Key Review of Wine 6 June 2015 – Aldi Wines

A selection of Aldi Wines reviewed by Tony Keys

Aldi now accounts for around 10 per cent of grocery sales in Australia. What the wine percentage is I do not know but I’m sure they still have a long way to go before they make a noticeable dent in either Coles or Woolworths.

The wine range is small but well put together and Aldi Liquor online has a wider range than is held in stores.

Sauvignon blanc is the fad at the moment and Aldi presents several in various styles. As can be seen in the notes below, the Kaiora Bay reserve and the Qiwila from Chile were the wines that took my fancy.

The Kaiora Bay Pinot Noir is a fantastic buy and for pinot lovers worth a try. At $13 its hardly going to break the bank.

Several imported wines also gave pleasure but the absolute star was the Qiwila Maule Valley Chile Merlot 2013. Several of my friends have already tried it and are in agreement, it’s a damn fine drop and a bargain, perhaps the bargain of 2015, at $7.

The three wines in the UK are selling very well and my hope is it will prompt Aldi Australia to take on some specials of this class.

Aldi is well worth a visit to stock up on some interesting bargains, so go find, explore and enjoy.

Your Aldi stories are welcome.

Drink well,



Corte Carista Prosecco NV:

A Prosecco from Italy and very good. My lady described it as a cheerful wine and so it is, a hint of sweetness but not cloying, a wine of class. An easy 94 points and well worth $10.


Kaiora Bay ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014:

This is a good SB nose for me as it doesn’t aggravate but has the fresh pea character that I like. It’s fuller than many SB in the mouth and flows across the palate with all parts in the place they should be. 92 points and worth its $12.99.

Kaiora Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014:

Lacks the aggression on the nose that I think spoils many SB from New Zealand, however it is still more razor than screwdriver. It’s a wine that will be enjoyed by many and they will find it a bargain at $10 as many in this class are $12-15. 90 points.

Neve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014:

Two reviews for this wine, the first is my opinion:

It has a smell that zooms up my nose and wacks me between the eyes from the inside. The taste shrivels my palate and brings tears, not of joy.

Now my professional tasting note:

It has a classic NZ sauvignon blanc nose of green pea with an underlying odour cut grass. In the mouth it is crisp with not a great deal of flavour variation as it travels across the palate. It’s a style widely loved. 88 points and the value is right at $7.

Qiwila Chile Sauvignon Blanc 2014:

Fuller in style then NZ sauvignon blanc, so suited my personal taste better than most New World SB. I think it may disappoint some committed NZ wine drinkers but I rate it 92 and for me great value at $6.99.

The Pond Victoria Pinot Grigio – Chardonnay 2014:

Interesting nose that I couldn’t pin but it was pleasant, clean and fault free, tight even a little tart on the front of the palate but settles as it travels. Being honest it was better with a little air. It’s far from a poor quality wine so rates an easy 89 but there are elements that do not gel. Its parts are too loosely joined but that is being harsh in judgment. If offered a glass of this and not taking great notice it’s OK and value at $7.


Kaiora Bay ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013:

Pure earthy pinot stink on the nose, it makes the nostrils flare in pleasure. It’s as true a pinot as any from other parts of the planet, but time to be critical, what is it lacking? Some depth, that is all, and $13 is a fantastic price. There are many pinots around three times the price and half as good. 94 points.

Neve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013:

Smells like PN and tastes like PN, therefore must be PN. It would make a better summer wine as it’s more enjoyable drunk cold, lacking the depth of flavour and real pinot perfume. 88 points and a fair price at $8.

The Pond South Eastern Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2013:

Soft and round and easy drinking, 87 points and worth its $7 if all that is required is a glass of red wine.

Block 129 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014:

Its origin isn’t stated on the label but the main part of the wine comes from The King Valley in Victoria. It’s a touch rough around the edge but that for me is attractive. To taste it’s harsh but it coped better along with food. 88 points and heck, with a cent change out of $5.00, it’s good for the barbie and ribs.

Second Left Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013:

Soft and easy drinking, it will have wide appeal but I would have liked greater definition. 89 points, OK value at $8.99.

Little Birdwood South Eastern Australia Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2014:

It’s a $5 wine but it has an edge which lifts it a little, putting it on par with The Pond. 87 points.

