I’m not sure why Lidl has a “fine-wines” section. There doesn’t appear to be much difference between their “regular” and “posh” wines. This Lidl Chablis, for instance, was found in the cheap section, but was (at the time of writing) the most expensive white in the shop.
It’s not often I march off with a shop’s most expensive wine, so buying this gave me a satisfying “big fish in a small pond feeling” (only joking. I’m firmly opposed to snobbery).
As you probably know, all Chablis is made from that most versatile of grapes — chardonnay, and comes from a protected region in the north of Burgundy. Its northerly (thus relatively cool) climate produces a steely, very dry wine, which comes in grades of quality/price, ranging from regular Chablis (like this one), to Premier Cru, to the high-end Grand Crus.
And because it’s a protected area, with controls over how the wine is produced, that means a Chablis is a Chablis, right? To an extent, yes. You’ll always pay a premium for the Chablis name, in return for the peace of mind that you’re getting a product that conforms to the region’s minimum production standards.
And at £9, this one is about as cheap a Chablis as you’ll get (you’ll struggle to find any under £11 elsewhere). But is there a catch?
At its worst, Chablis reminds me of flat Champagne (which makes sense, as Champagne is made not too far away, from some of the same grapes. It has a similar bready, yeasty taste from being matured “on the lees”). Unfortunately, this one falls into that category. It’s very acidic and slightly creamy, with pear and peach flavours. But it’s lacking something. Maybe I’m just not a huge Chablis fan, but I was disappointed with this one and I can’t bring myself to award it more than…
3 NINJA STARS
Lidl Chablis 2015, 12.5% volume: £9 at the time of writing
Chablis isn’t for everyone. Some find it too “austere”. If you prefer something softer and fruitier, go for a Macon Villages instead. They’re also made from chardonnay, but grown in the warmer climate of southern Burgundy. This gives the grapes a longer ripening time, leading to a sweeter wine with some stone-fruit (peach, apricot) character. It should be a bit cheaper too.