There can’t be many more complex Greek whites than this old vine Assyrtiko from the volcanic island of Santorini. Rich and textured, wtih aged flavours of toast and honey underpinned by steely acidity. There’s a lovely undertone of Mediterreanean herbs here, a hint of sweetness and a long, minerally finish. Very complex stuff.
Food Match: Fish
2010 Thymiopoulos Rosé de Xinomavro, Naoussa( £12.99, 14%, Theatre of Wine )
This is something of a curiosity, but there’s nothing wrong with that: copper-tinted, almost Pinot Noir like, with sweet and savoury fruit flavours, refresing acidity and a long, wild strawberry finish. It’s got a nip of tannin, too, which makes it perfect with food. Try it with a summer salad.
2010 Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir, Nelson( NZ $49.90, 14%, Contact the winery for details )
Lighter and more approachable than the Home Block release, but not far behind it in quality, this is a ripe, structured, red fruits scented Pinot with savoury, toasty oak, subtle, filigree tannins and some grip on the finish. Another wine that needs a year or two in bottle to show at its best.
2010 Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir Home Vineyard, Nelson( NZ$79.90, 14.5%, Contact the winery for details )
This is unashamedly New Zealand, even Nelson, in style rather than a Burgundian copy. It’s rich, savoury and textured, a wine whose pale colour belies its concentration, depth and complexity. The oak is a little too evident at the moment, but don’t hesitate to give it five or more years in bottle. Sweetly fruited, perfumed and very long.
2010 Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay, Nelson( £35 (approximately), 13.5%, Local stockists from the vineyard )
Neudorf’s status as one of the very best Chardonnay producers in New Zealand is only enhanced by this delicious new release: nutty, savoury, bready notes with well integrated oak, citrus acidity and nuanced lemon, vanilla and peach flavours. The wine has the concentration and structure to age further in bottle.
2010 Château de Beauregard, St Véran, Burgundy( £11.95, 13%, The Wine Society )
The more I taste white Burgundies from the 2010 vintage, the more I love them. Frédéric Burrier’s unoaked Mâconnais white is very stylish indeed, with notes of stone fruit and citrus and a long, chalky aftertaste. Who needs barrels when the flavours are as good as this?
2010 Txomin Etxaniz Chacolí de Guetaria, Basque Country( £13.99, 11.35%, Waitrose )
The wines of the Basque country don’t often leave Spain, partly because they are glugged so enthusiastically in the bars of San Sebastián and Bilbao, but also because they are difficult to pronounce. If you don’t know Chacolí as a wine style, it’s made from the Hondarribi Zuri grape, light in alcohol and often slightly spritzy. This one is tangy and refreshingly acidic, with a little fatness from lees contact and notes of apples and fresh lemons. Try it with sea food or a lip-smacking aperitif.
2011 Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé, Côtes de Provence( £9.99, 12.5%, Majestic )
We may still be waiting for summer here in rain-sodden Blighty, but why not pretend you’re on the Côte d’Azur with a bottle of this slinky, floral, pale pink blend of Syrah and Grenache. It’s delicate and very subtle with notes of rosehip and raspberry, bright, sappy acidity and a refreshing finish. Great as an aperitif, even better with salad, fish or chicken dishes. Essence of southern France.
2010 Tesco Finest Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc( £7.29, 12.5%, Tesco )
On offer from April 2nd to the 30th (the price comes down to a very attractive £5.79), this is a textbook example of the Languedoc’s best seafood white. Citrus and white pepper on the nose, with a hint of white peach, this is zesty, medium-bodied and unoaked, with a fresh, tangy finish. Try it with a plate of oysters or mussels.