CHILL OUT SUMMER WHITES

CHILL OUT SUMMER WHITES image

By Rose Murray Brown MW    Published in The Scotsman 5 August 2017

 

Pack the picnic basket with one of our crisp quaffing whites to chill out in the summer heat:


Aldi Limoux ChardonnayFRANCE:  EXQUISITE COLLECTION LIMOUX 2015 Jean Claude Mas   VALUE BUY
(£6.99 Aldi)
Surely the best value Chardonnay on the market right now.  Made by Jean Claude Mas who is adept at producing very affordable and quaffable Languedoc wines, this delicious Limoux Chardonnay combines a rich buttery, plump citric fruit palate with a hint of toasty oak.  I love Limoux Chardonnay as it has ripe fruit, textural richness alongside a delicious vibrant acidity to freshen the palate: 14% alcohol

 

FRANCE:  LES FOSSILES REUILLY BLANC 2016 Domaine Denis Jamain

(£14.99 Virgin Wines www.virginwines.co.uk)    
If you normally buy Sancerre, this crisp sleek minerally Sauvignon Blanc with its moderate alcohol level made by organic grower Denis Jamain offers a similar style.  Reuilly is a little known appellation with fossil-based limestone soil, hence the wine’s name, located just west of Sancerre near Bourges.  Jamain inherited just a couple of hectares from his grandfather and now has 17 hectares in Reuilly, which he farms using both organic and biodynamic methods: 12% alcohol


PORTUGAL:  ALTANO DOURO WHITE 2016   
(£9.99 Tanners Wine www.tanners-wines.co.uk; The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com; www.winedirect.co.uk; Auriol Wines)
Altano is the name given to the thermal winds used by birds, like the owl on Altano’s label.  This white Portuguese quaffer comes from the home of Port in the hot Douro valley made by the famous Symington family from five native grapes (including Malvasia, Viosinho and Moscatel Galego) grown at high altitudes.  Despite its warm location, this is remarkably fresh with vibrant grapefruity flavours and melony softness: 12.5% alcohol


NEW ZEALAND:  ESK VALLEY VERDELHO 2015       STAR BUY
(£12.99-£13.49 bt www.nzhouseofwine.co.uk; www.thenewzealandcellar.co.uk; Luvians, Cupar & St Andrews; Oxford Wine Company; Cambridge Wine;  Woodwinters, Edinburgh & Bridge of Allan)
Verdelho was planted by winemaker Gordon Russell of Esk Valley winery in 1998 on Hawkes Bay's Gimblett Gravels from cuttings from Western Australia.  It is a difficult grape to grow as it is a poor yielder and flowerer so it has not caught on in North Island - but the one thing it is blessed with is acidity.  Russell partly barrel ferments his Verdelho in old oak to add complexity and enhance the texture.  Light pear aromas, orange citric flavours, peachy notes with full rich palate - but with that vital fresh zestiness that make Kiwi whites so drinkable: 14% alcohol.


ITALY:   FIANO SANNIO 2016
(£9.50 Marks & Spencer)
You can buy cheaper supermarket Fianos, but not as good as M&S’s deliciously crisp, pear and grapefruit toned example from Campania.  Planted on high altitude vineyards inland from Naples, made by Marco Giulioli with the help of local guru Dr Ricardo Cotarella.  Fiano from Campania tends to have better definition, structure and acidity than Puglian examples.  This would suit anyone who normally drinks Pinot Grigio or even New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, as it shares a similar crisp zesty freshness: 13.5% alcohol.


Semeli Feast White wine review by Rose Murray Brown MWGREECE:  SEMELI FEAST 2016
(£9 Oddbins)
Add this unusual Greek Moschofilero to your picnic feast.  If you like crisp dry lightly aromatic, grapey blossomy whites with a touch of spice – Greece is a great source of unusual dry whites.  It might seem strange as we think of Greece for beach holidays and baking heat, but many of its vineyards are at altitude benefiting from ocean breezes and cooler microclimates.  This Moschofilero was grown on cool breezy sites of Mantinia in the Peloponnese.  Srewcapped for easy access on your picnic too: 12% alcohol


The Lodge Riesling wine review by Rose Murray Brown MWAUSTRALIA:  THE LODGE RIESLING 2016 Jim Barry         STAR BUY
(£9.99 Co-op; £10.99/£14.99 Majestic Wine)
The famous Barry family bought The Lodge vineyard, one of the highest coolest sites in 1977 – speculating that this area of the eastern ranges of Clare Valley at 480 metres altitude would create steely Riesling style he was look for.  He was right – Clare has become a hot spot for the best Australian Riesling – but it is usually pricier than this.  At the Co-op price under £10 this is a brilliant buy – a firm zingy steely dry Riesling with limey fruits: 12% alcohol


FRANCE:  CHEVERNY 2016 Domaine du Salvard
(£8.95 The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com)
Cheverny is so little known as an appellation – yet it combines two of our favourite grapes: Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay in one glass!  Zippy aromatic and grassy from Sauvignon Blanc with a lemon flavour and oily texture from Chardonnay – a clever unoaked blend by the Delaille family in Loire’s Touraine: 12% alcohol


ITALY:  EXQUISITE COLLECTION GAVI 2016
(£5.49 Aldi)
You usually have to pay nearer a tenner for this Piedmont white, which makes Aldi’s example something of a bargain.  We tasted both Aldi and Lidl’s Gavis alongside each other – and this was the clear winner.  A crisp dry unoaked quaffer from the little known Cortese grape: 12% alcohol


SOUTH AFRICA:  BASTIONS V BUSH VINE CHENIN BLANC 2016
(£9.99 Virgin Wines www.virginwines.co.uk)
A crisp coastal Cape Chenin Blanc made by Marinda Kruger-Eck.  Named after the star shape of the Castle of Good Hope on Cape Town’s shoreline.  It ticks all the boxes for quaffability with its appley crispness, hints of tropical fruit and a hint of minerality – all you need for refreshment in the summer heat: 13% alcohol
                              

Join Rose’s Loire & Rhone wine & charcuterie tasting at Abode Hotel, Glasgow on Friday 1 September £42 www.rosemurraybrown.com