The Montesquiou family have been a source of Jurancon wines for generations, today it is run by brothers Sébastien and Fabrice who have raised the quality of the estate to a new level. The brothers employ many of the techniques of biodynamic viticulture so that no insecticides and herbicides are used.
This blend of local varietals Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and Petit Courbu is fermented and aged on lees in stainless steel for 4 months. 2020 was a really good vintage for white wines in the South West of france with a hot dry summer following a wet spring. This dry white has great aromas of lime, orange blossom and cut grass, a refreshing acidity and delicious peachy flavours. Genuinely complex and terrific value for a wine of such quality.
Saint Veran Domaine de la Croix Senaillet is a truly magnificent example of Maconnais Chardonnay from one of the areas leading producers. It is a fleshy wine with vibrant lemon notes, apple and floral aromas all would round a fresh mineral finish. Its posh enough for special occasions but affordable enough for Wednesday nights.
Since the early 1990s, brothers Richard and Stéphane Martin have been farming this Domaine along strict organic principals. They have grown their holdings from 6 to 25 hectares in that time with the majority in the Davaye commune. Their wines offer tremendous value from a region that is seeing prices escalate. Their attention to detail and quality is quite something to behold and really shines through in their wines.
The nose is fresh and mineral, delicate notes of pear and white flowers. The palate is rich with green apple flavours and beautiful texture. All in a perfect picnic sized serve.
This is a half-size bottle.
Grown on rocky schist soils in the commune of Estagel. West to north-west exposure. The vineyard is called 'Poux Baly'. A beautiful, bright blend of Vermentino 38%, Grenache Gris 34% and Maccabeu 28% that is utterly delicious and versatile. Medium weight with a fine, fresh length.
Harvested at night into small crates and made very naturally and fermented in steel vats, with only one small addition of sulphites before bottling. Malolactic fermentation is blocked to keep the bright freshness.
Brilliant lemon in colour with a straw-yellow hue, this Chardonnay displays pronounced peach and nectarine aromas, with subtle spicy and charred notes from the oak fermentation and maturation. The palate bursts with flavours of freshly picked white nectarine and citrus, with a crisp and lingering acidity balanced perfectly by toasty oak complexity.
Once at the winery, the fruit was fermented in a mix of stainlesssteel tanks and oak barrels - a small percentage in new French oak and the remainder in older American and French oak hogsheads. After fermentation, the wine in barrel spent around 10 months on the lees with occasional stirring, to add texture and complexity. The portion that was fermented in stainless steel remained in contact with the lees for a 6-month period, with regular stirring. Finally, each component underwent a gentle fining before being blended and bottled.
100% Viognier from gore soils on Les Méjeans at Larnage, hand harvested in early morning, steel vat fermented at 18°C, raised 9 months, malo blocked.
A quite serious but relaxed and lovely, aromatic, floral, juicy but bright drinking Viognier. Delicious as an apero or with semi hard goats cheese, peaches and charcuterie. A classy drop indeed.
Low yield, old vines on arid volcanic Mt Vulture up to 800m altitude. Two ancient grapes one famed in Roman times one pre-Roman (Greco = Greek, southern Italy was Hellenic before the Romans arrived, and what did they ever do for...). Basilicata is the forgotten mid-south but in wines terms it is extraordinary and fascinating.
Made by a super-modern outfit, they have lifted this into proper word-class status. Aromatic, it smells like green melon and elderflower, light, no oak, pure, snappy. A triumph.
Decanter: "A lush white with striking tropical notes that would be great with a peach and burrata salad, though it has the freshness to make a fine aperitif too."
One of our best-selling wines - and it is obvious why!
The wine has a bright hue with a golden straw colour. It displays a refreshing nose of bright pear and peach blossoms with subtle lemon meringue and notes of freshly rolled oats. A full-bodied wine with great palate tension. Crisp apple and chalky citrus are infused with mild layers of Crème Brulé, spun sugar and floral potpourri. The flavours are vibrant, and the finish refined
A beautiful glass of white from Spains La Mancha, this Verdejo is a notch above the rest. Made from 30 year old Verdejo vines, there is a concentration which is often missing from so many of its kind. A dry yet fresh palate with lovely floral aromas and peachy flavours, there is a roundness throughout.
