autumn white wine list cover

As the Autumn reaches over us in the Northern hemisphere, our tastes also a-tune themselves to change. There is a stereotypical meme that everybody gives up white and rosé wines, preferring the tannic, darker fruit and woody flavours of various red wines. Balanced pleasure is always a good thing and here are ten white wines to enjoy as we button-up and move into the colder months.

The thread that links these wines together is the acidity that acts as a canvas, upon which the vintage, vineyard site and winemaker can establish the identity for each wine.

Les Jamelles 2018 | The Mentors Grenache Blanc | Lyme bay Sand Bar | Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay | Soave Classico Suavia | Covela Edicion Nacional | Joseph Mellot Sancerre | Destination Chardonnay | Yealands Single Block L5 | Mirabilis Grande Reserva

Les Jamelles 2018 Pinot Gris 

les jamelles pinot gris 2018

Light and not complicated but perfect for so many occasions. This is the wine to turn to when you want to be titivated by flavour and mouth fresh acidity but also want to chat forever with a good friend. 

Lychee and lemon, grapefruit flavours with a linear backbone of acidity to keep everything in order. A huge crowd-pleaser.

~£9 from Majestic when you buy mixed 6.

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Mentors Grenache Blanc

the mentors grenache blanc 2018

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I offered this to taste at a countryside lunch party to a gathering of seasoned wine lovers and it was received with great enthusiasm. Expert South African winemaker, Izele van Blerk, takes great care with The Mentors range and the results are evident in the glass. 

A straw-coloured yellow colour, tropical and ripe fruit sweet aromas. Fruit flavours combine with a slight touch of vanilla. The soft gorgeous round texture is balanced with good acidity and mineral character, leading to a clean finish and the instant desire for another sip.

~£15 from Slurp.co.uk

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Lyme Bay Sand Bar

Lyme Bay Sandbar 100pc bacchus

I tasted this at the Wine GB trade tasting and was really impressed. Made from 100% Bacchus grapes, it has a bright aromatic profile of grapefruit and elderflower. A super fresh impression on the palate from the fruit and acidity. As the name and label illustration implies, there is something geological about this Devonshire beauty.

Available from their own website ~£15.

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Errazuriz ‘Wild Ferment’ Chardonnay 2018

errazuriz wild ferment chardonnay

A fine Chardonnay for those that like it rounder, textured, rich and yet with a very present acidity to keep the mouth wanting. Errazuriz make fab wines and this is no exception. There is a layer of citrus, a layer of tropical but both are wrapped in the creaminess that 10 months in French oak lends.

Easy to pair with richer foods including fish, white meats, herbaceous baked vegetables.

Exceptional value for quality ratio here at around the ~£13 mark. This is the 2018. Given an extra year or two and this wine will develop its character. 

~13.99 from Majestic (£10.99 with six pick and mix)

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Soave Classico 2015 Suavia, 100% Garganega

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The Soave resurgence is well underway with the Garganega grape variety offering an unusual flavour profile.

Suavia deliciously fresh, with toasted almond notes and a great concentration of bright fruit and clean mineral finish.

Located in the beautiful Fittà di Soave on dark volcanic soil, these are old-vine Garganega that are tended with great care by the Tessari sisters: Meri, Valentina and Alessandra.

Imported to the UK by Bibendum Wine, this is a great value wine that sits around the £10 retail mark.

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COVELA Edição Nacional Avesso, 2017, Vinho Verde

covela edicao nacional

The owner of this winery, Tony Smith, in the southernmost part of Vinho Verde, that sits on the border with the Douro Valley and known locally as Douro Verde, has achieved a great deal in terms of show-casing Portuguese varieties like Avesso and Arinto. When we tasted the range in Porto earlier in the year, it was hard not to be impressed by the individuality that each of Tony's wines has. 

The Edition National has a burst of citrus and good acid, balanced with a mouth-coating texture that is really satisfying and pleasing. The wines from the south of Vinho Verde are excellent and have their own identity. If you haven’t tried them then you are missing something special.

For stockists see Wine-Searcher

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Joseph Mellot, Sancerre La Graveliere 2018

joseph mellot sancerre graveliere

Forward grapefruit and honeydew aromas make this an alluring Sancerre. It has more weight and texture than a lot of other Sauvignon’s but the overall style is fruity with a bright fresh finish. 

Producers Joseph Mellot have been making wine in the Loire Valley since 1513 so these are vineyards with enormous pedigree. The extra weight make this a very food-friendly wine so go for those smoked fish dishes or herbaceous green vegetable extravaganzas!

Buy online from Simply Wines Direct, or Matthew Clark Wholesaler ~£18

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Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2018

Journeys end destination chardonnay

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Something for Mersualt lovers that heralds from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Vineyard owner Rolly Gabb has a clear understanding of the potential of his vineyards and what he wants to produce.

Grapes for this cuvée are picked in three stages, with the first picking providing the wine with a fresher citrus character and bright acidity. The second picking of fruit from the same vines (around 40%) will be a few weeks later to allow for more tropical characteristics. The remaining 15% left on the vines is picked a couple of weeks later to add opulence and rounder fruit character. 

The result is a multifaceted taste experience. Great wine from a serious producer. The 2018 is exceedingly young but some age will accentuate the complexity of character.

For this style of wine, S Africa offers really good value. The Destination Chardonnay retails for around £25 and is imported by Bibendum Wine.

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Yealands Single Block L5 Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

yealands L5 Sauvignon blanc

This wine stood out for me in an already exceptional tasting in Central London given by the Yealands chief winemaker, Nat Christensen. There is a great deal of experimentation going on here with concrete and even stainless steel eggs to carry out fermentation and ageing.

Ripe passion fruit, crushed shell, more creamier, fuller texture. The impression of fruit is really pleasing and long, clean. A special wine that slots right into the memory lexicon of taste. The purity of fruit combined with the mineral texture provides all kinds of gastronomic opportunities. A fascinating wine to taste.

Vineyards are very close to the sea and there is an enormous focus at Yealands on sustainable viticulture. Work has been done establishing wetlands for birdlife among many other initiatives. These are all critical considerations embedded in the values that consumers are now exhibiting when making purchase choices.

A different style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a focus on quality interesting wines. Good value fine wine at £15.95 from Great Western Wine. See Wine-Searcher for other merchants.

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Mirabilis Grande Reserva 2017, Quinta Nova, Douro

mirabilis quinta nova

An immediate burst of pineapple that eases into a rounder white fruit aroma with hints of clove and coconut from the oak.

Gains in complexity with white petal aromas mixed with coconut and spicy flavours. Lovely acidity that holds the flavour elements together.

Mirabilis is a flower often found in Peru and known colloquially as the "four o clock". Perhaps this Douro white served frequently after teatime holds the secret to a longer life? If not, I'll take solace in its prettiness as it touches my palate.

A very special wine: ~£49 from UK merchant Drinks & Co.

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 Les Jamelles 2018 | The Mentors Grenache Blanc | Lyme bay Sand Bar | Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay | Soave Classico Suavia | Covela Edicion Nacional | Joseph Mellot Sancerre | Destination Chardonnay | Yealands Single Block L5 | Mirabilis Grande Reserva

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Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

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