St Emilion Grand Cru 2017, Lidl

“If anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any f@£$ing Merlot!” The irrational hatred that Paul Giamatti’s character had for merlot in the wine-lovers’ film Sideways had a profound, lasting impact on merlot sales. Bordeaux producers don’t tend to put the grape variety on the label, so St Emilion may have avoided the…

Ventoux Côtes du Rhône 2018, Sainsbury’s

The Cotes du Rhone appellation is one of the world’s largest wine-producing regions. The variety of grapes is amazing. Sainsbury’s updated ‘Taste The Difference’ range is doing a good job of teaming up with good producers and releasing own-label wines that are interesting and reasonably priced. Ventoux is about 30km from its famous neighbour Chateauneuf du…

Petit Chablis Moillard, 2018

Petit Chablis from a respected producer based in Mersault. Good value for money – better that the ‘bargain’ Chablis often sold by supermarkets. Good value. Tasting notes: Crisp Chardonnay with aromas of citrus, white peach, lychee. Bone dry. The same on the palate with some minerality. Balanced acidity. Medium finish. Some intensity and a little complexity….

Chevalier de Fauvert, Pays d’Oc, Sauvignon Blanc 2019

This Sauvignon Blanc is from Lidl. It regularly retails at £4.49 (cheap) but from time to time it is reduced to £2.99 when it is the ‘wine of the week’. This is unnaturally, suspiciously cheap… there must be a catch; it must be awful, right? Wrong; it’s perfectly acceptable plonk. Buy 6 for under £18 and…

Whispering Angel Rosé

Whispering Angel has acquired cult status. I’m not overstating this. During lockdown a great friend contacted me to say that his supply of it appeared to be in danger of drying up – and this was a big (first world) problem. Many have argued that this is the world’s best rosé; the benchmark from which…

Miraval Côtes De Provence Rosé

We are in the midst of a proper summer in England, with sunshine and wasps.  It’s time for rosé… I have tried and will review several rosés, ranging from £6-£20. This wine is from Southern Provence about 30 miles from the sea and about 30 miles from where Whispering Angel (to be reviewed next) is…

Blanc Neuf La Bastide – Laithwaites

Blanc Neuf La Bastide 2018 is another unusual proposition – a blend similar to a white Côtes Du Rhône – but from Languedoc… A previous vintage was named ‘World’s Best White Blend’ under £11 by the Decanter World Wine Awards. It’s been compared to a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I see that; similarly this ought to be…

Côtes Du Rhône White, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference

The Côtes du Rhone appellation is one of the world’s largest wine-producing regions. The variety of grapes is amazing. The standard can vary and price is no guarantee of quality. Produced by Gabriel Meffre, Waitrose sell a white Côtes du Rhone under the Meffre label for £9.99, often reduced to £7.50. I think it’s identical…

La Nuit Blanche Cabernet Blanc 2019

La Nuit Blanche Cabernet Blanc 2019 presented me with an unusual proposition – a grape I had never tried (or even, I must confess, heard of…). A winemaker discovered a few rows of Cabernet Blanc in the Languedoc in 2016 which belonged to a grower near Béziers who had been working with Swiss (aren’t they…

Maison de Cirque – Blanc de Blancs. Mas produced…?

Forgive the bad pun. When he started out in the late 1990s, Mas set out to make wines to export: “Selling wines to the French is like trying to sell hamburgers to the Americans.” Consequently, he exports, to 58 countries, 97 per cent of the 20 million bottles he produces annually. I think the problem…

Picpoul de Pinet 2019 – Baron de Guers – Update 2

This is an update to reflect that Sainsbury’s have changed the label on this wine. This is purely aesthetic – the contents are exactly the same. Is it a better label? Yes – the old one was dark and dull; this one signposts the wines suitability as an accompaniment to shellfish, particularly oysters. This is…