2010 Taste the Difference Languedoc White, France
Whites from the Languedoc are still terribly underrated, so it’s good to see Sainsbury’s putting one in its Taste the Difference range. This is grenache blanc-based with 20% each of marsanne, viognier and vermentino and the vines are 20–40 years old, so have some maturity. It’s oak-free but aged on its lees, which gives a mouthfilling suppleness and a creaminess to both texture and flavour. There’s a crunchy apple/pear freshness to the fruit and touches of spicy white pepper and minerals. All in all, a very satisfying, interesting dry white. 13.5% abv. Jean-Claude Mas of Domaines Mas is the man behind it.
2010 Bolney Estate Foxhole Vineyard Pinot Noir, West Sussex, England
The first English red wine that I can remember really wanting to drink. Pale in colour with a delicious sweet scent of raspberries and old English roses and a supple, fresh palate with a flavour of summer-pudding and fraises des bois rounded out with just a smidgen of oak. 12.85% abv. Bolney Estate is 16 hectares and was originally called Bookers Vineyard – a name is still use – and the winemaker is Sam (Samantha) Linter. Fingers crossed for the summer of 2011.
£11.99, waitrosewine.com and 16 branches; also from www.bolneywinestate.co.uk
2009 Paolo Leo Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia, Italy
A polished primitivo with purity and sleekness but at the same time an attractive, almost gravelly, grainy texture and flavour; cherry-sweet, almondy aromas and spicy, cherry-kernel flavours with a touch of vanilla. Full-bodied, ripe and layered. 14.5% abv.