Summer is fast approaching, many of our stores teams have started wearing shorts (sorry about that), and every weekend or sunny evening is now an excuse to eat al fresco. Scouring our range for the best of the new and some favourites that sing out to be enjoyed, we present to you the 7 white wines you should have ready in your fridge this summer.
1. Rioja Blanco 2014 Lopez de Haro – Get it here
Taste: Crammed with ripe tropical fruit, banana and even date with a zippy lemon note, mouth-filling and complex – a fresh modern take on old-school white Rioja.
Enjoy It With: Battered fish and chips with tartare sauce. Or roast chicken salad.
Know Thy Wine: Lopez de Haro manually harvest the grapes for this wine, bunch by bunch, from the foothills of the Tolono Mountains. The vines are aged between 50 and 80 years so they produce less fruit, but more concentrated flavour.
2. Bienbebido Pulpo Albariño 2014 Vintae – Get it here
Taste: Apple and stone fruit, with fresh citrussy acidity, vibrant but very easy-going with a soft edged palate mingling with a lick of pithy texture.
Enjoy It With: There’s an octopus on the label, we suggest you take it as a hint. Calamari or salt’n’pepper squid would be brilliant.
Know Thy Wine: Vintae’s Bienbebido collection of wines is the result of a challenge to find the perfect wine to drink with different dishes. Oenologists, sommeliers, chefs and wine enthusiasts tasted many wines (tough gig) with many foods to find the best combinations. The unanimous decision for the special texture of squid and octopus was this fresh and silky Albariño.
3. Massey Dacta Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough – Get it here
Taste: A flavour explosion of snow pea, feijoa and tropical fruit with elderflower and a burst of fresh lemon and lime, bright and deliciously refreshing.
Enjoy It With: A great pick for aromatic pan-asian cuisine, try with thai dishes adorned with holy basil and corriander.
Know Thy Wine: Winemaker Ben Glover apprenticed with Brent Marris at Wither Hills and is now head winemaker at Mud House. This Sauvignon is a side project from his family vineyards. The name comes from running after his old man getting the Massey Ferguson tractor ready to rake hay on the farm, only at age two he couldn’t pronounce it – and the Massey Dacta was born.
4. Viña Mayu Dry Pedro Ximinez 2014, Elqui Valley – Get it here
Taste: Lots of zesty lemon and lime with some delicate floral aromatics, rounded off refreshingly by an intriguing textured citrus pith finish.
Enjoy It With: Smoked salmon and caper linguini with creme fraiche and asparagus. It worked for us.
Know Thy Wine: Pedro Ximinez is better known as the grape used in the super rich, sticky, fruitcake-like dessert sherries of Spain. In Chile it is usually the base for the local Pisco brandy.
5. El Cometa del Sur Blanco 2013 Terra Alta – Get it here
Taste: Soft apricot and pear with blossom flowers and an almond note, braced by delicate cleansing acidity and a curvaceous mouthfeel.
Enjoy It With: Seafood tapas sounds obvious (it’s a Spanish white, after all) but it’s also brilliant. Anchovies and grilled squid on toast with a drizzle of olive oil.
Know Thy Wine: Grenache Blanc is an often overlooked white variety that crops up in many of the best white wines of the Rhône – including some top Châteauneuf-du-Pape – where it lends fruit and body to the wines. It actually originates in the north of Spain and is perfectly at home in this wine from the Terra Alta region of Catalonia.
6. Château Paul Mas Blanc Belluguette 2014, Côteaux du Languedoc – Get it here
Taste: Intensely lush, ripe tropical fruit, pineapple, mango and peach, toasted brioche and light rounded oak with a rich and creamy lingering finish.
Enjoy It With: Charred fish skewers from the grill, in the back garden, with the sun shining down. Friends optional.
Know Thy Wine: This is a white Rhône-style blend of Vermentino, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier from the top vineyard sites in the Paul Mas Estate. The Heron featured on the label is called Vinus; legend has it this heron was often seen in the Paul Mas vineyards, preferring to feast on the ripe grapes rather than fish from the river. Given how good the wine tastes, we entirely understand.
7. Domaine Felines Jourdan 2014 Picpoul de Pinet – Get it here
Taste: Achingly fresh lemon and lime with an aromatic sniff of green bell pepper and a herbacious lick of fennel. Dry, mineral-tinged finish with a twist of lime zest.
Enjoy It With: You sea food, you eat it. In Provence they’d have this with salt cod. In Britain we suggest cod and chips with salt’n’vinegar.
Know Thy Wine: The Jourdan family have been making wine for several generations, but only under their own label since 1983 when they bought Domaine Félines Jourdan. It overlooks the deep blue waters of the Thau lagoon, so benefits from cool marine breezes which tempers the climate and helps keep freshness in the wines.