Raise a Glass

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), September 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

Raise a Glass


Byline: with Jane Clare

THE Claret Offensive isn't a football strategy; though it's certainly a winning formula. Last year Lidl launched its challenge to lure wine lovers into its stores with a promotion of over 50 wines. And now it is at it again.

A couple of days ago a new PS12m campaign began with 40 French wines added to the supermarket's range.

Wines are from classic regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, the Loire and Rhone Valley and will be available until stocks last. Prices start from PS4.99 for a pinot gris from Languedoc-Roussillon, and go up to PS16.99 (a Margaux from Chateau la Tour de Bessan).

Lidl UK's consultant Master of Wine, Richard Bampfield, assessed all the wines and nothing that scored below 80 out of 100 has been allowed on sale.

Styles include Fleurie (Bordeaux, PS7.99) Vacqueyras (Rhone, PS8.99) and Gewurztraminer (Alsace, PS7.99).

Ben Hulme, Lidl's Head of Beers, Wines and Spirits, says: "It is encouraging to see the UK has | Lidl's Particuliere Chateauneufdu-Pape a real appetite for good quality wines. This year we have worked closely with many large and small chateaux to provide our customers with a mixture of very well-known and some lesser known wines such as white Chateauneufdu-Pape."

I've tried some of the range. Let's kick off with the white Chateauneufdu-Pape.

You'll know about red Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but whites are a rarity, making up a tiny production of the region. They are generally a blend of rousanne, clairette, bourboulenc and grenache blanc.

Particuliere Chateauneuf-du-Pape (PS12.99) is in the traditional bottle of the region, embossed with the Papal coat of arms. This is a fruit cocktail of peaches and apricots. If you haven't tried a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape think of it as similar to viognier (a varietal cousin from the Rhone). If you haven't tasted viognier (you should) then trust me that this is a good white to buy for an autumnal day, very fruity and a little waxy. …

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