2009 Fief Guérin Vieilles Vignes, Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Sur Lie 2009
A white that’ll hit the spot when you want something dry, sappy, yeasty and mouthwateringly fresh as an antidote to the commercial fruit-bomb wine style. There are hints of apple, pear and lime zest and the ageing sur lie (on its lees) has enriched the texture and given a delicate nuttiness, but this wine is much more about refreshment, nuance and understatement. A winner with plain shellfish, including oysters when there's an 'r' in the month. 12.1% abv.
£6.49, but on offer at £5.19 from 7 July to 3 August, Waitrose.
2009 1907 Single Vineyard Malbec, Mendoza
This is a case where it would be better if I put the vintage after the wine name, but it would be even more confusing if I did it for just this one. So, to clarify, the wine is called 1907, which is the date the vineyard, named Chiaramonte, was originally planted. It’s dark, powerful and fairly oaky at present (after four months in new French barrels), but there’s plenty of really good Malbec flavour – crushed black peppercorns, dense black-fruit and acid freshness. A great wine to have with a rare steak or magret de canard. It’s also organic and Fairtrade. 13.8% abv.
On offer at £45 for 6, tescowine.com (down from £60 for 6).
I tasted a baker’s dozen of The Wine Society’s own-label wines at £5.75–£7.95 recently and was impressed by the quality and value. I particularly liked the following; they’re all labelled The Society’s:
2009 Touraine Sauvignon – crisp, ripe and grapefruity, (12.5% abv), £7.50;
2009 Pinot Grigio Venezia-Giulia – leafy lemon and apricot flavours and much more flavour than most Pinot Grigio at this price (13% abv), £7.95;
2007 Corbières – aromatic, herby and spicy with sweet raspberry fruit (13.5% abv), £6.95;
2006 Rioja Crianza – mellow and cedary with soft vanilla and spice (13% abv), £7.50;
2009 Argentine Malbec – full, fleshy, vibrant and spicy with a crisp finish (14% abv), £5.95.