2009 Cartagena Sauvignon Blanc Tres Vinedos, San Antonio Valley
Refined, elegant Sauvignon with a smoky, flinty character that could have come straight out of Pouilly Fumé, but comes instead from Chile’s ocean-cooled San Antonio region. Smoke, flint and fragrant elderflowery fruit with sappy green notes, a nicely textured mid-palate and crisp, briny finish. Medium-bodied and wonderfully refreshing despite a label proclaiming 14% abv.
£9.99, Marks & Spencer
2009 Groote Post Chenin Blanc, Coastal
A delightful and genuinely interesting Cape dry white which would cost a good deal more if it said sauvignon on the label, instead of chenin. It has a lovely smokiness and zesty freshness, flavours of grapefruit and grass with hints of honey, straw and spice and a softness to the texture (despite the crisp finish) which comes from leaving the wine on its lees for a couple of months. It’s made from bush vines planted in 1982 and is from a vintage which was cooler than average – and all the better for that. 13.5% abv.
£7.49, Bon Coeur Fine Wines
2006 Clos des Roses, Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
A Rhône-style blend of syrah, grenache, carignan and mourvèdre which is not particularly complex, but balanced, well-rounded and full of charm. It has the sweetness and freshness of red berries, the spicy character you’d expect from these grape varieties, a richer, chocolaty, roast-chestnut flavour and supple tannins. Produced by Domaine de l’Agly and Hervé Sabardeil. 13.5% abv.