The final wine from the 16th Aldi Wine Club panel is a red from Costiéres de Nímes in southern France. Historically part of the very large ‘catch-all’ Languedoc appellation which produces wines from a myriad of different grapes and in varying styles, it now comes under the wing of the neighbouring Rhone appellation.
With a style of wine very similar in nature to those produced in the southern Rhone, this makes absolute sense. The Mediterranean climate is warm and sunny, which allows the grapes to fully ripen, the sugars to maximise, and the winemaker to deliver a powerful wine.
Venturer Costiéres de Nímes 2016, France, 14%, £5.49
Produced under the branding of Aldi’s ‘Venturer’ range, the striking blue label is well presented, with a pretty (almost gift-like) design carried from the main label through to the neck covering. In a similar style to the wines of nearby Cháteauneuf du Pape the bottle has some wonderful embossing that delivers a true air of elegance and value.
A nice further subtle packaging touch comes from the side of the cork, which is proudly branded ‘Valle du Rhone’.
In colour this is a dark and inky black wine immediately drawing you towards the notion that this is made in a full and chunky style. A light youthful purple rim offsets the almost opaque centre colouring.
On the nose there are densely packed well ripened, almost raisined, fruits. Wild black cherry is inter-mingled with blackberries, prunes and herbaceous brambles. On top of this there are the floral touches of both vanilla and violets as well as the darker notes of black coffee. This is stacked full of intensity.
The palate deals well with the stewed nature of the darker fruits, and the wine is dense but not chewy, thick but not cloying. Lots of pepper spice is dotted throughout like a well-seasoned Merlot or Shiraz, and counter-balances the sheer volume of ripe fruit.
The acidity comes in on the lighter side of medium attempting to tame the beast and, to me, feels just a touch too light to allow the palate to be 100% balanced. As such, the stewed fruit still manages to carry a touch of harshness as well as ripeness.
As suspected, a little time in the glass allowed the depth to evolve further and smooth out the rough edges, even allowing a little light grain tannin to appear from within the dominant fruit. The overall sensation was rustic, powerful, but perhaps, just looking for a little finesse to top it off.
I suspect that may well come with a perfect food to match up to the robust style, so if you’re looking for a wine to partner up with some serious meats, stews, or other winter warmers, it would well be worth giving this wine a try.
With Thanks to AldiUK for supplying the bottle used in this tasting.