2009 Greywacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Debut vintage under Kevin Judd’s own label after he’d made 25 vintages of Cloudy Bay. It’s as good as you would hope – aromatic and intense, full, tangy and sustained, with gooseberry, herb and mineral flavours, a hint of spice and a fine, chalky texture. The grapes come from several vineyards in the southern Marlborough valleys, including those with soils full of greywacke river stones, and the fermentation includes a small proportion in French barriques with wild yeasts.
£11.85-£12.99, Rannoch Scott Wines, slurp.co.uk, Noel Young Wines, Nebuchadnezzar Wines, The Halifax Wine Co, The VineYard.
2007 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley
I can’t remember when I last tasted a Mondavi Fumé Blanc (barrel-aged sauvignon blanc), but from memory this is a more polished wine than the last I tasted. It’s both smoky and fresh on the nose and full-bodied but lively and zesty on the palate, with flavours of lemon verbena, grass and melon edged with smoky oak. The alcohol, at 14.5% abv, is high, but actually it’s balanced.
£9.99 when you buy two (until February 1), Majestic, which is a good buy. (The full price, £14.99, is a bit steep.)
2007 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir, Carneros
Full-bodied, ripe and succulent with sweet raspberry fruit, coffee and toasty oak flavours and a smooth, clean finish. Not subtle, but crowd-pleasing, fleshy, pure pinot noir. 14.5% abv.
£9.99 when you buy two (until February 1), Majestic, which is a good buy. (Full price, £14.99.)