The Roussillon region, which forms part of France’s border with Spain, is best known for its reds and fortified wines, but can make surprisingly impressive whites, too. Jérôme Collas makes small amounts of this deliciously characterful white blend from a combination of old-vine Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Macabeu, grown at a cool 350 metres. The result is a taut, herbal, savoury white with refreshing acidity, a nutty, salty tang and hints of white flowers and fresh pears. One of number of great Roussillon selections from Joie de Vin.
Cairanne whites are something of a rarity – even more so than in nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape – but when they are as impressive as this blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussanne, you wonder why. Textured, complex and oatmealy, this shows deftly interwoven oak, subtle pear and apricot fruit and a mineral flourish.
At only £15.95 a half bottle, this has to be one of the best value fortifieds on the market at the moment. It’s a mature, salty, rancio-style wine made from Grenache Blanc and Macabeu that’s mid way between a Sherry and a Tawny Port in style. Try it poured over vanilla ice cream or with a walnut tart.
Made entirely from Garnacha Blanca, this delicately oaked white is creamy and herbal, with lovely texture, pear and honeysucke fruit. a touch of aniseed and a taut, minerally finish.
A pure Garnatxa Blanca that is still showing its oaky shell. Savoury/sweet with assertive, toasty oak and some bitterness. Decently made, but the oak seems a little too intrusive, at least for now.
An organic blend of Garnatxa Blanca, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay from one of the most dynamic producers in the region, this is a modern, oaky white showing flavours of pear and apple with some cinnamon spice and tangy acidity.
Rich, oxidative style Garnatxa Blanca with masses of flavour and concentration: savoury, spicy and rich with well-integrated oak, tangy acidity and thick, powerful flavours. Emporda’s answer to Meursault.
Old vine Garnatxa Blanca from one of the top three producers in Emporda, this is a delicious white: savoury, fresh and well balanced with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, bright, spicy fruit, lovely texture and amazing concentration. (see last year)