This is consistenly one of my very favourite Albariños (and Spanish whites for that matter) from the historic Fefiñanes winery. It’s spritzy, perfumed and refreshing with that Riesling-like crispness that you get in the best Galician whites, notes of pear and stone fruit and a long, satisfying, palate-tingling finish. The taste of (green) Spain.
Wine Type: White
2011 Three Choirs Regalia, Gloucestershire( £6, 12%, Asda )
The focus is rightly on English sparkling wines, rather than the unfizzy stuff, but this fruit salad blend of five grapes is well worth trying, especially at only £6. It’s got that classic English bouquet of hedgerows and elderflowers, combined with some stony, minerally notes. On the palate it’s crisp and just off dry with crunchy acidity and bright grapefruit and green apple flavours. An excuse to buy British, or rather English.
2011 Auzells, Costers del Segre, Catalonia( £9.95, 13%, The Wine Society )
Made from no fewer than eight varieties (with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Muscat among them), this is an intriguing nothern Spanish white that combines perfume with fruit intensity. Grapey, fresh and lime-scented, it’s a focused, floral dry white with a hint of bitterness on the finish.
2010 Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas White Wine, Beiras( £10.95, 12%, The Wine Society )
A taut, minerally, screwcapped white blend from a producer whose white wines age really well and are just as good as his more famous reds. Fresh, unoaked and slightly smoky with hints of jasmine and ginger spice and a long, satisfying finish. Portugal’s answer to Chablis, with a hint of Riesling thrown in, this proves that local grapes like Bical and Cercial are capable of producing thrilling, bottle-matured white wines.
2011 Herbis Verdejo, Castilla y León, Galicia( £9.49, 13%, Naked Wines )
You get this wine a good deal cheaper if you become an “angel” (don’t ask), but it’s still worth the full bottle price as a rich, minerally, unoaked Verdejo from the cool Rueda region. Gapefruit zest and some stone fruit on the palate with a fresh, tangy finish.
2009 Assyrtiko de Mylos, Santorini( £25, 14.5%, Theatre of Wine )
There can’t be many more complex Greek whites than this old vine Assyrtiko from the volcanic island of Santorini. Rich and textured, wtih aged flavours of toast and honey underpinned by steely acidity. There’s a lovely undertone of Mediterreanean herbs here, a hint of sweetness and a long, minerally finish. Very complex stuff.
2011 Neudorf Moutere Riesling, Nelson( £17, 9% )
The Riesling from this brilliant Nelson winery is often overlooked, such is the quality of its Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs, but this medium dry style is a delight, all lime peel and stone fruit, with a steely backbone of acidity that wouldn’t look out of place in the Rheingau.
2010 Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay, Nelson( £35 (approximately), 13.5%, Local stockists from the vineyard )
Neudorf’s status as one of the very best Chardonnay producers in New Zealand is only enhanced by this delicious new release: nutty, savoury, bready notes with well integrated oak, citrus acidity and nuanced lemon, vanilla and peach flavours. The wine has the concentration and structure to age further in bottle.
2010 Mere et Fils Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia( NA, 13%, Contact the winery for details )
The qualty of Australian Chardonnay has leapt forward like a roo on heat over the last few years. This cool climate example from the Adelaide Hills is typical of the quality on offer from Down Under. Wild yeast fermented in older oak, some creamy lees on the palate and fine, citrus-tinged fruit with an echo of apricot. Subtle winemakin from Matt Gant.
2011 Semeli Mantinia Nassiakos, Mantineia( £10.95, 12%, The Wine Society )
Greece’s answer to Gewürztaminer? This perfumed, floral white, made entirely from the Moschofilero grape, is just the thing for a late summer tipple: crisp and zesty with rose petal notes and a refreshing finish.
2011 Lagar de Costa Albariño, Rias Baixas, Galicia( £11.50, 12.5%, The Wine Society )
The old vine (60 years to be precise) concentration really comes through in this refreshing Galician white. Focused, minerally and very long on the palate with notes of lemon zest and lime and a hint of spritz. A really classy Albariño that’s worth paying a little extra for.
2011 Contesa Pecorino, Colline Pescaresi, Umbria( £8.95, 13%, The Wine Society )
A delicious, great value white from Umbria, with fresh, almost savoury fruit notes, crisp minerality and a hint of grape skin bitterness on the finish. A white wine that works best with food, possibly even with the cheese of the same name.