A closer look at Lidl Wine

Lidl - Wotwine’s 2019 Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year

Wotwine’s Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year

Last week, we announced that Lidl had won the Wotwine Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year Award for the third year running. We thought we’d turn the spotlight on their range, looking not only at some of the wines that helped them achieve that accolade but also at some of the current lines. What is Lidl doing differently that is delivering superior value for its customer?

We tasted over 200 wines from Lidl for the 2019 Award, out of a total of close to 1,600 across the eleven major retailers we cover and some interesting stats emerge from our work.

Lidl Good Value rating chart

Lidl strong for quality scoring 29%

It is also noteworthy that Lidl has the highest proportion of Old World (essentially European) wines with 80% of its range, compared to a market average of 60%; the second highest is Waitrose at 67%.  We’ve said previously that Old Wines are delivering better value for customers at the moment, largely as a result of the poor value provided by some of the large brands, which tend to come from New World countries. Lidl avoids those, which gives it a bias towards Old World and better value as you’re paying for the wine not the marketing budget.  Brands are supposed to provide reassurance to customers on quality but wine seems to be a market where that promise is not being delivered.
Looking at Lidl’s Top 10 Value wines over the year, they are predominantly Old World as you would expect.  There’s an interesting balance between the classic countries of France and Italy but also Hungary which is re-establishing itself as a major producer of quality wines after 100 years of decline and mismanagement. The wines also cover a range of price points so Lidl’s success is not simply about being “cheap” but reflects value for money all along the quality scale.

Lidl's Top 10 Wines over the last year chart

Turning to its current wine range, Lidl has a particularly strong offering in its French Wine Tour at the moment with some great wines at competitive prices. We’ve picked out eight that we think provide particularly good value and show a range of different styles from around France.
To begin with some whites, our first stop is in Alsace for a classic Riesling. It’s slightly off-dry with a richer, fuller-bodied texture than you typically find with German Rieslings and a great pairing with spicy foods.

LIDL_Jean Cornelius Riesling

Jean Cornelius Riesling 2017 🇫🇷
Price: £7.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £9.00
Tasting note: Well made, youthful wine with peach and honeyed citrus character.

 

It is not easy to find good value Sancerre as the village name attracts a premium which is not always justified, in our view, but this is an exception.  It shows great typicity, in other words everything you would expect of a proper Sancerre, at a sensible price.

LIDL_Sancerre Nicolas Carlin

Sancerre La Cote Blanche Nicolas Carlin 2017 🇫🇷
Price: £11.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £14.00
Tasting note: Well made, complex and classy wine with pure lemons, white peach and green apples, chalky minerality.

 

Finally from the whites, we have chosen a Bordeaux. It’s an unpretentious wine but well-made and great value.

LIDL_Château La Peyrère Bordeaux

Chateau la Peyrere Bordeaux Blanc 2017 🇫🇷
Price: £5.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £8.50
Tasting note: Nicely made, interesting wine with grapefruit and green apple

 

The first of the reds is one we picked out recently for our Beaujolais list. This is a Cru Beaujolais from Régnié, so very much from the top tier of the region, and a classy wine for its price.
 LIDL_Régnié Cru Beaujolais
Lidl Régnié 2017 🇫🇷
Price: £7.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £9.00
Tasting note: Good Beaujolais with ripe red and dark berries, fresh palate and a juicy finish.

 

For a step up in intensity we recommend this Cotes du Rhone Villages. There are rather too many disappointingly dilute examples on the market but this really over-delivers for a wine priced at around £7.
 LIDL_Plan de Dieu Rhône Domaine
Plan de Dieu Domaine de Vallon Cotes du Rhone Villages 2016 🇫🇷
Price: £6,99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £10.00
Tasting note: Well made, ripe wine with cherry compote, red plum, sweet oak spice and refreshing finish.
 
As in Beaujolais, the top wines generally come from the Crus, as specific single village designations are known in those regions. This from Gigondas is a serious wine, with spicy, complex flavours, and illustrates what good Southern Rhone can deliver at an accessible price.

LIDL_Gigondas

Lidl Gigondas 2017 🇫🇷
Price: £11.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £13.00
Tasting note: Good, complex, elegant wine with spiced ripe plums, leather, rosemary and earthy minerality.

 

Finally from the reds we have a wine from Cahors in the South-West. It is known for producing big, powerful wines predominantly from Malbec and this is no exception.  Ideally, it would benefit from a couple of years in the cellar but if you don’t want to wait, give it a few hours in a decanter.

LIDL_Clos des Batuts Cahors

Lidl Clos des Batuts Cahors 🇫🇷
Price: £6.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £10.00
Tasting note: Well made, very young wine with dark plums, vibrant juicy blackberries and black currants and typical firm tannins.

 

Dessert wines have rather fallen from fashion but this is a little gem from Languedoc. It is also delicious well-chilled as an aperitif.
 LIDL_Muscat de St Jean de Minervois Languedoc Roussillo
Colomban Muscat de Saint-Jean de Minervois 🇫🇷
Price: £5.99 (50cl)
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £8.00
Tasting note: Well made, interesting dessert wine with caramelised peach, medicinal herbs and black tea character.

 

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*Note – Prices and availability correct at time of research, we cannot guarantee that all stores stock the listed items and price may vary or be subject to change.
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