A SOMEWHAT inclement spell of British August weather tends to divert attention from the beach to more indoor estival pursuits, so I duly headed off to Lidl to ascertain whether their wine cellar continues to prove alluring.
In terms of white wines and sparkling wines I looked for ones not exceeding £10 in price.
The 2016 Château Fayau Bordeaux from the Cadillac area initially caught my eye with its Sémillon grape mixed in with the Sauvignon Blanc grape producing a light fresh wine, pale in colour with notes of lemon and apple – good with food or as a party wine and retailing for £6.99.
I next happened upon an erstwhile old favourite of mine, namely an Australian Seaview Brut which proved to have good mousse with a light yeasty nose of baked apple, apricot, pear and lemon and offering good balance and acidity for a mere £6.99 – an unbeatable price for bubbly.
The Seaview Chardonnay Pinot Noir is an alternative at the same low price and eminently drinkable too, although I preferred the Brut.
Plumbing the depths price-wise I next espied a 2015 Soave Classico in the normal wine selection for just £4.49. 2015 was a good year for Soave Classico and this one had citrus flavours to the fore with high acidity, was quaffable and refreshing and is drinkable on its own or with food and excellent value for money.
For a little extra expended (£5.99) the 2015 Val De Salis Chardonnay from the Pays D’Oc warmer vineyards of Southern France had good fruit, was lightly oaked and had strong melon and tropical fruit flavours and was well balanced and would pair well with salmon or pasta dishes.
At the top of my budget the 2015 Les Grandes Chaumes Pouilly Fumé priced at £9.99, a most competitive price for this subtle wine, produced by André Saujot exudes gooseberry, grapefruit and grassy notes with stony minerality and is a good buy at this price.
My ultimate bargain this week, however, is the weekend offer of six bottles of Allini Prosecco for just £20 and perfectly quaffable to boot.
I was also excited to find a 2015 Valle Central Malbec for the meagre price of just £4.49 which duly regaled my taste buds and is a no-brainer purchase – get in!
My next red was a Rioja Reserva and thus from two principal grapes, Tempranillo and Garnacha, with red fruits in abundance and the terms joven, crianza, reserva and gran reserva indicate increasing levels of oak-ageing with American oak being more popular adding coconut or vanilla flavours.
The 2013 Cepa Lebrel (greyhound variety) Rioja Reserva at a low price of £5.79 has the flavour of ripe strawberries and has been oaked, although the vanilla is not that evident, and has a decent balance of soft tannins and some acidity and is good value as an easy – drinking red.
My final selection is that of a 2015 Pierre de Roucans Vinsobres, a full-bodied Rhône wine with spiced plum flavours and notes of pepper and decidedly dry and an ideal accompaniment to barbecued meat and all for the princely sum of £6.99.