Aldi, again. This time Lot 9 (and 08, see below) , a Toscano red wine of 13% from 2014. This originates in the east of Italy, opposite the isle of Elba and an able wine it was too.
Dense red with a ruby rim and the tell-tale tears of alcohol, it smelt of vanilla and brambles with a slight menthol aroma which faded after time. The vanilla smell is appealing and carried forward its sweetness into the taste, making it a very easy drinking, commercial but well-made wine. The low tannins also added to its attractiveness.
After having been disappointed more then a few times with Chianti, made not far inland from here, we were both pleasantly surprised by its style. Good value at £9.99.
[Richard: from the Maremma so not a classico. One of those rare wines it is impossible to find out anything about on the internet. Not even on Aldi’s website, as of a few days ago. The neck tag – which I’ve not kept – gave the grapes as petit verdot, merlot and sangiovese, so not permitted grapes either. I’m pretty sure the shelf label calls this a supertuscan. That’s not a recognised designation but is usually taken to mean wines of a much better quality (and cost) than this. We’ve tried several of the Lot series so this was a natural purchase, aided by that other rarity where Aldi are concerned – no queue. Lots of vanilla, possible a bit too much, which made me wonder if oak chipping had been used but, nevertheless, an easy drinking wine with a bit of class. Would buy again.
Also tasted Lot 08, a week after the others. As before Aldi £9.99. A carmenère with 7.5% each of merlot and petit verdot. The last is becoming very common in the sort of wines I drink. An instantly appealing red, lots of fruit, some acidity. Not much structure (16 months in a mixture of new and old oak is claimed), but none the worse for that. Made by Vina Carmen the oldest winery in Chile, who ‘rediscovered’ carmenère in 1994. Very nice wine, worth looking for.]