At Duckhorn Vineyards, we have been making our Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc since 1982. Harvested from our estates and select Napa Valley vineyards, this rich and elegant Sauvignon Blanc was blended with Sémillon to add depth and complexity. Fermented and aged using both stainless steel and French oak, it offers ripe citrus and tropical flavors, refreshing acidity and Sémillon-driven silkiness.
Way, way out of its class - no other Laguna matches this for complexity. Chablis-like in its bracing stony frame but layered with waves of white peach, ripe lime, tarragon, hints of chilli or ginger. A slightly eccentric but 100% gorgeous wine that really commands attention.
This modern, crisp white demonstrates bright citrus characteristics on the nose, while offering deliciously vibrant apple fruit flavours and a zesty twang courtesy of the Sauvignon Blanc on the palate. A long clean finish with hints of grapefruit.
Alain Geoffroy's estate produces this old vine premier cru from the Beauroy vineyard, accepted as one of the region's best. This is a very classic style, with aromas of white flowers, tinged with honey and lemon and a rich, rounded palate with those benchmark flinty notes.
100% Incrocio Manzoni Bianco grown organically in Valdarno Di Sopra DOC. A tiny production of 297 bottles and 3 magnums! The organic farming is also certified. Naturally fermented with only wild, indigenous yeasts after making the finest selection of grapes, destemming and soft pressing. Fermentation took place in a very fine new barrique (225 l) to which it rested for a further 10 months.
An intense and bright straw yellow colour happily greets the eye. The nose is broad and refined with hints of exotic fruit and citrus, white flowers and mineral nuances. On the palate, the wood marries extraordinarily well with the wine, adding texture and complexity with hints of butter and hay that marries well with a pleasant saltiness that embellishes the finish.
This comes across like a finely judged oaked Chenin Blanc and a good white Burgundy. Interesting, thrilling stuff!
The legendary and completely wonderful Giampaolo Chiettini helps the young (very young!) Rocco (23!) and his sister Meca (24!) on their beautiful estate in DOC Valdarno di Sopra. A very exciting young estate to watch.
Spain is really upping its game with its delicious white wines and this high altitude cool refreshing Rueda is an excellent example. Vibrant aromas of white peach, citrus and grass. Fruity, fresh palate, really elegant.
Racy passion fruit, tangerine and gooseberry flavours are graceful and elegant, with a lovely, alive mouth feel and a medium body. A zingy acidity adds to the elegance, and the flavours echo on the finish.
Elegant and well-balanced, Avalon CHARD offers aromas of Golden Delicious apple, orange blossom, guava with hints of vanilla and baking spices. These lovely characteristics flow through to the palate leading to a crisp and refreshing finish.
White Rhone wines are a bit of a hidden treasure, little-known outside France but well-loved by wine buffs around the world. This example is typical, and very good value. Nice, mouth filling texture, the style reserved rather like Chablis. Delicate nose with notes of white flowers and citrus. Well balanced in the mouth, it is fresh, with great vivacity and a hint of bitterness with salty aromas. Nice length.
A blend of 40% each Marsanne and Roussanne, plus 20% Grenache Blanc, the 2022 Cotes du Rhone Blanc La Ponce is floral and spicy, with marked pear and melon aromas. It's fruit-forward and medium to full-bodied, with a plush, silky texture and a long finish redolent of anise and white pepper.
100% Chenin Blanc from two parcels, 60% from a block in the Paardeberg (Swartland) and 40% from the Polkadraai hills of Stellenbosch. Both parcels are grown on Granite soils. The combination of these parcels brings together the best of both regions and makes an incredibly sophisticated wine that is also generous and meets all hopes and expectation. The Paardeberg portion is from a bush vine vineyard planted on decomposed granite giving the wine its elegance, finesse, and focus. The portion from the Polkadraai is planted on Granite and lends characteristics of yellow fruit and depth to the wine.
