As I started in the reverse order from normal, part 1 looked at the red wines in Lidl Ireland’s French Wine Cellars promotion and now part 2 looks at the whites. As with the reds, Bordeaux is well represented, but Burgundy also has some decent quaffing whites for your consideration. Here are my brief notes:
Jean Cornelius Alsace Riesling 2017 (12.5%, €9.99 at Lidl Ireland)
I’ve tried and liked previous vintages of this wine. It’s straight-up, straight-forward Alsace Riesling – dry, clean and unoaked, with nice lime and lemon freshness. No, it doesn’t have the concentration of the best producers’ wines, but it makes for a nice mid week sip on its own, or with a big tureen of moules marinères.
Les Celliers du Bellay Touraine Sauvignon 2016 (12.0%, €7.99 at Lidl Ireland)
Ask people to name a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley and the chances are they will say “Sancerre” or perhaps “Pouilly Fumé”, but the lesser-know appellations such as Touraine can be the source of very drinkable wines too – without the hefty price tags. At €7.99 this really is a bargain – it has more character than you’d expect for €10, never mind €8. Grapefruit is the theme, clean, fresh, juicy and zesty.
Château La Payrère Bordeaux Blanc 2018 (11.5%, €7.99 at Lidl Ireland)
Both the dry and sweet wines of Bordeaux usually feature Sauvignon Blanc, with or without companions Semillon, Muscadelle or even Sauvignon Gris. This dry Bordeaux Blanc has a lovely fragrant nose with green pepper and gooseberry – all suggesting a large proportion of Sauvignon. Fairly light in alcohol, this is another great sunshine sipper or pair with a fancy salad.
Château Rivière Lacoste Graves Blanc 2017 (12.0%, €9.99 at Lidl Ireland)
The Bordelais love drinking white Graves as it means they don’t have to resort to whites from the other place – Burgundy! As with the reds, the best Graves whites are made in the separate sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, but the Graves AOC has plenty ot offer. This Château Rivière Lacoste is quite rich for a white Bordeaux – white possibly some Semillon in the blend adding texture and some stone fruit notes.
Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune 2016 (12.5%, €14.99 at Lidl Ireland)
The Hautes Côtes de Beaune – like their counterpart the Hautes Côtes de Nuits – come from the upper slopes of the ridge running down the middle of Burgundy. Most of the “fine wine” is further down the slopes, but climate change and better winemaking has significantly improved the quality of wines from these more exposed areas. The first sniff is greeted with a lovely oaky nose, and a taste reveals great texture and mouthfeel, broad but fresh. It’s very nice now but would benefit from another six months’ rest before being enjoyed.
Collin-Bourisset Mâcon-Villages 2017 (13.0%, €9.99 at Lidl Ireland)
The Mâconnais is the most southerly sub-region of Burgundy proper, and with the more southerly latitude comes more heat and sunshine. This results in wines which are somewhat New World in style – and that’s what we have here. This Mâcon-Villages is quite tropical and broad, but wears no new oak. Swirl this in a big glass and don’t drink too cold.
De Oliveira Lecestre Chablis 2017 (13.0%, €17.99 at Lidl Ireland)
Chablis has a certain cachet so its wines are never cheap. They can be good value, although for me the best value is usually up at Premier and Grand Cru level. AOC Chablis is nearly always unoaked and mineral which this example from De Oliveira Lecestre is, but unlike poor Chablis it isn’t lean or austere. Instead it’s chalky, mineral, and fresh, a great way to try Chablis at a reasonable cost.
Val de Salis Pays d’Oc Chardonnay 2017 (13.5%, €8.99 at Lidl Ireland)
This is the first Chardonnay in this article which isn’t from Burgundy, and it shows – it’s very different in style from all the others above. It has more body and texture, and a definite herbal edge (not uncommon in Languedoc wines). Try with prawns in garlic and herbs, and save a glass for the chef!