Blackstone Paddock Barossa Valley Shiraz 2013:

All the warmth and richness one expects from the Barossa without it being like toffee on the palate. A seductive wine that is highly perfumed and full of allure. 94 points and worth $20.

Blackstone Paddock ‘The Player’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2013:

For those who like sweet oak, this is the wine for you. For me the oak detracted from the good mulberry fruit and other interesting flavours. The oak really pulls this wine down. 88 points and Aldi has far better wines at a lesser price. $15.

Taylors ‘Special Release’ Clare Valley Shiraz 2013:

The quality one would expect from Taylors, deep, luscious and so very long stretching across the palate. Also, it will develop if kept correctly. 94 points and worth the $15 asked. Taylors Shiraz is around $15 at Dan Murphy’s so what is different about this? According to Aldi, “It’s a special blend that sits well above their Estate range and lines up besides the Jaraman Range, however it’s not Jaraman, rather a special blend for Aldi.”

International offers available in Aldi Australia:

Cotes du Rhone Villages 2013:

It’s lovely to smell good basic French wine, as nowadays I mainly smell and taste Australian wines. More feral is the best difference I can come up with and I like feral wine. This is very sound Villages wine and immensely enjoyable. It’s worth trying to taste the difference. For those that have been to France, it will remind them of eating at country restaurants. 92 points and fantastic value at $9.

Qiwila Maule Valley Chile Merlot 2013:

This stopped me in my tracks, Taste, wow, taste again double wow, “what the…. never mind.” This can’t be merlot can it? Or is there something else? Yes there is, it’s a 15 per cent carmenere content. It gave character to the wine and lifted the merlot to greater heights. The flavours tumble over and over as it travels and excite every taste bud on the way. 96 points and so far the best value wine of 2015 at $6.99.

Qiwila Maule Valley Chile Cabernet Sauvignon 2013:

A richer style of cabernet, it reminded me of McLaren Vale cabernet, very sound wine and extremely enjoyable. 93 points and great value at $6.99.

El Toro Macho ‘Reserva’ 2010: (Spain)

A blend of tempranillo, merlot, cabernet, shiraz and grenache. It’s quite a mix, the question being does it work? Yes it does and very well. What is strange is, it has part old world flavours and part new world flavours. It’s not deep in flavour but there are several flavours that roll over each other rather smartly. 92 points and very good value at just $7.

Bodega ‘Piedra Negra’ Mendoza Reserve Malbec 2012: (Argentina)

Robert Parker gave this 88. I think he is being a little mean as I think it a 90 wine. It’s a rich offering, coats the mouth with flavour that lingers for ages. It’s not elegant but for those that like the luscious style of wine it’s a great buy at $9.

Aldi UK

Aldi UK has introduced a trio of wines called The Lot Series retailing at £9.99. This is in response to research showing 51 per cent of UK Aldi customers fall within the ABC1 demographic bracket.

The KRoW has been lucky enough to receive samples of these wines for review. The packaging is extremely smart and would grace any table. Aldi has also recognised the maker of the wines and given more information of their origin than they normally do with their own brands. With luck we will see an international, higher quality range especially crafted for Australia in the near future.

Tasmanian Chardonnay 2013:

Crafted by Adam Eggins, head winemaker at Taylor’s wines. Tight on the nose with lots of lemon, I would prefer a touch more richness but that’s personal preference. It’s also very tight across the palate, again for me too tight. Just because Australia went overboard with richness in the past doesn’t mean that new style chardonnay has to be like a strangled then drowned wet cat. 90 points and OK value at £10. The accompanying notes say it can be left to mature until 2018. It might be interesting to review it then.

Pezenas Coteaux du Languedoc 2013:

I love a wine that has a nose so seductive I can get lost within it, a nose of naughty thoughts. Black fruits in the mouth with a feral edge, tannin still showing but one very sexy wine. 94 points and great value at £10 with lots of life if cellared.

Valle De Leyda Sauvignon Blanc 2014: (Chile)

“This wine has curves,” said Tracey the lady I was sharing the bottle with. A simple but rather accurate statement that saves readers ploughing through my tedious description. It is good, 94 points and value at £10.

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