuring variety and encouraging customers to return and discover what’s new. This initiative also serves as a means for Lidl to identify popular wines that might be added to their permanent collection.

The wines are scored by Richard Bampfield, a Master of Wine, who also prepares the tasting notes found on the wooden crates in-store. Richard is not involved in the buying or selection of the wines, as these decisions are made centrally in Germany. The affable Richard was at the tasting, offering a chance to engage in discussions about the wines as they were sampled.

I tasted most of the 40+ wines. These are the wines that left an impression together with my notes and thoughts:

Italian Wine Tour – Launches 29.02.24

Duca di Castelmonte Zibibbo IGT, 2022, 12.5% £8.99
Zibibbo is a dry, yet fruity white wine from Sicily produced by Carlo Pellegrino & C. This wine has great floral and fruity notes with a distinctive sherbet-like zestiness taste that sets it apart. Zibibbo is the local Sicilian name for the Muscat of Alexandria grape, a variety celebrated for its rich heritage. The Muscat of Alexandria is considered an ancient vine, believed to be one of the oldest genetically unmodified vines still in existence today.

Ser Tosco Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, 2020, 13.5% £10.49
Originating from San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Riserva undergoes an aging process of 24 months. It is characterised by its cherry flavours, which stand out prominently on the palette. It’s medium-bodied and came across lighter than I anticipated but is still great. The wine is not overly tannic and has an average length.

Cardilla Nero d’Avola DOC, 2022, 13% £8.99
This Sicilian wine, is produced by Carlo Pellegrino & C and has vibrant notes and tastes of red fruits and cherry. It is a medium-bodied wine that perfectly balances medium tannins with its fruit-driven character.

Duca di Sasseta Appasimento Puglia IGP, 2022, 15% £7.99
Created by Barbanera, this appassimento wine stands out for its bolder character, marked by an enticing aroma of blackberries that sets the stage for its rich taste profile. On the palate, it delivers a robust black fruit flavour, complemented by balanced tannins that are not overpowering. The wine exhibits good length, allowing its complex flavours to linger pleasantly. While it finishes with a sweetness that might be slightly too pronounced for my personal preference, I recognise that this characteristic will likely appeal to a broad consumer base.

Duca di Sasseta Primitivo IGT, 2022, 14.5% £7.99
This wine is a counterpart to the Appassimento, dialling back on the sweetness to make room for a more sophisticated taste profile. It boasts ripe dark berry fruits, including the deep flavours of blackcurrants and black cherries. It surpasses many inexpensive Primitivo wines in quality, edging closer to the richer, more complex style of ‘Primitivo Manduria’. This is most likely due to the grapes being ‘Leggermente Appassite’ which means ‘slightly wilted’, to concentrate the flavour. Given its price point, this wine stands out as exceptional value, making it one of my favourite selections from the tasting.

Iberian Wine Tour – Launches 21.03.24

Caliza La Mancha Tempranillo Rosé, 2022, 13.5% £5.99
Caliza, translates to ‘limestone’ in Spanish, offering a visual cue to the terroir that influences its profile. Produced by Felix Solis in the La Mancha area, this wine has a deep red colour, a hint of sweetness upon tasting, beautifully balanced with the flavours of red berries and raspberry. This combination of sweetness and fruitiness makes it a good choice for a variety of occasions and pairings. Not only does it offer good value, it is also a vegetarian wine.

Encostas de Caiz Avesso, 2023, 13% £8.49
This Vinho Verde, from Portugal is produced by Quintas de Caiz and winemaker António Sousa, offers a slightly different take on the traditional profile of Vinho Verde. It has a deeper, pronounced peach taste and an extended finish that distinguishes it from the typical Vinho Verde experience. The bottle describes it as full-bodied but I wouldn’t go that far. The wine exhibits only a very slight effervescence, a nod to the characteristic sparkle of Vinho Verde, yet it remains subtler, allowing the deeper flavour to take centre stage.

Bodega Laus Chardonnay, 2023, 13.5% £6.99
This Spanish offering from Bodega Laus provides an different experience, particularly because it manages to captivate even those, like me, who might not typically count themselves as fans of Chardonnay. What sets this Chardonnay apart is its unusual profile of tropical fruit and citrus notes. The wine’s appeal is broadened by its vegetarian-friendly production.

Torre de Ferro Reserva, 2020, 13.5% £6.49
This Portuguese Dão Red, produced by Global Wines S.A., is is made from a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Alfrocheiro Preto grapes. It offers an aromatic bouquet of blackberry and violet. Upon tasting, the wine reveals a balance of fruit with a hint of chocolate with balanced tannins. What makes this Dão Red particularly appealing is its great value for the quality.

Almocreve Alentejano, 2020, 13.5% £6.99
Crafted from a blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Alicante Bouschet grapes, this wine has a profile of red cherry and black cherry fruits, which are integrated with notes of oak and vanilla, creating a rich and complex and balanced flavour experience. The tannins are more pronounced than in the Torre de Ferro, adding structure and body to the wine, yet they remain pleasantly manageable.

Soliera La Mancha Tempranillo Tinto, 2022, 12% £5.99
Produced by Felix Solis, the same producer behind the previously mentioned Rosé, this wine also comes from the La Mancha area. It strikes a delightful balance between dryness and fruitiness, leaning towards a more pronounced fruity, sweet profile that evokes a ‘bubble gum’ aroma and taste. What adds to its appeal is the wine’s vegan-friendly production process. Moreover, this wine stands out for its excellent value.

Hacienda Uvanis, 2021, 14% £7.49
The Garnacha Old Vines from Bodegas San Martin, originating from the Spanish Navarra region, represents a great expression of the Garnacha grape. This wine stands out for its excellent balance, blending different herby notes with hints of oak, which then give way to an earthy yet somehow fruity taste. What makes this wine particularly appealing is its uniqueness. The taste profile provides an intriguing alternative for those looking to explore beyond the more typical wine flavours.

Selected Vineyards Ribera del Duero, 2021, 14% £7.99
Created from the Tempranillo grape, this wine features a rich aroma of blackberry, blackcurrant and oak. The palate is treated to the taste of black cherries and blackcurrant fruit, creating a deep and satisfying flavour profile that lingers. While the wine is great in many respects, a discerning palate might note a slight absence towards the finish, perhaps craving the addition of a little more tannins to round out the experience. This observation, however, comes from my comparison with some of the top wines from Ribera del Duero that were featured at the Top 100 Tasting with Tim Atkin, which are significantly higher in price. Within this context, this wine impressively holds its own. When it becomes available at the end of this month, it’s a wine well worth seeking out before it is bound to sell out. Its quality and price makes it a great find and one of my personal favourites from the tasting.

From the current collection, available now:

Prosecco Spumante Rosé Extra Dry, 2022, 11% £5.99
A wine with a medium sweetness that is perfectly balanced with a delightful sherbet taste. Excellent value.

Arestel Cava Semiseco, 11.5% £5.99
This bottle-fermented Cava comes from Spain’s Penedes region, specifically the area of Vilanova i la Geltru. Crafted using the traditional method, this Cava is described as being medium dry, making it an appealing choice for those who prefer their sparkling wines with a touch of sweetness. The palate is greeted with vibrant citrus notes and apple, complemented by a broader spectrum of fruity tastes that add depth and richness. A great drinking experience that combines tradition, flavour and great value.

Note that the Italian tour wines won’t be available until 29 February 2024 and the Iberian until 21 March. Also, the prices are estimated and might change.