New £3.99 Lateral Chilean wine range from Tesco
Tesco’s new Lateral range of five Chilean wines is at their value end of the wine aisle. Selling at £3.99 a bottle, the three reds and two white wines are all bottled as single grape varieties. So you’ll find a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay.
But looking more closely you’ll see that the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot has some Cabernet Franc mixed in, the Pinot Noir has some Syrah, while the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are mixed with Pedro Gimenez (also spelt Ximenez and a grape variety also used to make sweet sherry labelled PX). This blending of grape varieties into what looks like a single varietal wine helps keep the price down. Wine laws allows the addition of about 15% by volume of a cheaper grape variety while the label still shows just one grape type.
But are the wines any good?
The Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot are clear 5-star winners having quaffable fruity flavours. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes in at 4-stars with a slight sharpness on the flavour knocking it off the top rating, but the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are disappointing and not really worth seeking out.
You’ll notice that four of the five Lateral wines are showing on the Tesco grocery website as being an Aldi price match (only the Sauvignon Blanc isn’t). But priced matched to what exactly?
Aldi’s wines consist of the £3.69 Grapevine range, Cambalala and Estevez wines at £3.89 and Kooliburra at £3.99.
Looking to Lidl (Aldi’s direct competitor) we find their Cimarosa range of whites, rosé and reds selling at around £3.99, plus a Hungarian Pinot Grigio at £3.99 and the Libertario Tempranillo at £3.79.
You could also try Asda’s Nice Drop range consisting of eight wines priced between £3.75 to £4.50.
So at £3.99 the Lateral range may be cheap but there’s a whole lot going on in the bottle.
Lateral Chilean Sauvignon Blanc
At only £3.99, this Sauvignon Blanc has quaffable peardrop and lime flavours. Simple, enjoyable stuff that won’t break the bank.
Lateral Chilean Merlot
At only £3.99, this Merlot has flavours of rich plum and damson, with a raspberry jam sweetness. There’s also some cherry too. A quaffable red at a very attractive price.
Lateral Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
A rich and fruity duo of flavours: blackberry and blackcurrant are there with a bit of cinnamon spice and toffee smoothness. It’s got a touch of sharpness to stop it being so rich that it stops being quaffable. Simple but enjoyable.
Lateral Chilean Chardonnay
The Chardonnay in the Lateral range proves to be rather ordinary and slightly watery in flavour. The aroma is fruity with melon and apple but the addition of the oaky flavour makes it rather disjointed with a definite cheese taste. This is about as good as you’d normally expect a budget wine to be so its comparison to the others in the range makes is disappointing.
Lateral Chilean Pinot Noir
At £3.99 this is at the value end of a wine made with the Pinot Noir grape variety, and sadly it shows. Nice enough with juicy cherry and blackberry flavours but there’s a burnt edge that comes through. Aldi’s Beachfront Pinot Noir knocks spots of this but then it is £6.49.
The wineuncorked.co.uk wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:
5* outstanding – the top rating given by wineuncorked.co.uk
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain
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