2008 F E Trimbach Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France
Benchmark Alsace gewurz – roses, spice, lychee and Turkish delight aromas and flavours. Exotic, yes, but elegant and precise with lovely definition and acidity. Briliant with spicy food, but because it’s so fresh and fine it makes a perfect aperitif, too. 14% abv.
2010 Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa
Smoky, herbal and savoury with a textured mid-palate and chiselled freshness and minerality on the finish. A very good, food-friendly Sauvignon. 13.5% abv
£12.99, but £9.99 when you buy 2 or more, Majestic
2009 Notre Dame de Cousignac, Côtes du Vivarais, Rhône, France
I was going to recommend the even cheaper red Lubéron as well, but The Wine Society has run out of the 2009 – so just the Vivarais: a deep, juicy, warm and full-bodied blend of grenache (62%) and syrah (32%) with a smidgen of counoise. There’s no oak, so you get the unadulterated sweet, ripe blackberry fruit and earthy spice of vines with an average age of 50 years, growing in clay and limestone and newly converted to organic viticulture. 15% abv. Very good value.
£7.25, The Wine Society.