Well, here we are already on to the final two wines of the 13th Aldi Wine Club panel, and once again it has been a great opportunity to try some wines not on my ordinary supermarket list.
As per the first two bottles received there was a last minute swap out by Aldi and, due to the nicer weather we’ve been seeing here in the UK recently, instead of the planned Chateau Peyredoulle Bordeaux I received:
Aldi Prosecco Superiore NV, Valdobbiadene DOCG, Italy, 11%, £7.99
Prosecco is a tried and trusted crowd-pleaser when the weather is warmer, such is the light fresh and fruity nature of the style, and I’ve no doubt that this particular example will be a favourite for many.
A lovely vibrant medium yellow in colour, the nose was full of clean apple and citrus notes.
The palate was immediately light and quaffable with the soft bubble explosion literally melting in your mouth. A well balanced and refreshing acid streaked down either side of my tongue giving a good spritz whilst allowing the fruit to stay in the centre of your palate.
Juxtaposing this lightness was the fruit character that the bottle described as autumnal, and they weren’t wrong. Rather than the crunchy green ‘Granny Smith’ apple you usually find in these lighter styles, there was a definite broody yellow apple tone reminiscent of ‘Golden Delicious’. Notably darker in character than ‘Granny Smith’, we had soft and sweet yellow flesh, both creamy and slightly bruised, with almost a touch of clove and cinnamon.
A touch of lemon citrus lifted the syrupy apple end palate which, at times, became almost cider-like. The shift between light and dark certainly made this an interesting wine to try, and the sweet apple kept the finish going in the mouth for some time.
Andara Merlot 2015, Chile, 13%, £3.99
This particular Merlot was due in the first batch of wines a couple of months back but, in a similar way to the Prosecco above, was shifted out and joins us here in the final two. Merlot is, of course, one of the French varieties that has made its home in Chile and thrives in popularity.
A medium youthful purple in colour with visible alcohol ‘tears’ in the glass, the nose was particularly full and interesting, with perceptible layers and density. Included were liquorice notes, black pepper, dark black berry and cherry, and wood with a whiff of vanilla. The overall sensation was slightly herbaceous with a cakey-bready thick complexion.
On the palate there were jammy blackberry fruits and a fairly high acidity, matched up against smoky dusky blue-skinned plummy fruit. There were also secondary tones of bitter dark chocolate and a touch of mint on the aftertaste. Whilst this should represent a veritable compote of flavour, all in all the palate felt a bit disparate with a raw unfinished quality, and not entirely well blended together.
Such was the imbalance of this wine, unusually for an Aldi Wine Club submission, I was able to discern the price prior to looking for it. At £3.99, whilst there is a good argument that such imperfection should perhaps be expected, I would counter-argue that wines such as Toro Loco show that quality at this level is actively attainable.
With thanks to Aldi UK for the bottles used in this tasting.