Lidl Ireland launched its fine French wine sale yesterday, offering a Pomerol AOP Château Nenin 2010 at €65, which according to a Lidl spokesperson is the "highest priced wine [Lidl] has had on sale" to date.
Other Bordeaux wines in the collection include Pomerol AOP Cht Vieux Maillet 2007, priced at €35, Margaux AOP Chevalier de Lascombes 2010, priced at €30, and Saint-Estèphe AOP Ch. Andron Blanquet 2009, priced at €27.
Each wine is rated by Lidl's resident Master of Wine, Richard Bampfield, with a scoring system based on the familiar scale used by Robert Parker. Using this scale, the Château Nenin Pomerol commands a score of 95.
In total, the range includes 43 wines from across the classic regions of France, including Bordeaux, Bourgogne and the Loire Valley, which the retailer said "represents its "largest wine offering to date."
"The question is not are customers going to go to Lidl and spend €65 on a bottle of wine, as there is only one available at that price," Kevin Ecock, Checkout's wine editor, told Retail Intelligence. "The question is are they going to purchase the wines in the €20s and €30s. If you average out the prices across the Bordeaux wines, they end up in the mid-20s, and that's certainly unusual for a retailer like Lidl."
Ecock suggested that Lidl may only be 'scratching the surface' in terms of the range of upmarket French wines it will be seeking to introduce to its stores. "They're seeking to attract middle-class customers, that have a bit of extra cash to spend, and telling them 'we're not just a discounter, we're also a wine store'.
"If you look at most of these wines elsewhere, if anyone else was buying them, they would be considerably more expensive," he said. "Lidl has recently held major tastings in Bordeaux, featuring some serious wines, and they are not the ones that have appeared here on Irish shelves."
In addition to Lidl, both Aldi and Dunnes Stores are currently offering a range of French wines for sale, with the latter dedicating approximately 30% of its French Wine Sale to wines from the Bordeaux region.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones