By Rose Murray Brown MW   Published in The Scotsman 9 July 2016

Looking for something different to quaff this summer?  Swop your Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay for one of these twelve quirky dry white suggestions from unusual lesser known grapes to spice up your summer garden drinking – all priced under £15:


Fleur de d'Artagnan Saint Mont Rude Wines reviewed by Rose Murray Brown MWFLEUR DE D’ARTAGNAN RESERVE BLANC   ***STAR BUY***
Grapes: Gros Manseng, Petit Courbu & Arrufiac
Origin: St Mont, South West France

£8.49 Rude Wines www.rudewines.co.uk
If you normally drink Chardonnay, try this mélange of unusual grapes from up-and-coming St Mont appellation in south west France which proved very popular with our tasters.  They particularly enjoyed the refreshing appley grapefruity notes, juicy zesty acidity alongside creamy rounded fruits: 13.5%

Grapes: Gros Manseng & Colombard
Origin: Gascony, South West France

£7.95 Berry Bros & Rudd www.bbr.com
Condom in Gascony’s old Armagnac country is the place to go for easy quaffing stainless steel fermented dry whites at sensible prices.  This blend of lemony nutty flavours in a surprisingly rich weighty palate, considering its moderate alcohol, scored highly with those who normally drank Loire whites:  12%

Feteasca Regala Berry Bros & Rudd review by Rose Murray Brown MWFEATEASCA REGALA DE CEPTURA 2013 Crama Ceptura
Grape: Feteasca Regala
Origin: Dealu Mare, Romania

£9.75 Berry Bros & Rudd www.bbr.com
Romania’s Feteasca Regala grown in the foothills of the Carpathian mountain offers pungent grapey, exotic fruit flavours similar to a heavy Muscat style.  Very full flavoured and weighty, it needs a plate of rich seafood or grilled fish.  It would suit those who normally drink white Rhones: 13%

Amalaya Torrontes Riesling Liberty Wines review by Rose Murray Brown MWAMALAYA BLANCO DE CORTE TORRONTES-RIESLING 2015   ***STAR BUY***
Grapes: Torrontes & Riesling
Origin: Salta, Argentina     
£9.99 Valvona & Crolla www.valvonacrolla.co.uk; Aitken Wines, Dundee www.aitkenwines.com; Ellies Cellar in Auchterarder, Alva, Perth, Linlithgow, Helensburgh, Crieff & Dollar www.elliescellar.com
This unusual zippy unoaked blend of Torrontes and Riesling hails from vineyards one mile above sealevel at 1,800 metres in Calchaqui valley in high altitude Salta.  Tasters loved its enchanting floral nose, banana and lychee flavours, crisp mountain freshness and intense flavour definition.  Torrontes can be a tricky grape on its own, but it works really well alongside the floral notes and acidity of Riesling in this blend: 13%

Grape: Cserszegi Fuszeres
Origin: Aszar Neszmely, Hungary

£7 Asda
Grapey peachy lightly spiced just off-dry white offers a great introduction to the unprounceable grape Cserszegi Fuszeres grape from Hilltop winery in Neszmely region.  Sweet Eastern spice notes with a honeyed aftertaste – ideal for summer garden aperitif quaffer with its moderate alcohol; suit those who normally drink Pinot Grigio: 11%



NURAGUS PEDRAIA 2015 Cantina Santadi
Grape: Nuragus
Origin: Sardinia   
£12.95 Valvona & Crolla www.valvonacrolla.co.uk
Nuragus, one of Sardinia’s oldest native grapes, is named after a small town between Cagliari and the fishing port of Oristano in the island’s southwest.  On sandy clay soils in lower Sulcis it produces very nutty white with pearskin aromas, slightly spritzy on opening, herby and lemon undertones, very full mouthfilling flavours with a typical Italianate bitter twist to the finish.  Producers Santadi suggest serving with pasta with bottarga (mullet): 13%

Altesse Savoie The Wine Society review by Rose Murray Brown MWROUSSETTE DE BUGEY-MONTAGNIEU 2014 Domaine Peillot   ***STAR BUY***
Grape: Altesse
Origin: Savoie, France

