IMG_3336-225x300By Denise Medrano

When one thinks of premium Bordeaux, the discount supermarket Lidl does not spring to mind. But Lidl is working hard to change that perception with the recent launch this Autumn of their ‘premium’ range of wines. The range not only includes Bordeaux wines but also wines from other prestigious French wine regions.

Lidl are looking to go upmarket and have opened up a number of shops in such middle class markets as Maidenhead and Dorking. If this roll out is successful, they are planning on opening even more shops in and around London.

Although Lidl is known for their more downmarket shopper profile, the hope is that with this new range, they’ll be shedding that image. The wines start at £4.99 but the Bordeaux will range in price from £5.99 for a Bordeaux AOC up to £25.99 for a 2008 Sociando Mallet. It’s all very exciting and based on the tastings we had in Bordeaux I think they are offering some great wines. I was invited down to Bordeaux to not only taste some of the range but also to take a tour of a few of the chateau they will be featuring and to meet the wine makers.

Chateau Siaurac was our first stop and we had a lovely lunch on the lawn of the chateau with owner, Paul Goldschmidt. Paul was very proud of the wine that they will be offering through Lidl, the 2007 AOC Lalande de Pomerol Ch. Siaurac. Lalande de Pomerol is not as well known as it’s more famous neighbour, Pomerol, but the wines were of excellent quality and priced at £13.99 very reasonable. Paul noted that in dealing with Lidl they never asked him to bargain on quality. Lidl’s philosophy is to get the best they can at a fair price while still giving their customers great value.

Another producer we visited was Vignobles Rollet. A family owned vineyard in Saint Emilion, the family makes wines that are meant to be drunk now rather then later. Based on the tastings, they were readily accessible and perfect food wines. Priced at £11.99, the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru AOP Château Gaillard de la Gorce 2011 sec Rouge, is great value. If you like substantial Bordeaux wines with a generous body but still having freshness and acidity, this just the ticket.

In general, I was pleasantly surprised by these and the other wines that we tried within the new premium range. The new wines were launched in early September. Having been to Bordeaux and having had the opportunity to tastes the wines, I won’t be turning up my nose at Lidl’s new range.