The best Aldi red wines for under $15
I said in an earlier Money magazine piece that "Aldi have set a new benchmark for value on the Australian wine landscape". And I'm happy to repeat that.
Better still, I offer eight excellent examples of value from the Aldi range for less than $15. Some are obviously better quality than others: some are remarkable: all are at least good drinking at a price that will please.
I didn't have room for my cousin Edna's favourite, the 2021 Little Birdwood Cabernet blend which I wasn't wild about - but I sent it along to my wife, Elaine's French group, and they enjoyed it. For $5, you could hardly complain.
2021 Small Talk Pinot Noir $8.99
Of all the grape varieties, pinot noir is probably the most difficult to make really well and cheapily. So this pinot from the South Australian Riverland is no world-beater. But it's a jolly good drink!
The winemaking is thoughtful: night harvesting, using no oak, adding a touch of petit verdot to help give the tannins some character.
It's light to medium-bodied, fresh, soft and easy to gulp with strawberry and red cherry flavours, finishing dry with light, lively tannins.
2020 Les Argelieres Pinot Noir $10.99
This is sourced from the Languedoc-Roussillon in France's warm south and is quite tight with a surprisingly firm feel yet the texture still fleshy.
It is medium-bodied, smooth in the mid-palate, showing power and depth. A decent early drinking red and a pleasing contrast to the Aussie pinot.
2020 Charles Renoir Beaujolais $10.99
Sourced from the picturesque, hilly Beaujolais just south of Burgundy, which is home to the gamay grape.
This is a pleasant regional red, lightly framed with strawberry and red cherry aromatics. It is clean, fresh and attractive, with supple ripe strawberry flavours, well-made, soft easy drinking.
2020 L'Expression Gamay $8.99
This is cheaper than the Charles Renoir because it is sourced widely from the warm areas in the south of France.
However, it does show the soft, fleshiness of gamay, a gentleness of touch in the mid-palate, and black cherry and redcurrant flavours. There's a pleasant lingering finish, too.
2021 Unspoken Barossa Shiraz Merlot $12.99
Striking packaging, though some, like me, will have trouble reading the label. Still consumers are unlikely to have any problems drinking the wine.
This is a textural red with restrained spicy aromatics, a clean, smooth mid-palate that is supple, fleshy, bright and youthful. Substantial, clean and well-made.
2021 The Birds and the Bees Organic Shiraz $11.99
This is a wine for the times, made using sustainable organic practices at a price most households would find sustainable.
Sourced from South Australia, it is soft, very easy drinking and balanced by a pleasing yet noticeable grip to finish.
2021 Wolf Blass Shiraz Label Shiraz Cabernet $14.99
This is a ripper. An exclusive release through Aldi of a shiraz cabernet blend sourced from McLaren Vale, the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa.
It has bright, fresh aromas of red cherries and dark plums, is light to medium-bodied yet intense with pleasing red cherry and blueberry flavours. Just the red for ragu bolognese, beef sausage with onions or homemade hamburger.
2016 Marques Del Atrio Rioja Reserva $11.99
This delicious red blend of tempranillo and graciano has spent three years aging in its Rioja cellars, giving it time to mature and come together. Rioja, in northern Spain, is one of the country's oldest and most highly-regarded regions: its reds deserve the screwcap with which this wine is protected.
The 2016 Marques Del Atrio is smooth and fine and has intense dark berry flavours with hints of licorice and molasses. It has power and depth and finishes with a fine core of ripe tannin which persists. Wonderful value.
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