Lidl new premium French wines

Cork removedLidl has added almost fifty new premium French wines to its in-store collection. And they’re not hard to spot – just walk in and head straight across to the ‘fancy new wine crates’ and chose from wines ranging in price from £4.99 to £25.99.

empty champagneDesigned to cater for their increasing numbers of affluent customers, the new premium range’s wooden crate display is so eye-catching that it’s bound to induce an ‘I might try that’ thought along with ‘what can I add to my basket to match it?’

So job done on the inducement side but are the wines any good and what do they taste like?

decanter and glassesWell they’re definitely a step above the everyday, but tasty, wines situated immediately alongside. Both categories of wines provide tasting notes pinned to the shelf immediately underneath (known as ‘shelf shouts’) but the premium collection goes one step further and labels each wine with a rating out of 100 – with a rating of 80 being Good, 85 Very Good, 90 is Outstanding and 95 is a Classic.

But who decided each wine’s points out of a hundred? Master of Wine Richard Bampfield, with the assistance of two fellow Masters of Wine (not identified in the Lidl blurb). And being a Panel Chairman of the International Wine Challenge we should give his ratings of each wine the respect they are due, but you don’t necessarily have to agree with them.

I don’t. Not that there are huge differences but I would prefer to alter a Very Good wine to just Good and another Very Good wine to Outstanding.

Read the reviews below and decide for yourself.

PG Wine Reviews

L’escargot (the snail) Côtes de Gascogne Sauvignon Blanc 2013

£4.99, rated as 86/100 Very Good

PG rating 70 Okay I suppose

Cheapest of the range and a bit watery. But still enough oomph to supply light gooseberry and apple flavours. Better Sauvignons out there at the same price.

Reserve de Fonsalis Fitou 2011

£5.99, rated 86/100 Very Good

PG rating 86 Very Good for the Price

Smooth flavours of cherry and gravy, plus a spot of liquorice.

Château Galès Graves 2011

£7.99 rated 91/100 Outstanding

PG rating 83/100 Good wine

Nice wine with violet and cherry liqueur flavours but with a slightly watery ending.

Château Venus Graves 2011

£8.99 rated 88/100 Very Good

PG rating 88 I have to Agree

Flavours of cherries on toast with a touch of smokiness.

Chateau Barthez Haut-Médoc 2009

£8.99 rated 86/100 Very Good

PG rating 96 Classic stuff for the Price

Best of the bunch. Woody bramble flavours initially that turn into smooth Turkish Delight. A good match to steak and chips or a beef sarnie.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk