November is but a few days away and Christmas preparations must begin soon. With that in mind Aldi showcased their Christmas wine list and I tried and tasted each and every new vintage. I am happy to say that their old favourites are still included, as who could celebrate Christmas without popping open a bottle of the award winning Vueve Monsigny Champagne.
If you haven't heard of Vueve Monsigny before then you need to try it. At only €19.99 it has won blind tasting competitions against the luxury champagne, Veuve Clicquot. On the nose it has floral aromas, second to the toast and apple that also follow through on the palette. A very smart buy. If you fancy spending a little more, then try a bottle of the pink stuff, it's divine. At only €23.99 Aldi's Champagne Rose is light and refreshing. Bursting with strawberry and raspberry and pastry flavours, these elegant bubbles prickle on the tip of the tongue, then froth in the middle leaving a satisfying, round mouth feel.
However, if you are a sucker for Italian bubbles then the Magnum of Prosecco is for you. At only €21.99 it is refreshing with yellow apple, subtle peach and a little pear- that's a lot for the price.
For the whites, I noticed a theme of minerality. If you like that stony, steely, or chalky aroma and taste then you are in for a treat. There are an array of Chardonnays on offer, including two premier Cru Chablis. At €12.99 their entry level Chablis has all of what you would expect from a Chardonnay from Chablis. It is chalky, with Clay dust on the nose which follows through with some stony mineral characteristics on the palette along with some citrus fruits of lemon and some starfruit. From these traditional Chardonnays, including the two Premier Cru (€16.99 & €19.99) I was intrigued the most by the Argentinian Chardonnay. At €13.99 this is not your average Chardonnay. The stony mineral character is there but accompanied by stone fruit flavours like apricots, lemon and limes, honeysuckle and butter, it is very well balanced with a long finish.
Another New World white that stood out is the Clare Valley Riesling €9.99, on the nose it is pronounced with steel, or rubber notes that hide the fruit which is found on the tongue. I couldn't find the smell of petrol found in a more traditional version, but the citrus fruit and overall mineral flavours on the palette are interesting and I think this wine will deliver for a lot of people.
Sauvignon lovers won't be left out. The Sancerre by Henri De Lorgere (€9.99) is quintessential Sauvignon Blanc with grassy and pink grapefruit notes, followed by lemons, limes, peach and stony minerality.
As for the reds, there is one clear showstopper and it's not the cheapest but certainly fairly priced for the quality. Chateaux Saint Pierre Grand Cru 2011 (€29.99) unfortunately each Aldi store will only get 5 bottles each to sell! You can taste the terroir from Bordeaux's left bank. Notes of cherries, black and red fruit, and graphite with firm tannin and a long finish.
The Cabernet/Merlot blend from Stellenbosch €8.99 has lovely flavours of plum and vanilla, black fruits and a full, rich and round mouth feel, this wine hits the spot.
The Amarone (€18.99) is another red that stands out and is sure to deliver. With beautiful cherry and raspberry notes and a silky easy to drink texture.
There is also a decent Valpolicella Ripasso (€9.99) and a Chateauneuf du Pape (€14.99) of decent quality and taste.
You will find a lot of the old favourites in store from Rioja to Malbec and just because I haven't written about them, doesn't mean they are not worth a taste. Finally, the port on offer this year is quite lovely and worth a mention in particular the Maynard's 40 Year Old Tawny Port (€49.99)