June 2013 – Ramey, Chotard, Semeli, Azevedo

My favourite wines tasted in June, in four price brackets.

under six pounds

Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde 2012, Portugal
Weighing in with a gossamer light 11.0% abv and in its screwcapped bottle, this is the quintessential summer wine. A regular quaffing favourite from the reliable Sogrape company, it has all the verve, green herb and apple freshness you could wish for, with gentle effervescence and a dry, racy lime and lemon finish. On offer at £5.99 until September 2nd 2013 from Majestic.

under a tenner

Semeli, ‘Feast’ White Wine 2012, Greece
It’s nice to feature something new in the Wine of the Week slot, and this is a brand new grape for me called Moschofilero, that comes from the Greek Peloponese peninsula. It is a highly aromatic variety, in the same floral-strewn ballpark as Gewurztraminer and Torrontès, but if the style of those is too perfumed for you, this one reins things in just a little. The nose has notes of lychee and roses, as well as ripe melon and Ogen melon skins. On the palate that slightly exotic quality is there, but it is a racy white fruit and citrus acidity that drives this, with a pleasing, limpid texture and clarity and food-friendly, dry finish. It’s a gorgeous summer wine with only 12% alcohol too. Watch my video wine review for more information and specific food-matching suggestions. £8.50, Oddbins and Oddbins.com

under twenty

Daniel Chotard, Sancerre Rosé 2012, France
The fame of the Sancerre region in France’s Loire Valley is undoubtedly for the scintillating white wines made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. But red and rosé Sancerre does exist, made from the Pinot Noir grape. A very good but small harvest in 2012 gave extra concentration and thicker skins to the Sancerre Pinot, resulting in this wine’s extra depth of colour and fine Pinot aromatics. It is flooded with strawberries and cream, but also the hint of truffle and briar that is so Pinot. On the palate that sweet, summery berry fruit floods across the tongue, but true to its origins the finish is abundantly fresh, with minerals and juicy citrus streaking through. Watch my video wine review for more information and for specific food matching suggestions. £16.75, Berry Bros. & Rudd, or £15.07 by the case.

sky’s the limit

Ramey Wine Cellars, Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2009, California
A wine from the excellent David Ramey made from Russian River Valley Chardonnay that was planted in 1972 in the old 8′ x 12′ system of wide planting Less flamboyantly aromatic than some of his other cuvées, the oak seems a little more background, with hazelnut and creaminess and a very ripe apple fruit quality coming through. Juicy and fresh, but a weighty and concentrated wine, with a big stripe of lemon pith and lime acidity running through this, long and powerful stuff. Serious Chardonnay for drinking or ageing several years. 92-93/100. £43.75, AG Wines, see all UK stockists on wine-searcher.