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I said in a previous Silver magazine article that “Aldi has set a new value benchmark in the Australian wine landscape”. And I am happy to repeat it.

Even better, I’m offering eight great value examples from Aldi’s lineup for under $15. Some are obviously of better quality than others: some are remarkable: all are at least drinkable at a price that will appeal.

I didn’t have room for my cousin Edna’s favourite, the 2021 Little Birdwood Cabernet blend which I wasn’t a fan of – but I sent it to my wife, Elaine’s French band, and they appreciated. For $5, you could hardly complain.

Small Talk Pinot Noir 2021 $8.99

Of all the varietals, Pinot Noir is probably the most difficult to make really well and inexpensively. So this South Australian Riverland pinot is not the best in the world. But it is a very good drink!

The vinification is thoughtful: nocturnal harvesting, no oaking, addition of a touch of Petit Verdot to give character to the tannins. It is light to medium bodied, fresh, sweet and easy to swallow with flavors of strawberries and red cherries, dry finish with light and crisp tannins.

Pinot Noir Les Argelieres 2020 $10.99

This hails from Languedoc-Roussillon in the warm south of France and is quite tight with a surprisingly firm feel yet the texture remains meaty.

It is medium-bodied, unctuous on the mid-palate, showing power and depth. A decent early drinking red and a nice contrast to Australian pinot.

Charles Renoir Beaujolais 2020 $10.99

From the scenic, hilly Beaujolais just south of Burgundy, home to the Gamay grape.

This is a pleasant regional red, lightly framed by strawberry and red cherry aromas. It’s clean, fresh and attractive, with supple flavors of ripe strawberries, well made, smooth and easy to drink.

The Expression Gamay 2020 $8.99

It is less expensive than the Charles Renoir because it comes largely from the warm regions of southern France.

However, we find the softness and fleshiness of Gamay, the sweetness of the mid-palate, flavors of black cherry and currant. There is also a pleasant lingering finish.

2021 Unspoken Barossa Shiraz Merlot $12.99

Striking packaging, although some, like me, will struggle to read the label. Still, consumers are unlikely to have any problems drinking the wine.

This is a textured red with restrained spice aromas, a clean and smooth mid-palate that is supple, meaty, bright and youthful. Substantial, clean and well made.

The Birds and the Bees Organic Shiraz 2021 $11.99

This is a wine for the times, made using sustainable organic practices at a price that most households would find sustainable.

Sourced from South Australia, it is smooth, very easy to drink and balanced by a pleasant but noticeable grip on the finish.

2021 Wolf Blass Shiraz Label Shiraz Cabernet $14.99

This is a ripper. An exclusive release via Aldi of a blend of cabernet shiraz sourced from McLaren Vale, the Adelaide Hills and Barossa.

It has bright, fresh aromas of red cherry and dark plum, is light to medium bodied but intense with pleasant flavors of red cherry and blueberry. Just the red for Bolognese stew, beef sausage with onions or homemade burger.

Marques Del Atrio Rioja Reserva 2016 $11.99

This delicious red blend of Tempranillo and Graciano has aged three years in its Rioja cellars, giving it time to mature and come together. La Rioja, in northern Spain, is one of the country’s oldest and best-loved regions: its reds deserve the screw cap that protects this wine.

The 2016 Marques Del Atrio is sweet and fine and has intense flavors of dark berries with hints of licorice and molasses. It has power and depth and ends with a fine core of ripe tannin that lingers. Wonderful value.

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