Aldi Wine Club Taster – Round 2

AldiClub2Well the second and third wines arrived, again well packaged, if fact it took me quite a while to remove bubble wrap, polystyrene and cardboard to eventually reveal a Spanish Toro Loco Superior and an Australian Exquisite collection  Limestone Coast Chardonnay.

So what were they like? well, again both very good especially for the price.

Toro Loco Superior 2014

Toro Loco (Mad Bull) made from Tempranillo (75%) and Bobal (25%) grapes. This wine is from the Utiel Requena region of Spain just west of the city of Valencia where Bobal rules.

On sticking my nose in the glass there were aromas of cherries and plums along with a hint of fresh strawberries, some smokiness, leather and what smelt like church incense.

Taste-wise again ripe cherries and plums, fresh acidity, a little sourness, slightly vegetal, leather and peppery spice.

My only problem, which is not a problem for some people is that it didn’t last well beyond day one, tasting on the second day it lost some of it’s initial intenseness of flavour and tasted slightly bitter, so my advice is drink it on the same day or because at £3.49 it’s so cheap buy 2 bottles.

All in all a lovely Spanish wine for the ridiculous price of £3.49, go out and buy some now!Aldiwineclub logo

Exquisite Collection Limestone Coast Chardonnay 2014

Next an Australian Limestone Coast region Chardonnay 2014, from their Exquisite range. A little more expensive although still relatively cheap at £5.79 a bottle.

Bright straw like colour in the glass, aromas of lemon, tropical fruits including peaches, pineapples and nectarines. Exotic and complex with a weighty texture and savoury finish which was incredibly long.

Unlike the Toro Loco this improved on day 2 and even day 3 if you can wait that long to finish it. So this was the pick of the two for me if only because it lasted longer after opening but overall two pretty decent wines, as as I seem to be saying a lot when it comes to Aldi, fantastic value for money.

7.5corks

Toro Loco Superior

My Rating 7.5/10 Corks

 

8corks

 

Limestone Coast Chardonnay

My Rating 8/10 Cork

Aldi Wine Club Taster

Aldiwineclub logoThis Month I have been lucky enough to be selected as an Aldi Wine Club Taster. This involves, in their words ‘ Every three months, we’ll be selecting 30 budding sommeliers to join the panel. If you’re chosen, each month for three months, we’ll send you two delicious wines to taste from our range and you’ll be tasked with reviewing each via a 140 character tweet using the dedicated #AldiWineClub hashtag.

Along with the wines, we’ll also send you a selection of tasting notes to help guide you through your wine tasting journey, as well as handy hints and tips to help you with your monthly reviews.’
I’m no stranger to Aldi wines and have been enjoying them now for a while and on the whole it’s been a pleasurable experience so I was excited to receive the first couple of wines. They arrived well packaged and protected and when opened I found a French Malbec and a Australian Rose, a good start.
The Malbec was a Vignobles Roussellet and the rosé was a Kooliburra from south eastern Australia.
So here are my thoughts in a bit more detail as it’s very hard to limit your review into a 140 character tweet.
Aldi MalbecVignobles Roussellet Malbec    My Rating 8/10 Corks
This is a cracking wine and at £4.39 a bottle a real genuine bargain . A French Malbec (with a touch of Merlot) with no vintage on the label, bursting with juicy blackberries,  blueberries, hint of spice, some sweetness and a little gamey. This is a uncompletcated easy drinking Malbec that is a Decanter Bronze medal winner and an International Wine Challenge winner in 2014 and for a change a wine that lives up to its awards especially considering the price.
Kooliburra Rosé    My Rating 7/10 Corks
I admit to not drinking a lot of rosé but every now and then I come across one that is pleasant enough and this falls into that category. This is a bottle from South Eastern Australia, again no vintage Quite a darkish salmon pink colour with aromas of Summer fruits especially strawberries and raspberries.
The strawberries follow through on the palate with a hint of creaminess, nice texture with a sweetness but not overly sweet or cloying.
Well chilled on a summers day this may well convert non rosé drinkers, I thought is was pretty good and so did everyone else around the table who tasted it.

Aldi hits the spot, again !

Aldi Cabernet Sauvignon

Starting to get a bit of a buzz when walking around Aldi at the moment, especially when I turn down the wine aisle. Ok, it may not be the most tidiest of supermarkets but there is something comforting about seeing those wine bottles still in their boxes, arranged in no particular order with an almost warehouse look about it.

Compared to the manicured wine aisles in most other supermarkets with their suspect half price offers on mass-produced plonk, Aldi is a breath of fresh air and judging by the conversations I’ve had with Aldi customers (mostly in the wine section) there is an enthusiasm for buying wine I’ve not seen in other supermarkets.

Customers don’t just buy a bottle or two, most of them are loading boxes into their trolleys, maybe just maybe it’s due to the fact that most of their wines especially the ones I’ve tasted so far have been pretty damn good !

This latest bottle I opened to accompany a roast lamb dinner continues the trend of not having a wine from Aldi I’ve disliked yet. It’s a beautiful dark purple in the glass with aromas of black currants, forest pine, menthol, herbs and on first sip it just feels comforting, a mouthful of black currants again mixed with a little mocha and dry but not too overpowering tannins along with a mix of eucalyptus, herbs and wood.

Left to breathe for a while everything softened and as the label says it was exquisite and for just over £6 better than most Cabernets at a similar price and better than a lot at double the price.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Aldi £6.49

 

 

Three supermarket wines

TaleofthreewinesThis is a quick tale of three wines in which two of them prove, if you look hard enough amongst the supermarket shelves, there are bargains to be had.

