A monthly review of an easily obtainable wine that’s had a recommendation somewhere in a National newspaper. Always posted just before the usual monthly theme, this may be the latest post for only a few days…

Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2014 (Aldi £7)

A very red month coming up with the focus on Nebbiolo, so we start February with a white – in some ways – at the other end of the wine spectrum: Riesling. The grapes do have some things in common though – acidity, age-ability, and if you chose well, complexity!

This wine won the “Great Value Champion White” accolade at the 2015 IWC. It is light with an immediately beguiling nose of orange-blossom florality, a little of the hallmark diesel aroma, citrus hints, and as it warms – peachy fruit. The nose fades a little and doesn’t have the open pungency of many lime-fuelled Clare Valley Rieslings. You might regard that as either good or bad however…

The palate has a sappy acidity, citrus with a slightly grainy texture. The citrus is more lemon and lemon pith than lime again and warm – and slightly reigned in. There is a sweet peach element in the centre which grows in volume as the other flavours recede. Later the bitter-sweet lemon pith finish shows mineral hints.

With food (a chicken in spicy sauce) the sweet peach fruit core helps but the acidity surrenders, making the wine appear shorter.

All in all a slightly restrained or, if you’re feeling harsh, dilute Clare Valley Riesling. It has many elements of a good dry(ish) Riesling but they appear sequentially rather than in integrated complexity.

Still this wine costs £7… that criticism, if criticism it be, could be lived with…

Ratings: Quality: 13/20     Value: 16/20