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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
6 Dec 2008
 

This is a longer version of an article also published in the Financial Times.

See also 100 reds worth celebrating.

This list of great white wine selections is much longer than the 30 for which I had room in the Financial Times. I have tried to concentrate on wines that are currently tasting delicious rather than those more suitable for the cellar.

As in the paper, wines are listed in ascending order of price, with UK stockist(s). To find global stockists, see www.winesearcher.com

Dom de la Zouina, Volubilia Gris 2007 Guerrouane
In fact a very pale pink, not unlike a top Provençal rosé, but from Morocco. Full enough for spicy food. 13.5%
£6.05 Caves de Pyrène

Villa Medoro 2007 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
Serious, tantalising, full-bodied, dry southern Italian for the money. 13%
£7.95 Genesis Wines

Ch Tour de Mirambeau 2007 Entre Deux Mers
Equal parts Semillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle from the Despagnes make for lots of character for the short term. 12%
£7.99 D Byrne & Co

Olivier Fichet, Terroir de Burgy 2006 Mâcon-Villages
Tingly melon fruit flavours with lots of reward - already quite rich and ripe. 13.5%
£8.50 Stone, Vine & Sun

Dom de l'Oratoire, Réserve des Seigneurs 2007 Cairanne Blanc
Crunchy greengage fruit and real interest in the Alary brothers' equal blend of nervy Clairette and Roussanne. 13%
£9 Lay & Wheeler

Ch Le Chec 2006 Graves Blanc
Mainly Semillon with a drop of Muscadelle. Very full and creamy - seductively complete. A hit of smokiness. Already drinking beautifully. 13%
£9.75 Adnams

Willy Gisselbrecht et Fils Gewurztraminer 2007 Alsace
Heady. Full tangy richness with concentration, rose petals and tea leaf flavours. But surprisingly delicate too. 13%
£10.95
The Butlers Wine Cellar

Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer 2008 Elgin
Classic rose-petal Gewürztraminer, but with a lively citrus clarity and freshness on the palate. Delicious Cape cross-breed of perfume and zip. A good find. 12.5%
£7.85 Christopher Piper, £9.99 Waitrose Wine Direct and 23 branches

Dom Chavet et Fils 2007 Menetou-Salon
Restrained, rather admirable and discreet. Awfully good with food, I would have thought. This wine has good taste! 12.5%
£10.25 Stone, Vine & Sun, £10.90 Christopher Piper

Dr Loosen, Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2007 Mosel
Full, broad, enticing and intellectual nose. Good value. Dry finish on a wine with ample fruit on the front palate. Serious low-alcohol wine. 8%
£10.99 Sainsbury's 86 stores

Dom Gauby, Calcinaires 2006 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
Smoky and exciting on the nose. Lovely honey with green freshness. Great value. Long. 13%
£11.50 A&B Vintners

Frantz Saumon, Minérale+ Demi Sec 2007 Montlouis
Wonderfully intense and indeed mineral with a bit of Chenin Blanc fruitiness offsetting its super-crispness. We should all drink more Loire wines. 12.5%
£11.50 Caves de Pyrène

Knappstein, Ackland Vineyard Riesling 2007 Watervale
Light, very fresh, zesty nose. Very appetising with lovely texture. Youthful, but with great balance. Very confident. Long. 13%
£11.98 Bibendum Wine

Maison Christophe Cordier 2006 Mâcon-Milly Lamartine
Very heady - turbo charged flavours here. Good value. 13.5%
£11.99 Majestic, or £10.99 if two Cordier wines are bought

Van Volxem, Saar Riesling 2006 Saar
Dominated by terroir and natural yeast - funky! Very interesting - low acid and minerally stuff. Extremely wacky and distinctive. 11.5%
£11.99 Oddbins Fine Wine

Dom Thibert Père et Fils 2007 Pouilly-Vinzelles
Sweet and toasty oak aromas at first. Then pure ripe citrus - verging on pineapple - flavours. Lovely balance even though it is quite oaky. 13%
£11.99 Waitrose Wine Direct and 116 branches

Coriole Fiano 2008 McLaren Vale
Big and bold - southern Italian grape arrives in South Australia. 13%
£12 Noel Young, Martinez Wine

