(2023) This blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from the 2015 vintage exhibits plenty of toast, hazelnut and brioche on the nose, with a peachy fruit undertow. The palate perhaps lacks a touch of verve, the fruit peachy and soft, the acidity moderate, but it is delightfully gluggable and finishes with good balance.
(2023) Note that the 2021 vintage tasted here in July 2023 has just been replaced by the 2022. I have not tasted that, but I can only imagine in this abundantly fresh style of wine youth is an advantage. The nose is all green apple and lime, streaking freshness, but there is an undertow because of the lees ageing that adds a little pillow of something more oatmeally. In the mouth it's a vibrant style that won't scare a Loire Sauvignon lover; loads of fresh-squeezed citrus and a lick of salt, into a long, textured and dry finish.
(2023) A Vino de la Tierra de CÃ¡diz appellation wine made from Palomino, grown on the distinctive chalky soils of the Jerez region known as 'albariza'. The colour is medium to pale straw-yellow, and the nose has a buttery character, then golden delicious apples moving into more exotic fruits. In the mouth it has that dry, apple core and straw-like character that I associate with Palomino dry wines, but there is a hint of juiciness and easy-drinking ripeness, and the classy saline touch to the acidity in the finish. Different, only 11.5% abv, and very enjoyable.
(2023) A more or less equal blend of the three classic Champagne grapes, aged two years, with fruit from the Marne Valley. There's a fairly deep yellow/gold hue to this. Modest bubbles rise from the glass. The nose is relatively reserved, with a little buttery biscuit and lemony fruit. In the mouth this is racy enough, though there's a sweet-fruited ripeness on the mid-palate. I find something a little bitter in the finish that detracts here, from anotherwise enjoyable wine.
(2023) Made from 100% Chardonnay, this is sourced from easterly planted vineyards in the CÃ´tes de Blancs and stays three years on the lees. Very biscuity, those yeasty, umami notes of autolysis are nicely balanced against lemon fruit. The palate is dry - not sure of the dosage here, but seems low - allowing the citrus to power through, though always over a nutty, yeasty background. Probably my favourite wine of this trio.
(2023) There are quite a few Australian Chardonnays at around the Â£10 mark in UK supermarkets, often on promotion to nearer Â£8, and I dare say this new brand from ChÃ¢teau Tanunda might be one of their rank. It is, however, one of the better ones I have tasted too: only 12.5% alcohol, not too sweet, with nicely judged oaking. Aromas are of crushed oatmeal and almon, a ripe and nutty Cox's pippen fruit beneath, just hinting at something more tropical. In the mouth medium bodied and fresh thanks to that low alcohol and decent acidity, the fruit staying nicely edgy - more lemon and ripe apple than tropical - through to the finish.
(2023) A wine I've enjoyed in previous vintages, but arguably this is the best so far. I remember a fabulous dry white from ChÃ¢teau Doisy DaÃ«ne that I tasted many years ago that so fragrant with peach down elegance, hints of guava exoticism and a juicy, crisp but not aggresive pink grapefruit clarity and acidity. This reminds me of it so much, any barrel ageing adding a subtle sheen of almond, but almost disappearing into the shimmering elegance of the finish. 54% Semillon, 46% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% aged in barrel for six months.
(2023) The Fairtrade certification assures you farm workers are treated well at Vergelegenâ€™s estate, this Sauvignon Blanc from multiple carefully selected blocks, each parcel vinified separately before blending.Â It's a very expressive wine, with hallmark elderflower thiols, yes, a little of that 'cat's pee on a gooseberry bush' character, and plenty of tropical, exotic fruit. In the mouth it continues its sensory journey, flooding the palate with both mango/nectarine fruit ripeness and a blast of citrus cut by grassiness to give a streaking grip and freshness to the finish. If the super-charged Sauvignon style appeals to you, this delivers in spades.
(2023) Though I applaud the charitable aspect of this wine - the sale of one bottle provides one meal for a person in need in the Western Cape community - I'm afraid I preferred the Cabernet-Merlot partner, also in Morrisons at Â£9.00. There's nothing much wrong with this, but it feels both thin and a bit cloying, with some residual sugar being used to hide the rather shrill fruit and acidity. Not my cup of tea.