Haut Marin 2015, Côtes de Gascogne
€13.95 from Searsons, Monkstown; La Touche, Greystones; The Drink Store, Manor St; Market 57, Clifden; Nolan’s, Clontarf; MacGuinness, Dundalk; Next Door, Kimmage.
Light, aromatic and bursting with crisp apple, exotic fruits and citrus. Great on its own or with white fish dishes.
We had this as an aperitif at a wine dinner hosted by La Touche Wines in Greystones last week. The event, in Theatre Lane restaurant, was great fun, and the food and wines both very good. The white wines of Côtes de Gascogne, generally a blend of Columbard, Ugni Blanc along with other varieties can smell and taste uncannily like a Sauvignon Blanc; aromatic, fresh and fruity. They can offer incredible value.
Kaapzicht Chenin Blanc 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Available from Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlinstown
A big smiling mouthful of wine, refreshing and attractively fruity with a snappy dry finish. Perfect to sip on its own or with lighter fish and chicken dishes. Very good value for money too.
Chenin Blanc is the greatest chameleon grape of them all, happy to be made into sparkling sweet or dry white wine. In its home territory of the Loire Valley, you will find it in every style and in all its wonderful glory. But today we are in South Africa the only New World country to have significant quantities of Chenin Blanc. At one stage it made up a third of all vines planted. Familiarity seemed to have bred contempt, as for many years South African winemakers seemed completely uninterested in Chenin. This has changed over the last decade; you can now find some seriously good examples. You may come across the odd sweet wine but the vast majority are dry, ranging from light and crisp to rich and textured. Today’s wine could not be described as serious. It light and fruity, but I enjoyed the quality of the fruit; none of those confected fruit popsicle flavours you get from so many inexpensive white wines.
Perricone 2012, Sicilia IGT – €12.29
A pleasantly whacky wine bursting with sweet juicy ripe cherry and black fruits and a nice herby edge. Very interesting and enjoyable, and great value too.
Perricone is a little-known native Sicilian grape variety. I had never tasted it before I came across this version from M&S, but I will certainly keep an eye out for it in future.
Stockists: Marks & Spencer