All too quickly it seems, we once again reach the end of another Aldi Wine Club Panel. First up for review is the white offering, a curious wine that’s only recently been added to their range and a label I’ve not tried before.
Campania forms the ‘shin’ area of Southern Italy’s visual boot shape and is home to many unique local varieties including Greco di Tufo. The Greco grape, whist perhaps not the first one to spring to mind, has slowly been making inroads to the UK market and it is a fine testament to Aldi’s commitment to wine that they are branching out from the trusted and crowd-pleasing stalwarts of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
Playing a key role in several top quality sites, it’s in the hillside areas surrounding the town of Tufo where Greco really makes its mark. The town is even named after the characteristic bedrock formed from condensed volcanic ash (known as ‘tuff’), and the free-draining nature of the soil allows the resulting wines to retain freshness and acidity.
The wine is produced by Castellore who have been well lauded for their ability to produce quality wines at an entry-level price-point.
Castellore Greco di Tufo 2016, Campania, Italy, 13%, £6.99
Even before opening the wine, the first thing to catch my eye was the wonderful packaging which, in my opinion, is a real shelf standout and would definitely make me purchase on sight alone. The matching neck label is also a nice touch.
Printed on slightly embossed paper and featuring a refreshing blue-lined watery motif, it really sets you up for a refreshing and clean wine. One thing that did seem odd though was the inclusion of a tasting note on the front label.
This guidance is something usually better suited to a back label, and certainly something you reveal after the drinker has had the chance to make up their mind on the wine. Perhaps, due to the Greco grape being a potential unknown, this is deliberate up-front positioning to ensure that the consumer is immediately in the right ballpark with the style.
The quality continues with a branded cork, which is always interesting to see on entry level wines as it is an additional expense that the winemaker could easily forego. Interestingly, the branding on the side of the cork seemed to indicate that the wine was bottled in Milan (!?) which is in the northern part of Italy.
Medium yellow in colour, on the nose there is clear lemon citrus and green pear flesh which, to be fair, is exactly what the front label had stated would be the clear features, so at least the pre-reveal is spot on.
The palate adds a good bit of tropical stone fruit flesh to the greener notes, such as peach and apricot (potentially the passion-fruit referenced on the back label), there’s a healthy dose of lime, and a searing fresh acidity cuts through leaving a light and airy, fresh and fruit-forward sensation. There’s a tiny touch of sour grapefruit on the end palate and just a whiff of pepper to round it off.
Whilst perfectly pleasant to drink on its own, if I’m honest this isn’t something I’d select as an everyday wine, due to it being fairly singular in tone. Greco is usually blended with other varieties (usually Malvasia) and this single varietal offering was just a tad one-dimensional, lacking depth behind the fresh fruit. So it’s not so much a failing in the wine, but more that my palate enjoys a buttery, deeper, richer style.
In general, Italian wine (especially regional specialities) are made to pair with the local foods, and so this lighter wine style would also come in to its own with some well-paired dishes.
With Thanks to AldiUK for supplying the bottle used in this tasting.