2008 Moulin de Gassac Grande Réserve de Gassac Rouge
A medium-full, dry and supple southern French red, with a scent of the garrigue and spicy, raspberry and cherry flavours. If Gassac rings bells, it’s because it’s a second label from the Guibert family of Mas de Daumas Gassac, a Vin de Pays de l’Hérault once famously described as the Lafite of Languedoc. This has no pretensions to be in such distinguished company, but it's an appealing and individual wine that stands out from the vin de pays varietal crowd. Not surprising when you look at the grape varieties – a Bordeaux-meets-the-Rhône blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Merlot, Alicante and Grenache 13%.
£41.94 for 6 bottles (£6.99 a bottle), Laithwaites
2008 Storie di Vite Pinot Grigio Trentino
The first Italian pinot grigio to feature in these weekly recommendations – not that it’s going to become a habit because so much pinot grigio is deadly dull. This, though, is much more interesting than the average and is a perfect, refreshing summer white. It has more stuffing than most and yet retains its effortlessly light, crisp Italian signature – a million miles from the richness and ripeness of Alsace pinot gris. What else? A flavour of pears with hints of almond, fennel, citrus peel and honey. It’s from the mountainous Trentino region in the northeast. 12.5%.
2008 Palataia Pinot Grigio
I said it wouldn’t beome a habit and it hasn’t. This one’s not Italian but German, from the Haardt Mountains in the Pfalz region. It’s just as refreshing, but a little softer and more overtly fruity and spicy (think peaches and lemons) and it has a touch of sweetness. 12.5%.
£6.99, Marks & Spencer