2007 Domaine Bott-Geyl Gewurztraminer d’Alsace Grand Cru Sonnenglantz (available from OW Loeb)
One of a series of stunning wines from this outstanding Colmar-based domaine. Spicy and complex, with real intenstity and focus and none of the oiliness that can make Gewurz a one-glass wine. Balanced, elegant and very, very long.
2009 Domaine Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Hengst (Pol Roger UK)
One of two Riesling Grands Crus chez Josmeyer, this is the finer of the pair for me: smoky, minerally and dry with remarkable freshness, persistence and focus. Taut, tight and focused, this is a wine with remarkable depth of flavour.
2008 Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss Riesling Grand Cru Wiebelsburg (Champagnes & Châteaux)
Grown on sandstone and showing a hint of honeyed botrytis, this is light, elegant and sappy with delicate, almost transparent flavours, floral notes and a focused, minerally finish. One of Alsace’s most under-rated domaines.
2009 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Clos St Urban Grand Cru (Gauntley’s of Nottingham)
From volcanic soils, this has a hint of ‘phenolic’ complexity to it (a slight bitterness) with tangy, zesty, lime-like acidity, a touch of sweetness and a spicy undertone. Much drier than the Z-H wines used to be, and better for it.
2008 Domaine Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru, Capita (Corney & Barrow)
A Premier Cru sourced from a couple of different sites, hence Capita, this is one of best 2008s I’ve had in recent months: there’s acidity and struture here, all right, but it’s fleshed out by sweet wild strawberry fruit. A very stylish wine.
Champagne Fleury Blanc de Noirs NV (Vintage Roots)
Formerly known as Carte Rouge, this all Pinot Noir cuvée is savoury and dry, with lovely red fruits on the mid-palate, with small bubbles, a creamy mousse and very good palate length. Only 8 grams of dosage here.
2010 Domaine Olivier Pithon Cuvée Laïs, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes (Les Caves de Pyrène)
An equal blend of Macabeu and Grenache (Gris and Blanc), this comes from Calce in the hills of the Roussillon. Old barrels add a bit of texture to the remarkably fresh, herbal fruit: citrus, minerality and wild garrigue mingle winningly in the glass. Ludicrously under-priced for its quality.
2009 Château Maris, Continuité de Nature, Minervois La Livinière (Folly Wines)
Is Robert “Bertie” Eden finally starting to make the wines he has always dreamt of producing? This blend of old vine Carignan with 10% Grenache is a treat: pepper spicy, perfumed and well balanced with a palate-cleansing freshness underpinning the black fruits.
2008 Domaine Françoise Chidaine, Montlouis, Le Bournais Sec (H2Vin)
Proof, if you need it, tha dry Loire Chenin is world class, this is stunning, with a little bit of oak adding an extra dimension to the tangy, sculpted, apple, citrus and mineral rich liquid in the glass. Long, fine and very refreshing, with a sappy, almost salty tang.
2010 Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny, Terres Chaudes (Les Caves de Pyrène)
Thierry Germain makes some of my favourite Loire reds, typified by this silky, grainy, elegant Cabernet Franc. Fresh, elegant and subtly oaked with understated cassis and green pepper fruit and fine tannins.
2009 Domaine Huet Vouvray, Le Clos du Bourg Moelleux Premier Tri (Richards Walford)
The wine hasn’t been shipped yet – and will last for decades anyway – but this is one of the great Huet sweet wines: rich, harmonious, yet high-wire balanced with notes of honey, pear and apple, 95 grams of sugar, zesty acidity and near-perfect poise. What a wine!
2008 Chapoutier Ermitage, De l’Orée (Mentzendorff)
Michel Chapoutier’s Rhône whites are just as good as his much more celebrated reds. This 50% new oak-aged pure Marsanne is perfumed, mealy and complex with notes of honeysuckle, toast and citrus peel and the concentration and focus to age in bottle.