I was grateful to be invited to the Aldi Wine Lover’s Sale preview last week, a first glance at a range of wines the German discounter has brought into Ireland for a limited run.
There wasn’t a massive offering, which made the tasting gloriously concise. On a similar note, this post will be similarly as brief, highlighting some of my picks rather than detailing every wine tasted.
These are available in all 129 Aldi stores nationwide from yesterday, Thursday 3rd August, while stocks last. For other opinions on the sale, check out these
My Top Red Pick
El Casatero, Old Vines Garnacha, Spain. €9.99
I’m not the only one to single out this wine as either the best of the bunch, or at least very close. Old vines tend to give more concentrated and ‘serious’ wines, and El Casatero is an exemplar of this.
For a cent shy of a tenner you’re getting ripe, concentrated strawberry and blackberry fruit, with a density and length you wouldn’t expect for this price. Excellent – grab a few bottles if there’s any left this weekend.
One To Impress Your Friends
Uva Pirata, Petit Verdot, Spain. €11.99
… if your friends like edgy, alternative packaging that is. The bottle is undoubtedly an eye-catcher, but thankfully the juice lives up to the promise too.
This has bright and crunchy red and blue fruit flavours, with a warm and spicy body and even a nice light bite of tannin coming through. It’s a great package, and sure to impress.
The High-Octane One
The Restless Wine Merchant, Shiraz, Australia. €10.99
There is a significant market out there that enjoys nothing more than full-throttle, chunky, balls-to-the-wall red wines, and this one would hit the spot nicely for them. Thankfully for everyone else, it’s heavy but not overbearing, meaning it won’t be a struggle to get it down your gullet.
It’s a full-on, typically Aussie shiraz, with tons of distinctive menthol and lush blackberry fruit. Definitely one for the barbie. Strewth!
The Contemplative One
Punta de Lobos, Carménère Gran Reserva, Chile. €9.99
It’s the bouquet on this one that most appealed to me: there was attractive lavender, blueberry and herbal tinges in this fragrant and calming wine. The palate was soft and juicy and dense, appealing to richer tastes, and though the palate didn’t quite match up to the nose it was a pleasant all-round experience nevertheless.
The Party Wine
Grand Sud Merlot, France. €8.99 for 1 litre (equates to €6.74 for a regular-sized bottle)
It looks cheap, it is cheap, but it’s great value for the price. It’s nothing more than pleasantly drinkable, which is far more than you’d expect at this price. Perfect for glugging at parties.
The Top White Pick
The Forgotten Row, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. €9.99
Yawn. Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc – I’m pretty tired of the style at this point, despite its unprecedented and ongoing popularity generally.
But what’s this? An inexpensive Savvie from NZ that not a tropical fruit-bomb? Yes please!
OK, so it’s still quite ripe and flavoursome, but in the herbal, pea-and-asparagus style that nods to the grape’s European roots. A nice refreshing alternative for any Kiwi Sauv Blanc lover.
The Sparkling One
Gardo & Morris, Sparkling Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. €19.99
It’s Sauvignon Blanc passed through the commercial winery’s version of a Soda Stream, basically. If you love Savvie, you’ll love this. Quite fun and interesting, though at near €20 there are a few Cavas I could recommend in it’s place. A curiosity.