This Bordeaux was picked up in a mini-spending frenzy at Lidl, the discount supermarket, which along with it’s German pal Aldi, is taking on the big UK supermarkets and gradually growing market share. Their approach is straightforward, we’ll sell you groceries cheaper than your big supermarkets, but you’ll have less brands to choose from, less “special offers” and some of our stock will be from brands you’ve never heard of, but we guarantee it’ll be good.
So far in my shopping adventures this has proved true, although I do cheat a bit and use those supermarket forays to pick up products I might not otherwise see at my local greengrocer or traditional supermarket. That means we’ve been eating plenty of continental cheeses, bottled fruits and curious fruit drinks as well as wines that I don’t see elsewhere.
The wines do come in at a wide range of prices, and I’ve steered clear of the bargain basement ranges. What I’ve looked for is good value in a more interesting range, pretty much as I’ve been doing with the Italian and French cheeses.
This Château Haut-Chaigneau ’11 Lalande de Pomerol fell into that category. It looked interesting, and cost £12 including a £1 per bottle discount for buying four in a wine carrier. That’s an even better deal when you remember that you have to pack your own groceries really quickly and pay for any bags you use, so having the four bottles already packed into a carrier was stress reducing.
This Lidl supplied wine looked pretty, a dark red with reasonable legs. I poured it into a decanter to give it a chance to settle down and get ready to be drunk. It smelled a little of chocolate. Not quite those scrummy little chocolate covered cherries in liqueur that are delightful at Christmas in the 1970’s, but enough to put me in a festively retro mood.
It’s dry with a medium acidity and ripe tannins. It’s medium bodied, maybe verging on the upper end of medium. The alcohol is at the upper end of medium too. It tastes more fruity than it smells with plums and blackberries, there’s still a little bit of chocolate, but not as much as I’d anticipated. There’s some spice on the length too.
I liked this wine, it was well balanced and very drinkable, but if there’s still some on the shelves next time I go in I think I’ll pick up a bottle and hide it from myself for a couple of years, just to see if the promised chocolate grows in the bottle.