André Dezat 2006 Sancerre
One of the more convincing Sancerres I have come across recently. 12.5%
£12.50 Berry Bros

Jean-Marc Boillot, Premier Cru 2006 Montagny
Smoky nose. Intense and tight. Very bright fruit - the usual flattering Boillot stuff - what's not to like? Especially at this price. 13%
£12.53 Bibendum, £13.50 Domaine Direct, £14.95 Lea & Sandeman

Monte Tondo, Casette Foscarin 2005 Soave
One of the more sophisticated and interesting Soaves. 13%
£12.75 Great Western Wine, £13.49 Cambridge Wine Merchants

Dom Christophe, Vieilles Vignes 2006 Chablis
Absolutely classic Chablis with cut and juice and the suggestion of wet stones. Well worth the supplement over supermarket Chablis. Very limpid and lovely. Great texture. 12.5%
£12.95 A&B Vintners

Dom Rostaing, Puech Chaud Blanc 2005 Coteaux de Languedoc, Montpeyroux
This reminds me of a high-altitude white Châteauneuf - higher praise there is not. 13%
£12.95 Berry Bros

Frédéric Magnien Chardonnay 2006 Bourgogne
Correct Côte d'Or lemony fruit with some obvious oak notes. Clean and long and not a silly price. Good halfway house between old world surliness and new world friendliness. 13%
£12.99 Oddbins

Backsberg, Babylonstoren Viognier 2007 Paarl
Good earthy South African Viognier. Sophisticated. 13.85%
£12.99 sawinesonline.co.uk

Ch Haut-Bertinerie 2007 Côtes de Bordeaux
Dense and a beginning, middle and end - even a certain Sémillon peachiness with Sauvignon Blanc freshness. 13%
£12.99 Smiling Grape Company

Ch Philippe-le-Hardi, En Vesvau 2006 St-Aubin
Fresh and deep flavoured and with some oak evidence, but a very nice classic Côte d'Or white burgundy for immediate drinking. 13%
£12.99 Tesco 268 stores

Künstler Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Kabinett trocken 2007 Rheingau
Earthy, exciting nose. Tastes bone dry and with lots of character. A fair price. Very forward, but a great food wine. Very winning now. 12.5%
£12.99 Waitrose Wine Direct and 18 branches

Lise et Bertrand Jousset, Premier Rendez-vous 2007 Montlouis
Serious, a bit embryonic and appleskin-flavoured - rather reminds me of a Slovenian white, with an edge of Chenin Blanc honey. 13%
£13.50 Vine Trail

Terredora, Loggia della Serra 2007 Greco di Tufo
Big and broad yet with some citrus freshness and real toastiness that reminds me of a mature Hunter Valley Semillon. Nice wine and very unusual. Lots of flavour. Definitely needs food - tastes more than the stated. 13%
£13.75 Jeroboams

Christophe Pichon, Viognier 2007 VDP des Collines Rhodaniennes
Strongly mineral with muted floral notes. Pretty smart and sophisticated for a Vin de Pays. Stood up well alongside Château-Grillet at three times the price. 13%
£13.95 Vine Trail

Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling 2006 Barossa
Taut, fine, lime juice plus minerals - really very finely etched. The best wine in Asda. This has definition: a beginning, middle and end. Worth cellaring. 12.5%
£13.98 Asda

Hatzidakis, Assyrtiko Cuvée 15 2007 Santorini
Admirable backbone and volcanic notes from this Greek island. 14%
The regular Assyrtiko 2007 (13.5%) is also worth seeking out at £9.19 from Waitrose Wine Direct and 116 branches.
£14.57 Les Caves de Pyrène

KT and the Falcon, Watervale Riesling 2007 Clare Valley
Rich, lively and wild though with a bone dry finish. I think you can taste the (uncertified) biodynamic effort in this joint venture directed by Kerri Thompson, who used to be the Riesling queen at nearby Leasingham in pre-Constellation days. Not cheap, but a name to watch. 12.5%
£14.95 Berry Bros

