As most people would know, Aldi is now selling liquor at some of their WA stores, despite the vehement opposition of the usual suspects when it comes to anyone daring to apply for a liquor licence in WA. Stores at Butler, Harrisdale, Joondalup, South Lake and Wattle Grove are selling around 100 Aldi branded liquor products, of which 63 are wine – Aldi work with well-known wineries from across Australia to source wines which are then labelled and sold under Aldi’s brands.
Recently we were sent a selection of 6 of the range to sample and comment on – two whites, both sourced from Margaret River, three reds – two from Margaret River, the other a blend from SA and Heathcote, and finally a champagne. Over the past couple of weeks we have been working our way through them, at times with food, others on their own – and my thoughts about each follow, in the order I think they sit.
Blackstone Paddock 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.99)
Sourced from Margaret River, which produces 20% of Australian premium wine from only 2% of the total Australian crush – and even more tellingly insofar as Cabernet Sauvignon is concerned, Margaret River Cabernets have won 13 of the past 14 capital city wine show Cabernet awards from only 3% of the country’s total Cabernet production. That is to say, if you are looking for quality Cabernet Sauvignon then Margaret River is the first place you should be looking!
The wine is bright, deep red, a liltingly perfumed nose with aromas of blackcurrants, ripe mulberries with just a hint of violet florals. A medium bodied, smooth palate with good varietal characters – flavours of plums, chocolate and vegetal tobacco leaf notes. We drank this with a pizza from our local pizzeria, Louie’s, and it went down very well indeed.
The Blackstone Paddock sits happily with other Margaret River Cabernet selling in the range $25 to $35 – so good value for money and along with the champagne my pick of the six. And it should develop a little more over the next couple of years.
Monsigny Brut Champagne NV ($19.99)
Pale golden hue, with flecks of green, and a bouquet of lemon blossom and toasted bread; it has a fine and consistent bead, with a creamy mousse, and citrus and green apple flavours.
A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier it apparently is one of the top 10 largest selling champagne in Australia.
If you are looking for a pleasant, straightforward, true to type champagne then at the price this is certainly worth a look, and a taste!
AC Byrne and Co 2016 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ($7.99)
I drank this at lunch with a mate at a Korean restaurant and it suited and complemented the spicy flavours of the kimchi pancake and seafood soup.
It is pale with a touch of gold, aromas of passionfruit and citrus are evident, with a crisp, clean finish making it an enjoyable tipple – uncomplicated and satisfying drink-now wine at a pretty good price.
AC Byrne and Co 2015 Cabernet Merlot ($9.99)
Blackcurrant aromas with some Christmas cake notes floating around; medium bodied with smooth tannins and an enjoyable dusty chocolate edge to the palate. Not a keeping proposition, but pleasant enough and at the price well worth having a look for every day drinking, although there are probably a few other WA reds at similar prices I would go to first –but nice with pasta as we found.
AC Byrne and Co 2016 Chardonnay ($9.99)
We knocked this off in our courtyard on one of those sunny spring days we have had recently and it suited the mood.
Translucent hue with lemon blossom aromas, it has a bright acidity with pronounced flavours of honeydew melon and nectarines. A pleasant enough, easy, short-term drinking wine without scaling any great heights. No particular faults, but nothing to write home about.
Aldi are bringing out a Reserve Margaret River chardonnay later in the year which, hopefully, will be more true to the Margaret River style we are accustomed to.
One Road 2015 Shiraz ($6.99)
A blend sourced from South Australia and Victoria’s Heathcote regions. Although it is getting high in alcohol content at 14.5% it doesn’t show any of the hot volatility some warmer climate Australian Shiraz exhibit. It has ripe plum aromas, and is medium bodied, smooth, and very easy drinking – not a lot going on but for the price pleasant everyday drinking.