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Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from Aldi

It seems fair to say that Aldi shoppers like an element of surprise – there’s always something unexpected turning up on this value-focused retailer’s shelves.

At this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, bottles from China and Canada were among Aldi’s top performers with Silver medal winners from these two countries being perhaps the most newsworthy of the retailer’s top-performing wines.

There were no fewer than 232 entries from China at this year’s awards, of which 105 were from Helan Mountain East in the north-central Ningxia region. Kanaan Winery’s Wild Pony, a Cabernet-dominant Bordeaux blend from Helan Mountain East, impressed the judges with its flavours of fruit compote and gentle spice, for which it was awarded a Silver medal.

From Ontario, Canada’s Niagara Peninsula came two Silver medal winners, both emblematic of what this region does so well.

At the sweet end of the spectrum was Lakeview Cellars’ Vidal Icewine, a luscious dessert style redolent of candied apple and tropical fruit; at the dry end of the spectrum was The Falls Riesling, with its bright, citrus-tinged fruit and bracing acidity. At £9.99, this relatively low-alcohol wine (11%) is great value, too.


Scroll down to see our Aldi shopper’s guide


Novelty seekers should also make note of Bon Afrique’s Clairette Blanche from South Africa’s Western Cape. This 100% varietal wine is characterised by a floral freshness – and at £8.99, it’s a bargain.

For sparkling fans, two Silver medal winners are worth seeking out. From Hampshire, Aldi’s own Specially Selected Classic Brut NV deserves special mention for its orchard fruit and citrus flavours, all underscored by nutty, toasty complexity – for under £20 a bottle.

From Champagne, the Blanc de Blancs Brut Vintage 2015 from Veuve Monsigny has all the toasty notes and citrus flavours that you’d expect from vintage bubbly, but at a price that’s more in keeping with a multi-vintage blend.

A combination of unusual finds and good value are Aldi’s driving forces. Keep an eye on the Aldi website for online exclusives that are not available to in-store shoppers, and see below for the award-winning wines to seek out…

Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from Aldi

Silver

Aldi, Specially Selected Classic Brut, Hampshire, England NV
Silver, 91 points
£19.99
Impressive wine with aromas of red apples, waxy lemons and red berries. On the palate, the apples are honeyed and there is fresh bread and toasted brioche on the tongue. Beautifully balanced, charming wine. Alc 12%

The Falls, Riesling, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada 2019
Silver, 91 points
£9.99
Inviting nose of bright apricot and citrus lime, then to a palate of bright acidity and a chalky minerality. Alc 11%

Bon Afrique, Clairette Blanche, Western Cape, South Africa 2021
Silver, 90 points
£8.99
Delicate white floral with lily of the valley and a subtle hint of orange peel. Salty, pithy palate with a Cognac fruitiness. Alc 14%

Veuve Monsigny, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne, France 2015
Silver, 90 points
£21.99
Lovely toasty and floral aromas with a hint of citrus notes. Appealing palate with lemon and a mineral chalky finish. Alc 12.5%

Kanaan Winery, Wild Pony, Helan Mountain East, Ningxia, China 2018
Silver, 90 points
£14.99
Broody black and red fruit compote with chocolate and spice aromas. Fresh and savoury, medium bodied, with slightly grainy tannins. Alc 14.5%

Lakeview Cellars, Vidal Icewine, Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada 2019
Silver, 94 points
£13.99 | 37.5cl
Candied apple and pear drop aromas lead on to a palate of papaya, pineapple and zesty tangerine peel. Alc 11.5%


Bronze

Veuve Monsigny, No III Brut, Champagne, France NV
Bronze, 87 points
£13.99
Sweet honey characteristics with some stalky notes and sweet sugar elements. Wine with serious body. Alc 12.5%

Aldi, Left Coast White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA 2020
Bronze, 88 points
£12.99
Clean, fruity aromas of pear and stone fruit, crisp acidity and fruit forward palate. Alc 13.5%

Alpha Estate, Single Block Tramonto Chardonnay, Florina, Macedonia, Greece 2018
Bronze, 86 points
£14.99
Flinty nose with notes of nectarine aromas. Refreshing on the palate, linear and light in body. Alc 13.5%

Silver Heights, The Last Warrior Chardonnay-Riesling, Ningxia, China 2020
Bronze, 86 points
£14.99
Zesty nose with slight lactic notes. Dry and fresh, crisp and focused, with a toasty aftertaste. Alc 12%

Château Chêne Liège, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France 2017
Bronze, 89 points
£18.99
Subtle red fruit aromas with meaty and tobacco touches. Sound and full on the palate. Alc 12%

Cocodrilo, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2020
Bronze, 89 points
£8.99
Inviting nose of rich red fruit, smoke and biscuit, and a palate of supple tannins and concentrated, plush fruit. Alc 14.5%

Le Nez Français, Cabernet Franc, Pays d’Oc, France 2015
Bronze, 89 points
£11.99
Developed ripe blackberry jam aromas, smoky leather and prune underneath. Soft tannins, warming blackberry, vibrant finish. Alc 14%

Lejano, Petit Verdot, Los Chacayes, Mendoza, Argentina 2017
Bronze, 89 points
£13.49
Inviting aromas of tea leaf, vanilla, coconut and herb lead to a palate of black fruit and tobacco. Alc 14%

Aldi, Jean Lefort, Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France 2020
Bronze, 88 points
£27.99
Deeply colored with nice tartness of fruit in a lighter style palate. Alc 13.5%

Aldi, Specially Selected Freeman’s Bay Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2020
Bronze, 88 points
£7.99
Mildly herbaceous nose with notes of red cherries and savoury hints. Easy tannins and light body. Alc 13%

Alpha Estate, Single Block Strofi Pinot Noir, Florina, Macedonia, Greece 2018
Bronze, 87 points
£14.99
Floral and fruity, raspberry and strawberry fruit. Juicy and fresh on the palate. Long finish. Alc 13.5%

Château d’Arsac, Margaux, Bordeaux, France 2016
Bronze, 87 points
£19.99
Elegant oak in the nose with savoury undertones. Assertive tannins with liquorice memories on the finish. Alc 13.5%

Aldi, Romain Duvernay, St-Joseph, Rhône, France 2018
Bronze, 86 points
£14.99
Warm black fruit nose. A bit rustic around the edges, but there are also grippy tannins and lovely concentration which is appealing. Alc 13%

Aldi, Specially Selected Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 2016
Bronze, 87 points
£9.49 | 37.5cl
Discreet nose of apricots and honey. Sweet and warm, lush, rich and full on the palate. Alc 13.8%


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