Lotta Bottle: The best summer wines
From elegant rieslings to succulent reds for the barbecue...
Saturday 22 May 2010
2009 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand
A notch up from Villa Maria's Private Bin Sauvignon, the Cellar Selection is more pungently aromatic and richer in classic passion fruit flavour. Underscored by green pepper with a grapefruity tang on the aftertaste, it's a mouthwatering prospect at a bargain price. Try with warm goat's cheese on toast and a drizzle of olive oil.
£7.99, Majestic, reduced from £9.99
2008 Chablis Cuvée Amandine, France
This is a fine expression of unoaked Chablis from Domaine de Malandes – six months on the grape residue following stainless-steel fermentation brings a subtle, lees-derived complexity and texture to a chardonnay whose flavour and character are underscored by a bone-dry, crisp and refreshing minerality. Divine with dressed crab or potted shrimps.
£12.99, by the case £10.39, Oddbins
2008 Weingut Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner Kamptaler Terrassen, Austria
Willi Bründlmayer is among Austria's finest exponents of the native grüner veltliner grape, and here he's conjured up a wisp of white pepper, complemented by a tongue-tingling apple and pear spritz-freshness. A great partner for haddock and chips.
£11-£12.99, WoodWinters (woodwinters.com; 01786 834894); Tanners (tanners.co.uk; 01743 234500)
2008 Howard Park Riesling, Western Australia
Rivalling the Clare and Eden Valleys for sheer flavour and character, this Western Australian lipsmacker is scented with floral and citrus notes while the fresh zestiness of limes brings a mouthwateringly zingy aftertaste. Will take a mild green Thai curry in its stride.
Around £12.95, Noel Young Wines (nywines.co.uk; 01223 566744), Bibendum (bibendum-wine.co.uk; 020-7449 4120)
2008 Zuani Vigne Bianco Collio, Friuli, Italy
Showing Friuli's pre-eminence in Italian dry white styles, this intriguing north-eastern Italian blend of friulano, pinot grigio, sauvignon and chardonnay displays fresh citrusy aromas, rich, intense stonefruit flavours with a smoky edge and an elegantly dry finish. Heaven with white fish, and will stand up to white meats too.
£16.95 per bottle or £15.50 per bottle if you buy a case, Lea & Sandeman (leaandsandeman.co.uk; 020-7244 0522)
2005 Cloudy Bay Pelorus, New Zealand
Cloudy Bay is best known for the sauvignon blanc with the iconic label, but its champagne-method vintage fizz made from pinot noir and chardonnay is actually the more exciting wine: aromatically complex with apple-crisp flavours, a fine, textured mousse and a tangy finish that wouldn't disgrace champagne.
Normally £23.99, but a summer must-have at this special offer price of £14.99, to 7 June, Majestic
2009 Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2009, Boekenhoutskloof, South Africa
Normally one of the Cape's best-value reds even at the normal list price of £6.99, you can't do much better for the pre-World Cup TV warm-ups than snap up this sweetly opulent, paprika-smoky South African syrah, a wine which Francophile producer Marc Kent doggedly refuses to call shiraz.
£4.99, down from £6.99, until 9 June, Waitrose
2008 Domaines Paul Mas Estate Syrah-Viognier, Vin de Pay d'Oc, France
Jean-Claude Mas, one of the South of France's best producers, seems incapable of putting a foot wrong. This is his cunning take on the northern Rhône's more expensive Côte Rôtie, a vivid, youthful blend showing aromatic complexity from the viognier and a succulent blackberry fruit quality framed by subtle oak spicing.
2007 Côtes du Rhône, Les Cranilles, Les Vins de Vienne, France
Not just any Côtes du Rhône, but from an excellent vintage too, this stylish blend of syrah and grenache from the Rhône trio of Villard, Gaillard and Cuilleron is full of peppery spice, with a seamless purity of blackberry fruit sweetness, all tempered by deliciously supple tannins and savoury acidity. A barbecue special.
£8.95, Berry Bros & Rudd (bbr.com; 0800 280 2440)
2007 Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia
A sort of Margaux in Australia, there's a claret-like cedary quality and capsicum edge to this stylish Western Australian red whose blackcurrant fruit is neatly tinged with subtle vanilla oaking, juicily succulent tannins and a breezy Indian Ocean freshness. Medium rather than full-bodied, it's a great summer's day red for lamb cutlets.
2008 Charles Back Barbera, Fairview Estate, Coastal Region
This Cape red has a distinctive smoky oak and vanilla background; the fruit is opulently cherryish and retains the barbera grape's refreshing acidity. All in all, it's a confident Cape take on the Piedmontese style.
£9.99, Marks & Spencer
2008 Domaine de la Croix de Chaintres, Saumur Champigny, Loire, France
When it's good, Saumur's cabernet franc is one of the most delightfully refreshing of all France's summery reds, and this wine from Fredrik and Christina Filliatreau is not just good – it's a deliciously fresh, juicy red with a hint of the grape's fresh-mown grassiness and supple capsicum and red fruit flavours.
£9.99, or £7.99, if you can wait, from 7 July, Waitrose
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