(2018) A dry Riesling from the limestone soils of the Pfalz, a warmer region than the Mosel or Rheingau, that gives this a certain fat, though it majors on lime-like fruitiness and citrus again in the acidity. It's Riesling expressing the fruitier and more vibrant side of the variety, crisply enjoyable though with litte in the way of 'mineral' character.
(2018) This is another winning wine from Matt and Sophie Parker-Thomson. Large French oak barrels, new and used, where employed to vinify this wine, but it wears any hint of oak very lightly indeed, focusing instead on vibrant, essential-oil fruitiness and crispness. Orange, lemon rind and pepper dominate the nose, and yes, a subtle sheen of creamy oak, but the palate is bright and ram-jam packed with flavour, the lime and mandarin orange clarity of the acidity in the finish is just lovely. On offer at £14.95 at time of review, it really is a top-notch expression of Grüner.
(2018) Matt Thomson is one of New Zealand’s most respected consultant winemakers, behind numerous top labels, and now he and his wife Sophie Parker-Thomson have established Blank Canvas, a premium label sourcing fruit from top vineyards, like this single-vineyard Chardonnay, fermented with wild yeast and aged in large French oak barrels, around 40% of which were new. It’s so appealing, with a flinty mineral edge to cool orchard and lime fruit, given creamy intensity from the barrels. In the mouth there’s an unabashed ripeness of fruit, edging from succulent ripe pear and apple into more tropical nectarine notes, buttery Brazil nut creaminess beneath, and zipping-fresh lemon and salts acidity. A serious, top-end example of Kiwi Chardonnay. On offer at time of review for £22.90.
(2018) From coastal-influenced vineyards near San Luis Obispo, this is quite a buttery and ripe, 'golden' Chardonnay that's not shy on creamy oak or fruit. The palate is creamy too, lots of texture and citrus fruit moving into more tropical, pineapple and mango tones, then decent acidity to harness any excess and leave the finish clean and medium-crisp.
(2018) Aged only in stainless steel tanks, in contact with the lees, there's a bold, assertive creamy pear fruitiness on the nose here, with a little exotic undertow. In the mouth that succulent, ripe orchard fruit has weight and texture, a little guava or mango gives both sweetness and a welcome sour edge, the rounded, custardy, generous acidity adding to the succulence.
(2018) The vinification is similar to the Greco, with four to five months on the lees in tank. It seems a little firmer, more strict on the nose than the Greco, with citrus and herbs and a steely green apple character. In the mouth a similar limpid texture, but indeed the acidity is higher and the whole picture more sharply chiselled, some fat around the mid-palate swept up in a mineral salts and lemony acidity.
(2018) A remarkable wine this in many, from the producer of one of Portugal's rarest and most expensive table wines, Barca Velha. Barca Velha is a red, as might be expected from the heat of the Douro, but here in Planalto we have an inexpensive, crisp and refreshing, delicate white. The secret to that is altitude, with numerous indigenous grape varieties grown on the upper slopes and picked early to retain acidity and freshness. The result is a wine with a delicate floral and lime freshness and limpidity, but gorgeous texture and big thwack of seaside salinity and pithy lemon to finish. Just terrific - flavour, elegance and enjoyment in this modestly-priced wine. Note that the Wine Society also sells in half bottles. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2018) Nosiola is a native grape of Trentino in the far north of Italy, often harvested late to make sweet Vin Santo wine. But here Bottega Vinai (a brand of the super-coop of the area, Cavit) has made a crisp, fresh and dry Nosiola with broad appeal. The variety takes its name from nocciola, the Italian word for hazelnut, the grape said to have a nutty flavour, and indeed, there is a nuttiness here, as well as firm pear and gentle spices, before the palate reveals its bright, focused and juicy fruit, licked with salts and finishing with a dry lime peel lick of precise acidity. A lovely grown-up wine that has broad sipping and food-matching appeal. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2018) The previous vintage of this wine from Kathy and Gary Jordan made Wine of the Week, but this 2017 is irresistable and possibly even better. A pitch-perfect wine, not shy about its creamy, nutty and vanillin-licked barrel fermentation, and rippling with ripe, tropical-edged fruit, but such elegance and balance, touched by flinty, complex sulphide notes then shimmering with lively acidity and a long, intense lime-like finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) An Assyrtiko not from Santorini, but from a new venture in Halkidiki in the north of the mainland, a cool region where the grapes are picked considerably later. There's a lovely waxy citrus and almost figgy character here, in a very aromatic and quite intriguing wine, somethig like blood orange, maybe even a hint mango in the background. On the palate lovely drive and focus: salty minerals for sure, pithy lemon and zesty, tangy grapefruit, but that lighter, stony and fine earthy quality shines through into a long, citrus finish.