2008 Louis Latour Grande Ardèche Chardonnay, Coteaux de l’Ardèche
The latest vintage of an old favourite – medium-bodied, well-balanced chardonnay made by burgundy negociant Louis Latour in the Ardèche (south west Rhône). Buttered-popcorn with a hint of fennel on the nose; a fresh, lightly buttery, nutty palate with crisp peach and lemon-peel fruit and a hint of aniseed. 13.5% abv.
2008 Boas Vinhas Dão, Portugal
Dark and full but not hefty, with succulent berry and damson fruit shot through with vanilla and chocolate, meaty and mineral notes. Add a touch of currant-leaf freshness and a rounded, velvety feel and you’ve got a great example of the value to be had from Portuguese reds. It’s a blend of touriga nacional, alfrocheiro and tinta roriz (aka tempranillo). 13% abv.
£7.99, The Real Wine Company.
The two wines below aren’t on the UK market, but do what you can to get hold of them. Available from wine shops in Languedoc at €12.50–€15: visit www.wine-searcher.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The address is Domaine de Gaure, 11250 Rouffiac d’Aude, and it’s off the D118 between Carcassonne and Limoux.
2008 Château de Gaure Oppidum, Limoux blanc
A barrel-fermented chardonnay with 15% chenin blanc and 5% mauzac. Aromas of toast, honey, lemon and straw, and almost a hint of sherry, yet completely fresh; full, round and honeyed on the palate with vibrant orange, lemon and apricot fruit and a mineral core. Complex, fresh and finely balanced. 13.5% abv.
Château de Gaure Pour Mon Père, vin de table rougeA 2008 blend of 65% carignan and grenache (average age 60 years) with 35% syrah and mourvèdre (average age 25 years) from the Latour de France zone of the Côtes du Roussillon-Villages appellation. Deep in colour but not thunderous and opaque; fresh, spicy, sweet and mineral on the nose, with rich blackberry fruit, crisp black pepper and nutty notes on the palate. Concentrated, but not extracted; long, polished and complex. 13.5% abv