The three supermarkets which have the starring roles in this tale are as they say ‘in no particular order’ Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi.

Starting with the Tesco McWilliams Hayfield Pinot Noir 2013 (£5.49). Looks like it’s currently unavailable online but there was still plenty on the shelves when I bought this. Produced by McWilliams, imported and bottled in the UK. The first thing that struck me about this when poured was how incredibly translucent it was. There was the typical Pinot aromas of Cherries and a touch of mushroom but the taste kind of let it down, lacking in fruit and a little thin in texture with noticeable tannins and a slight acidic aftertaste. Not too bad, nothing to get excited about but it is only £5 a bottle.

Next is the Marques De Almeida Ribera del Duero 2010 (£8) Now this is a different beast altogether from Northern Spain and part of the Sainbury’s’ Taste the difference’ range, a beautifully rich dark purple Ribera del Duero with heady aromas of blackberries, plums, cherries and vanilla. From the first sip it’s typically Spanish, rich, succulent, full of ripe dark berries, tannic and oaky. Well worth the £8.

Finally there is the Vignobles Rousselllet Malbec (£4.39) from Aldi. A French Malbec (with a touch of Merlot) bursting with juicy blackberries and blueberries, hint of spice and a little gamey. This is a uncompletcated easy drinking Malbec that is a Decanter Bronze medal winner and an International Wine Challenge winner in 2014. This is a real cracking wine and cheap as chips, stock up !

6corks

 

McWilliams Hayfield Pinot noir  (Tesco- £5.49)

My Rating 6/10 corks

8corks

 

Marques de Almeida RdD (Sainsbury’s £8)

My Rating 8/10 Corks

8corks

 

Vignobles Roussellet Malbec (Aldi £4.49)

My Rating 8/10 Corks

Best value for money was the fabulously easy drinking Aldi Malbec, followed by the intensely rich Ribera Del Duero from Sainsbury’s and lastly the disappointing but still drinkable Tesco Pinot Noir.

Aldi Pinot Noir taste off

battlepinotIn my last review I tasted the Aldi Vignobles Roussellet Pinot Noir which I picked up at an incredible price of £4.39, at the same time I picked up a couple of bottles of their Exquisite collection New Zealand Pinot Noir for £6.99.

After enjoying the cheaper French Pinot with a Lamb dinner I decided to follow-up with the slightly more expensive New Zealand version paired with roast pork to see which one came out on top. It turned out to be surprisingly harder than I thought with both wines, especially for the price holding their own but in very different ways.

The New Zealand Pinot compared to the French was very much lighter in colour, (almost read a book through the wine) and straight away the aroma was much more noticeable than the French which was fairly muted. Cherries, raspberries and to a lesser extent strawberries were all there with an almost red fruit pastilles smell (the one everyone goes for in the packet). The French aroma was almost fruitless with savoury and smoke dominant.

Taste wise again completely different, the French was rustic, unmistakably French, pretty sweet but with a smokey wood flavour. Although you could taste red fruits it wasn’t a full on fruitiness of the New Zealand, this was bright a very fruity with cherries, strawberries but still with a whiff of smoke and hint of savouriness.

If the French was rustic the New Zealand wine was kind of elegant in comparison. Which one did I prefer?, hard to say, enjoyed both of them equally for different reasons and they both showed well on the second day. As long as they remain at these prices I will be making the 10 mile journey to buy more of each for £4.39 & £6.99 silly not too, well done Aldi !.

7.5corksMy Rating 7.5/10 Corks

Aldi £6.99

 

Aldi’s cheap wine bottles !

AldiPinotNoirOn the way to picking up my son from Luton Airport, I made a slight detour and found myself in Aldi’s Hemel Hempstead store for my first venture into their range of wines.

Don’t get to visit aldi much due to the fact that it’s about 10 miles away but the airport trip was the ideal opportunity to stop and see why there is all this fuss about these cut price wines.

Got my trolley and entered the store and maneuvered my way over to the wine aisle, it wasn’t really a wine a aisle, more like a couple of shelves thrown together with lots of bottles scattered on them, not the tidiest I’ve seen

Armed with a list of recommendations from my wine buddies I proceeded to place a few bottles in the trolley as were a lot of other people. Now I’m not sure whether it’s because most of the wine was so cheap that the trolleys were being filled fast or the fact that maybe they all know that the wine is pretty decent. I ended up buying some Pinot Noir from Both New Zealand and France, French Malbec, Italian Sangiovese and Spanish Tempranillo, most of them with award stickers all over them.

Standing at the till looking around there was lots of people with a lot of wine in their trolleys, the only difference was they had food and groceries as well, mine was just stacked with wine bottles (what does that say about me !).

With my son picked up and safely home it was decision time, which wine with tonight’s Lamb dinner, I decided to go French and picked the Vignobles Roussellet Pinot Noir at £4.39.

In the glass it was dark garnet colour slightly see through, not much on the nose apart a little smoke and savouriness. What I would say is it’s very French in style and rustic, the taste was again savoury with a plummy sweetness which I liked. After the first few sips I thought this is nice, nothing complex, not the best Pinot I’ve tasted recently but it’s better than a lot I’ve tasted for three times the price.

Remember this is a Vin de France, not a Burgundy, yes it’s Rustic, yes it’s cheap and yes it’s very acceptable even enjoyable and i wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it, lets hope the rest of the bottles I bought today are as good.

7.5corksMy Rating 7.5/10 Corks

Aldi £4.39