This 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.
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 !
McWilliams Hayfield Pinot noir (Tesco- £5.49)
My Rating 6/10 corks
Marques de Almeida RdD (Sainsbury’s £8)
My Rating 8/10 Corks
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.
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.