Dom Wachau, Achleiten Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 2007 Wachau
Winemaker Heinz Frischengruber here is on a roll. Real tingle to this lightly honeyed expression of Austria's powerfully minerally Achleiten vineyard. 14%
A less expensive option is the excellent regular Grüner Veltliner Collection 2007 available at just £6.50 from Tanners. 12%

£14.99 Waitrose Wine Direct and 6 branches

Stift Göttweig, Göttweiger Berg Riesling 2006 Kremstal
Lots of density and richness, so big it will need careful food matching, but lovely smoke and spices. 12.5%
Compare and contrast with their creamy Silberbichl Riesling (13%) at £16.65. £12.92 OW Loeb

Dom Roc d'Anglade 2006 Vin de Pays du Gard
A complete one-off. If it had Montrachet on the label it would sell for four times as much. 13%
£16.85 A&B Vintners

Craiglee Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Victoria
Very lively with just a hint of lees. Very polite Australian. Slightly toasty. A very nice, complete drink. 14.5%
£17.95 BBR

Dom Moreau-Naudet, Premier Cru Forêts 2006 Chablis
Correct, mouth filling, really just right for a young Chablis. Drink or keep. 12.5%
£17.95 Lea & Sandeman

Leitz, Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Old Vines Riesling Spätlese 2007 Rheingau
Currants and freshness from these propitiously sited old vines. Very clean and precisely delineated. Top quality winemaking. 8.5%
£18 M&S 150 stores

Dom d'Estoublon Blanc 2006 Vin de Pays des Alpilles
Organic, nutty, thoroughly characterful Rhône blend full of herby flowers - sort of gorse in spring sunshine. Needs food, not cellaring. 13.6%
£18.49 Leon Stolarski Fine Wines

Defaix Raveneau, Vaillon Premier Cru 2001 Chablis
Good to find a mature Chablis on the supermarket shelves. Serious stuff. 13%
£18.49 Tesco 268 stores

Kooyong Estate Chardonnay 2005 Mornington Peninsula
Very fine, cool-climate Australian from the coast south of Melbourne. 13%
£18.60 Great Western Wine, £18.99 Luvians Bottleshop, £19.95 Imbibros

Dom Anne Gros, Cuvée Marine 2006 Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Blanc
Very elegant and racy and with a strong mineral element. Soars on the palate. Very fair price. 13%
£18.95 Lea & Sandeman

Finca Allende, Blanco 2005 Rioja
70% Viura, 30% Malvasia
Scented and rather gorgeous. Very rich, yet not too sweet. Complex, long, complete. 14%
£18.99 Oddbins

Dom du Comte Armand, Cuvée Nicolas Marey 2006 Auxey-Duresses Blanc
Very classically savoury and dry, and seems to have extra freshness thanks to the screwcap. Real breadth of flavour. 13.5%
£19.95 Berry Bros

Inama, Soave du Lot 2007 Soave
Special bottling from one of Soave's best producers. 13%
£19.99 Majestic

Shaw and Smith, M3 Vineyard Chardonnay 2007 Adelaide Hills
Subtle example of Australia's Chardonnay revolution that delivers more than one would expect for the price. 13%
£19.99 Majestic, Wholefoods, £20.50 Harvey Nichols, £21.95 Selfridges

Tyrrells, Vat One Hunter Semillon 2000 Hunter Valley
Featherlight, bone dry and super-tangy. An Australian classic that will become toasty in five and more years. 11%
£19.99 Tesco 103 stores, £20.26 Christopher Piper

Frog's Leap Chardonnay 2005 Napa Valley
Lively and sweet and well balanced. Quite long and not at all over the top. 13.5%
£20 Berry Bros

Olivier Merlin, Terroir de Fuissé 2006 Pouilly-Fuissé
Compare this with the equally fine Terroir de Vergisson at the same price. Worth the money. 13%
£21.50 Berry Bros

Dom Henri Germain 2005 Meursault
Smoky nose and quite succulent. Lively yet well corseted. Great weight and extract without heat and alcohol. 13.5%
£23.50 Domaine Direct, £25.95 Lea & Sandeman

