2009 L’Empreinte de Saint-Mont
I love the purity and clarity of these manseng-based dry whites from southwest France. This one – three quarters gros manseng, 10% petit manseng and 15% petit courbu – has a smoky, mineral nose with piercing passionfruit and citrus flavours which fill out on the mid-palate. It finishes on a sustained note of tangy acidity and minerality. Like most Saint-Mont wines, it comes from Les Producteurs Plaimont. 13% abv.
2009 Château Grange Cochard Morgon Vieilles Vignes
I can’t resist another 2009 cru Beaujolais – not that I’ve recommended any since the beginning of June. This has an exotic, floral, red-fruits perfume and a palate that combines supple, sweet fruit with savoury, mineral flavours, ripe tannins and a long finish. 13% abv. Drink any time over the next eight or nine years. It’s made by a couple who gave up St Albans for Beaujolais. Not a difficult choice, I imagine.
£13.95, Berry Bros & Rudd
2007 Rippon Central Otago Pinot Noir
More burgundian than many a burgundy, but then Nick Mills (owner-winemaker) has worked in Burgundy and the vines are all more than 15 years old and on their own roots. It has a wonderful fragrance – roses, cherries, strawberries, a touch of vanilla – and exceptional definition to the fruit on the palate against a background of subtle oak and a fine, silky texture. Elegant and expressive from start to finish. 13% abv. Watch out for the new single-vineyard 2008s early next year.
£25.50, Lea & Sandeman