ALDI’S WINE LOVER’S SALE
As promised, here are my concise notes on all of the wines in this sale, and I’ve highlighted what, for me, are the essential buys (i.e. I’ll be buying a few bottles of these!)
Goldeck Sparkling Grüner Veltliner
Fun, dry, fresh Austrian sparkler from one of the world’s most fashionable grapes. Green apples, sherbet, a touch of lemon zest.
Pata Negra Vintage Cava
Complex Cava, very fresh, creamy and extremely dry. Decidedly elegant fizz with a touch of ripe apples.
Louisvale Cap Classique Sparkling Chardonnay
Stylish sparkler from South Africa with a very fine mousse of bubbles and that distinctive freshly baked bread note on the nose that you get more often in good Champagne.
Fork & Spoon Sparkling Shiraz
Pure fun, an off-dry red sparkling wine from Downunder. Ripe red fruits, pink foam, easy-drinking, not for wine snobs!
Lebegés Grüner Veltliner 2016
A serious candidate for the title of Best Value in the Whole Sale, this is Gruner Veltliner but not from Austria. It’s from Hungary. Dry, crisp, but with ripe apricots and a tang of citrus.
Fleurs de Prairie Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Pretty in pink and even prettier in this bottle but what matters is the taste. It’s very dry with a touch of strawberry and a hint of mineral, so versatile in terms of food. Beats many pinks at twice or even three times the price.
The Forgotten Row Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
I can’t say where it’s from but the grapes were overlooked during a night harvest on a very famous estate. This small batch Sauvignon is gorgeous: green gooseberry, nettle, passionfruit and some ripe peach.
Nonius Chardonnay Feteasca 2016
A Romanian blend of the classic grape with the native Feteasaca yields a very interesting effect: strong citrus character plus baked fruits. Dry and surprisingly rich.
Painted Dog Chenin Blanc Viognier 2017
This rather unusual combination of Chenin, a Loire native, with Viognier, originally from much further south, delivers fresh acidity and peachy fruit in equal measure, producing lovely balance. On the nose it’s like tarte tatin fresh from the oven, and on the palate it’s stone fruit and red apple with a touch of apricot. Very dry.
Peter Mertes Gold Edition Mosel Riesling
Brilliant value German Riesling from the Mosel, encapsulating all the delicacy of that region. Not quite sweet but certainly off-dry in a green apple kind of way. Deliciously light in alcohol at 11% abv.
Grand Sud Merlot 2016
A big bottle of chunky southern French Merlot at a very decent price. The kind of stuff you drink from tumblers in the sun while scoffing a plate of charcuterie and crusty bread.
Black Star 2016
A surprisingly big red wine from Germany’s Pfalz region. Rich, damsons, blackberries, a touch of smoke and oak. And it’s unfiltered so you get the whole taste (and might need to be decanted).
Graspa Rossa Lambrusco
Such a joy! This is proper Lambrusco, not the cloying stuff that tastes like cherry cola. Sour cherries and a sweetish finish make this a great food wine, especially with spicy pizza.
Uva Pirata Petit Verdot 2016
Funky bottle for a funky wine. Petit Verdot is used in small proportions in Bordeaux but this is a 100% varietal from Spain. Intense but balanced with ripe red fruits, spice, a touch of freshly ground coffee and vanilla. Impressive structure and generous length.
El Casetero Old Vines Garnacha 2014
This Spanish red delivers fabulously intense fruit: damsons, plums, bramble, with spicy and herbal notes too: pepper, thyme, even a touch of violet. Is it my imagination or is there really dark chocolate too?
Exquisite Collection Hawke's Bay Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet
A Bordeaux-style blend of grape varieties from cool climate New Zealand vineyards delivers a surprisingly claret-like wine with ripe blackcurrants and a touch of cedarwood but with extra fruit.
Fourth Dimension Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2016
Quite Burgundian Pinot Noir from the relatively cool Adelaide Hills. Plenty of forest fruits with a good seasoning of slightly smoky oak, fresh but still soft.
Valle Hermoso Cabernet Franc Gran Reserva 2015
A rare opportunity to taste a Cabernet Franc from somewhere other than the Loire, in this instance, Chile. And how different it is! Cassis and well integrated oak, complex, quite full.
Punta de Lobos Carménère Gran Reserva 2015
Carménère is sometimes more like Merlot than Merlot and this example is suitably lush, silky and broad. Forest fruits, red currants, spice. A big red with considerable style.
Amigo Secreto Syrah-Carignan 2016
From one of South America’s organic and biodynamic pioneers in wine this dense red is from low-yield fruit. Spice, dark chocolate, Morello cherry on the nose, lush on the palate, long finish.
Berton Vineyard Durif 2016
Durif is what the Americans call Petite Sirah and there is indeed Syrah in the DNA. You can taste it in this: dark chocolate, spice, bramble jelly, vanilla. It’s very easy to drink too with over 7g/litre residual sugar.
The Restless Wine Merchant Wrattonbully Shiraz 2016
Wrattonbully is a highly favoured part of the Limestone Coast and both Shiraz and Cabernet here are distinctive and elegant. This is a cracker of a red in the traditional Oz mould: lush but with tannic structure, packed with berry fruit and spice, black fruit gums and ground pepper.