£12.95 The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com
Hugely popular with tasters who loved this unusual quirky crisp white made from Savoie’s local Altesse in the Alps north east of Lyons.  Floral yeasty honeyed notes, a vivid mountain freshness mingled with lemony fruits and a waxy texture, good length and moderate alcohol.  Drink on its own or serve with rich seafood dishes.  Some tasters described it as ‘a real winner for summer drinking’: 12%

Malagousia single vineyard 2015 review by Rose Murray Brown MWMALAGOUSIA SINGLE VINEYARD 2015 Gerovassiliou
Grape: Malagousia           
Origin: Macedonia, Greece

£13.94-£15 www.thedrinkshop.com; www.winetrust100.co.uk; Inverarity, Glasgow; imported by Hallgarten Druitt
The ancient Malagousia grape was virtually extinct until winemaker Vangelis Gerovassiliou revived it up in vineyards in Epanomi in northern Greece in the 1970’s.  This wine comes from the oldest parcel in the vineyard produing a rich enchantingly citric dry white.  It might suit those who usually buy white Burgundy – it is partly oaked – and would match with a rich chicken dish with feta salad or Asian cuisine.  13.5%

DRY FURMINT 2015 Disznoko
Grape: Furmint
Origin: Tokay, NE Hungary 
£11.95/£12.95 Lea & Sandeman; Richard Granger Wines; Oxford Wine; H2Vin
New look this vintage (2015) for Disznoko’s dry Furmint, both in bottle shape (like an old Tokay bottle) and with a vinolok glass stopper to ensure freshness.  Suit those who normally enjoy Chablis; a sleek fresh vibrant unoaked white with grapefruit, apple and lime notes, quite minerally with full length; best served with grilled fish: 13.5%

Treixadura The Flower and the Bee Gomariz review by Rose Murray Brown MWTHE FLOWER & THE BEE WHITE 2014 Coto de Gomariz
Grape: Treixadura          
Origin: Ribeiro, NW Spain     
£12-£14 Woodwinters, Edinburgh & Bridge of Allan www.woodwinters.com; Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh www.harveynichols.com
Tasters loved both the pretty label and fresh refined taste of this Treixadura which hails from Ribeiro in Galicia.  If you have already tried neighbouring region’s Rias Baixas’ Albarinos, now try this enchanting peachy apricot rich creamy Treixadura.  It has a slightly fuller flavour than Spanish Albarino, but it is zippy fresh and balanced: 14%

Kerner Vallee Isarco Les Caves de Pyrene review by Rose Murray Brown MWKERNER 2015 Cantina Vallee Isarco   ***STAR BUY***
Grape: Kerner       
Origin: Alto Adige, NE Italy

£15.95 Les Caves de Pyrene www.lescaves.co.uk; www.buonvino.co.uk
Never heard of Kerner?  This cross between a white and a red grape: Riesling and Trollinger bred back in the 1920’s in Wurttemberg, Germany to achieve a disease resistance, high yielding and high sugar grape.  Floral hints and minerally element from Riesling combined with a full creamy palate.  This unoaked Dolomite white was very popular with tasters at our recent Italian tasting matched with melon and prosciutto: 14%

Perle de Jones Carignan Gris The Wine Society review by Rose Murray Brown MWLES PERLES DE JONES CARIGNAN GRIS 2014 Domaine Jones
Grape: Carignan Gris       
Origin: Languedoc Roussillon, Southern France

£14.95 The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com
Katie Jones champions the unusual Carignan Gris grape from her Maury vineyard in this rich textured dry white.   She originally bought a vineyard thinking it was just Grenache Noir, but found she had 500 vines of the rare Carignan Gris and other grapes amongst the old gnarled vines; she battles with this tricky late ripening grape with remarkable success.  Very herby aromas, textured oaky notes on the palate with firm acidity; best served alongside a platter of rich textured seafood like mussels, scallops or monkfish: 13%

Join Rose’s Alsace, Rhone & Savoie Masterclass on Thursday 22 September in Edinburgh £42 www.rosemurraybrown.com


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