The shock of the new

by Matt Walls
When tasting my way through a large number of unfamiliar wines, there are a few tell-tale signs that I’ve encountered something special. Firstly, an involuntary smile creeps over my face....

2012 Chartreuse de Mourgères Le Pèlerin Blanc, Pays de Caux

( £6.25, 12.5%, The Wine Society )

The grapes for this blend of Sauvignon, Vermentino and a hint of grapey Muscat come from land formerly owned by a Carthusian monastery in the Languedoc. It’s certainly an unusual wine with notes of wild herbs and flowers and a slight sweetness that reminds you of acacia honey. The Muscat adds an oily richness to the crisp frame.

BuySimilar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Muscat à Petits Grains, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino

2011 Domaine Les Yeuses Vermentino, IGP Pays d'Oc, Languedoc-Roussillon

( £6.50, 13%, Lea & Sandeman )

Vermentino, or Rolle, is one of those grapes that should be more widely planted, partly because it retains acidity and freshness in warm climates, but also because it has plenty of flavour. This is typical of the variety, and at a very appealing price: orange peel and citrus zest with an undertone of Mediterranean herbs and a tangy aftertaste. Perfect for the last few days of summer. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-13Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, France, White, Vermentino