Ch de St Préfert 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc
Awfully good. Rich without being fat. Great herb oil notes with some spring flowers. Old Clairette vines. 13%
£24.75 A&B Vintners (available in magnums too)

Walter Hansel, North Slope Chardonnay 2005 Russian River Valley
Really beautifully balanced: hazelnut richness and savoury undertow - just what you want from a California Chardonnay! Real tension, but opulence too. 14.5%
£25 Majestic, Buy any 2 California wines and save 20% £19.99

Ch des Vaults, Clos de Papillon 2005 Savennières
Ripe apples, almost cidery with dry, tangy freshness. Classic minerally Chenin Blanc with lots of tension. Dry, persistent. 14.5%
£25 Waitrose Wine Direct and 3 branches

Dom Rapet, Sous Frétille Premier Cru 2006 Pernand-Vergelesses
Very fine, sinewy white burgundy that should drink well over the next two years. Paris gold medal winner. 13%

£25.95 Jeroboams

Dom Marcel Deiss, Engelgarten 2005 Alsace
Such richness and life on the palate! Worth paying a premium to taste such exciting Alsace. Very long and vivid. 12.5%
£26.50 Lea & Sandeman

Trimbach, Cuvée Frédéric Émile Riesling 2002 Alsace
Wonderful (for us) that this steely, bone dry classic is stocked by Tesco. 13%
£26.99 Tesco 103 stores

Jean-Louis Chave Selection, Blanche 2005 Hermitage Blanc
Massive, soft but intensely mineral white Rhône from a great Hermitage producer's newish négociant business. 14%
£28.63 A&B Vintners

Ch Malartic Lagravière 2005 Pessac-Léognan
Very serious dry white bordeaux. 13%
£30 Direct Wines

Dom Gérard Duplessis, Les Clos 2004 Chablis Grand Cru
Absolutely classic maturing Chablis nose. Drink or, ideally, keep. 13%
£30 Majestic Fine Wine

Dom J M Boillot, Vireuls 2006 Meursault
Rich yet savoury. Lots of fruit yet in a tight Burgundian corset. 13%
£30 Majestic Fine Wine

Jean-Philippe Fichet, Chevalières 2002 Meursault
Excellent. Real nerve and tingle on the palate and already delicious. 13.5%
£33 Goedhuis

FX Pichler, Steinertal Riesling Smaragd 2007 Wachau
Stunning. The sort of smell that seems to pervade the entire nervous system. Dry, heady, complete. 13.5%
£33 Majestic Fine Wine

Dom Jomain, Premier Cru Les Pucelles 2006 Puligny-Montrachet
Lean, clean, lively and very fresh. Quite delicate and certainly very refreshing. Classic restraint. Still young. 13%
£35 Majestic Fine Wine

Joseph Drouhin, Les Folatières Premier Cru 2006 Puligny-Montrachet
Smoky nose, then creamy oak and some citrus and minerals. Exudes class but still very young. 13.5%
£35 Waitrose Wine Direct and 109 branches

Dom J M Boillot, Premier Cru Champs Canet 2006 Puligny-Montrachet
Very rich and communicative. Great drinking pleasure. 13%
£41 Goedhuis

Ch de Beaucastel 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Molten and lovely satin texture. Drink by summer or stash away for at least five years. 14%
£45 Majestic Fine Wine

Neyret-Gachet, Château-Grillet 2004 Chateau-Grillet
This one-producer appellation is on the up, though you pay for rarity rather than finesse. Much richer and fatter than the Viognier from Vine Trail, but not four times as good! Sleek and satin textured with real mass and alcohol on the finish. Good for those who want to impress and to prove they know Denis Dubourdieu has refined this idiosyncratic wine. Does not last well in an opened bottle though. 14%
£48 The Wine Society

Dom Bonneau du Martray, Grand Cru 2003 Corton-Charlemagne
Rich and round and flattering. Deep flavoured. Flattering. Approachable. 13.5%
£62.66 Corney & Barrow, £62.91 Christopher Piper, £65 Imbibros, £97.95 Roberson

Trimbach, Clos Ste Hune Riesling 2003 Alsace
Unusually developed vintage of this classic of the dry white wine kingdom. 13%
£85 Wine Society