Arneis is Piedmont’s best white grape in my opinion, especially when it offers the sort of value and fruit concentration on show here from Ascheri in Bra. Refeshing and zesty, with a slight spritz, but with plenty of weight and concentration behind, with pear and angelica spice and a deliciously bitter twist.
This is only the “entry point” wine from Hawkes’ Bay producer, Trinity Hill, but what a cracker is it. The addition of a splash of Viognier gives a little more aroma, but it’s the Syrah that drives the wine and gives it focus. Violets, plums and cracked pepper on the nose and palate, with spicy tannins and oak adding extra complexity.
Supple for a 2011, but showing good underlying acidity, this southern Burgundian Chardonnay is all about fruit and focus, not oak. It’s taut and fresh with a whiff of orange zest, and flavours of fennel, white peach and pear.
If you’re on the hunt for comparative bargains in th Côte de Beaune, Marc Colin in Saint Aubin should be at the top of your list. This is everything I love about 2012 white Burgundies: focused, yet generous, with citrus rind acidity, a touch of oatmeal, subtle oak and a core of stony, chalky fruit. Superb white Burgundy at a very affordable price.