White Varietal: Other Whites
Georgian qvevri wine: if it’s good enough for God . . .by Simon Woolf
2010 Le Passé Authentique, Producteurs de Plaimont, Saint-Mont, South-West France( £9.99 down to £7.99, 13%, Waitrose )
There aren’t many (any?) wines on supermarket shelves made from three such obscure varieties as Gros Manseng, Arrufiac and Petit Courbu, but that’s only one reason for buying this wine, especially on a deal at £7.99. It’s crunchy, refreshing and unoaked with notes of pink grapefruit, apricot and lemon zest, with an underlying note of stony minerality. The wine lingers on the tongue like a haunting refrain.
2011 Monemvasia Kidonitsa, Laconia( £11.50, 13%, Bowes Wine )
The Kidonitsa grape may be new to you (you’re not alone there), but don’t worry about that because it’s a great drink. Spritzy and slightly honeyed, with the texture of a Pinot Gris but an extra dimension of flavour. A touch of straw, some ginger spice, a whisper of thyme. You can almost smell the Med.
Pierre Mansour: Wine Society selectorby Matt Walls
2011 Planeta La Segreta Bianco, IGT Sicilia( £9.25, 12.5%, Noel Young Wines )
An unusual Sicilian blend of mostly Grecancio with 30% Chardonnay, and 10% each of Fiano and Viognier, this confirms Planeta’s status as one of the most innovative producers on the island. It’s aromatic and winningly tropical, with hints of pineaapple and guava, zesty, pear and apple acidity and a fresh, dry, unoaked finish. The whole is greater than the sum of the wine’s parts.
Sicily: a continent comes of ageby Tim Atkin
Alsace and the meaning of traditionby Tim Atkin
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.
2010 Rhônes: still time to flash the plasticby Tim Atkin
Twelve Christmas wines under £10by Tim Atkin
2010 Domaine de la Bastide "Abondance", IGP Hauterive( £9.95, 12.5%, Lea & Sandeman )
A delicious, unoaked blend of two under-rated Mediterranean varieties, Roussanne (80%) and Vermentino (20%) from a little known area in the Languedoc. It’s fresh and tangy with notes of wet stone, green olive, fresh herbs, stone fruit and lemon peel. Crisp and refreshing but with underlying weight and concentration in reserve.