In the cellar
The parcels are vinified separately before being blended just before bottling. Grapes were destemmed, pressed, and left overnight to settle in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then racked to 3rd fill 500-liter French oak the next morning. The wine spent 10 months on its primary lees without any batonage before being blended and bottled. No commercial yeast or enzymes were used during the winemaking process.
ANALYSIS: ALC 13% | TA 6.1g/L | pH 3.34
"Gritty, granular, savoury. The sunflower seeds and meadow hay on the nose fold into pear puree and gem squash and roasted marrow on the palate gentle, comforting, subtle with the warm, rounded, wholesome embrace of roasted white and green squash, a sprinkle of spice, a drizzle of olive oil. But there is also a pickled-jalapeño bite that builds into a salty tang-tempered clamp on the finish." (TC) 17/20 Jancis Robinson, May 2021, Grenache Gris 2018
"Bright straw yellow colour with silvery nuances, the nose offers a beautiful aromatic intensity around elegant fruity notes, white fruits, citrus peel, fresh floral touches and a slightly smoky mineral hint. The mouth is pleasant and pure, marked by a superb tension which brings freshness, saline touches and ample flavours brought by a magnificent aging on lees which prolong the persistence with harmony and elegance. Altogether a beautifully well-balanced wine leaving you with a compelling sensation of freshness." Dominique Laporte, Meilleur Sommelier de France, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommelier.
Field selection and picking in small crates Whole bunch pressing Light racking Natural vinification without sulphites in concrete egg tank and 500L barrels.
Soil Type: Calcareous clay / Commune: Opoul-Périllos, Roussillon
Ageing on full lees for 9 months Racking off lees for clarification in tank Bottled at the Domaine.
50% Grenache Blanc, 40% Clairette (planted 1950) from 0.9 hectare on very stony alluvial soils at Sablet and 10% Roussanne on Gramiller at La Montagnette at Rasteau. The wine sees ferment in 80% steel vat, 20% old oak cask. Then bred for 6 months. 2,500 bottles produced.
The nose is all freshly cut juicy pears and gorgeous white flowers - so pretty, utterly charming. More fruit and flowers to the palate's silky juice. This is medium-bodied, elegant and long Southern Rhone white wine with fine acid. Really jolly drinking and great with delicate fish or simply as the classiest aperitif.
This 'baby Meursault' is derived from two small, advantageously positioned parcels of old vines just outside the village of Meursault. The 2021 is an excellent vintage that offers immense concentration and a more forward expression in the glass. It boasts opulent, rich qualities and focused minerality that mirror what we love in the wines of the appellation.The vineyards of 35 to 60-year-old vines lie just outside the AOC border of Meursault, which dramatically lowers the price while allowing for one of the greatest White Burgundy values we have. This wine is ready to drink now and doesnt need aging. Zesty, bitter citrus, lemon, and grapefruit characters, with a biscuity, yeasty character all held together by a spicy acidity, and a lean mineral salinity. Serious integration, sheer quality.
"The figures read 3.05 pH and 13% alcohol, a great balance. Another fine pale lemon colour. Very perfumed with a finesse which impresses. Pretty, fresh fruit and some floral notes, before a long saline finish though actually it remains fruit first."
Inside Burgundy, Jasper Morris - 2021
Dried apple, lemon rind, walnut, praline, dried honeysuckle and clove on the nose. Medium-bodied with tangy acidity. Bright and vibrant feel, balancing the rich, waxy layers of dried fruit and spice. Saline undertones. Some nougat and yogurt, too. Long. James Suckling 96/100
Complex nose, with nuts, tree fruit, some wax and honey too. Broad, creamy nose, yellow pear, peach, citrus. Very fine acidity. Quite full bodied and fleshy. Rich and persistent, very fine palate with lots of intensity and length. Sublime!
2/3rd new oak. Dense, sweet spice, yellow fruit, quince, savoury nose. Intense, spicy palate. Weighty, and round with powerful but well integrated oak, and balanced acidity. Generous rather than intense.
Expressive nose - cream, lees, baked lemons. Layered, phenolic grip on the palate. Youthful, fruity, and yeasty with bright acidity and a juicy finish. This estate gets better and better and I was impressed by the relative value owner and winemaker Chlotilde still offers.