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Classic Whites

Classic White Grape Varieties…

I’ve lost count of how many white grape varieties I’ve tried. I could however count on my hands how many I regularly drink! Maybe it’s an age thing, maybe my white grape variety experimental phase is over? Wild nights with a bottle of unfortified Palomino Fino are just warm, hazy memories, enjoyed but never to be repeated. Maybe it’s a fear thing, maybe I’ve scared of the unknown, hiding behind a copy of the Daily Mail trembling at the thought of change or “Something different”. Maybe I just know what pleases me? As your mortality is dangled in front of you, why would you waste the time you have risking disappointment?

Whatever it is, it doesn’t bother me anymore because the Classics are Classics for a reason – Like Amazon, always delivering.  Those feelings of missing out have passed, I don’t feel pressured to follow trends or get left questioning my choice of white wine when I see the Young Team struggling through a bottle of Amphora aged, skin contact Hondarrabi Zuri anymore. I’ll smugly sip my boring old Chablis…

Chardonnay

If you tell me you don’t like Chardonnay then forgive me if I give you a quizzical look. If you like white wine then they’ll be a Chardonnay out there that you like, you might just have to try a few. The biggest complaint is about oak. It’s not the early noughties anymore. That over oaked, wood chip style finished at the same time as Friends. Oak is either not used or used in a more subtle way to give the wine texture and weight rather than obvious oak flavours. If oak has never been your thing then Chablis should be your starting point. It’s a wine most have heard of. It’s posh, it’s on offer at Christmas, it must be good? Well, most of it is bog standard and expensive but from the best producers it is a wine that is unique and has no comparable outside the region. Made from Chardonnay and rarely oaked the wines have a unique steely, mineral acidity behind the dry apple and citrus fruit. At their best the wines are exhilarating. Check out this pair.

Seguinot-Bordet Chablis 2018 @ £14.99

Jean Dauvissat Chablis 1er Cru ‘Cote de Lechet’ 2013 @ £22.99

Sauvignon Blanc

It’s hard to be super famous, popular and successful without losing your street cred. I guess that’s what happened to Sauvignon Blanc. Back in the day when the first bottles of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc found their way into the UK they were the talk of the town, the new kid on the block, everybody wanted a piece of them. Next thing you know, you’re discounted to £3.99 and piled up in a stack the size of a family car in the local supermarket. Your rep destroyed, you’ve gone from Chanel to Primark in the blink of an eye. Luckily there is still plenty of amazing Sauvignon Blanc available and the Loire Valley is the perfect place to find it. Sancerre and Pouilly Fume are the two famous, classic regions and here’s two Chanel quality wines made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc for your enjoyment.

Sancerre Domaine Henry Natter @ £14.99

Pouilly Fume Domaine Sebastien Treuillet @ £12.99

Riesling

For 20 years I’ve heard the world’s wine press telling everyone (Or the few hundred that read the worlds wine press) that Riesling is the wine world’s most underrated grape and that this is it’s year. Everyone’s going to be on it, they’ll be T-Shirts, bumper stickers and children will be named Riesling. It’s never really happened to be honest, not sure why? But this could be Rieslings year! Riesling is one of the most drinkable, electrifying white grape varieties going. Capable of producing age worthy complex wines and dangerously drinkable everyday wines. If I’m being honest, I hope it remains unpopular, it keeps the price down for the likes of me. Please drink Pinot Grigio? Check out these two dry offerings from the legendary Sybille Kunts.

Riesling Sybille Kuntz @ £14.49

Riesling Spatlese Sybille Kuntz @ £23.99

Albarino

I’m putting this in the “Modern Classic” category. Of all the white grape varieties which were not widely available when I first started in the wine trade this is the one for me which has grown in popularity year after year, is capable of producing high quality wine and has the staying power to still be popular in another 20 years times. It even has a cliché tasting note to go with it “Goes with Scottish Seafood”.

Albarino Terra Asorei £9.99

So what about the modern classics?

Fiano, Greco or White Rioja..

If you are the adventurous type and want to be bang on trend whilst bagging a bargain without drinking orange wine or oxidised vanity projects then this is where it’s at….

Fiano Janane @ £8.75

Greco, Janare @ £8.75

Bodegas Bohedal Rioja Blanco Barrel Fermented 2018 @ £10.99

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