Top Ten White Wines of 2015 priced over £6 this week (Top Ten Under £6 in 3 weeks time) with recommended wines starting at £6.99 and going up to £20.10. The Co-op and Majestic are putting up a good show – accounting for half of the list – with other supermarkets and independents making up the rest of the Top Ten.
So what can you expect from a white wine in the above average price per bottle bracket? Lots of flavours that all complement each other so that no one flavour dominates, plus the ability to keep on drinking to the end of the bottle rather than getting bored half way down – which can be the case with some cheaper whites where only one or two flavours make up the wine.
And when you start getting into the £8+ range you’ll also notice a distinct change in the label quality and design. This is because when a wine maker can get more profit per bottle they can justify spending just a little bit more on good graphic design and thicker paper for their labels. Which is part of the ‘posh’ feel you sense when handling the vessel leading to warmer, possibly less judgemental analysis, on drinking the wine.
So how can you avoid this high price bias? Well you could buy all your bottles ‘blind’ without seeing the label (which is going to be difficult to do unless you attend what is know as a ‘blind tasting’ where the labels are deliberately covered up) or you could seek someone else’s advice on what to buy – possibly a wine columnist who has tasted lots and lots of wines so is able to put each wine into context.
Well here they are in ascending order of price.
Top Ten White Wines of 2015 Priced Over £6
Les Jamelles Viognier 2013, French
£6.99 Co-op (currently on offer at £5.99 until December 8)
With the partner Les Jamelles Shiraz in last week’s Top Ten Shiraz, this brand from the Co-op is a reliable and well-priced winner. With creamy flavours of apple strudel and lemon this aromatic Viognier makes a good match to fish in herby sauces or even biscuits and cheese.
Truly Irresistible Co-op Australian Chardonnay 2014
Match this almost smoky apricot and melon flavoured white to chicken Kiev.
Alamos Argentinean Chardonnay 2013
£6.99 Ocado (reduced from £9.99 until December 8)
A refreshing white with layers of flavours: apple, lemon and peach with a smooth ending.
Berry Bros. & Rudd Reserve White, Southern France
£8.45 Berry Bros. & Rudd
This own-label white is ‘dominated by Chardonnay’ – and it tastes like it too so that you’d think you were drinking a Chablis (Chardonnay but grown in northern France) at twice the price: apple, pear plus lemon and a noticeable astringency that tastes like you’ve sucked on the end of a pencil. Nice though.
Clervigny Arbois Reserve 2013, Jura France
If you want a wine that looks expensive to impress your guests but don’t want to shell out £20 a bottle then go for this perfumed and creamy-tasting white. With wonderfully attractive aromas of honey, almonds, flowers and grapefruit this white just makes you want to start sipping – so that the long lasting flavours of apricot, pear and honey come as no surprise.
Villa Nueva Argentinean Torrontes 2014
Orange, apple, grapefruit and lemon – are we drinking a white wine or oloroso sherry? Nice stuff.
Planalto Portuguese Vinho Branco Seco Reserve 2014
£8.99 Majestic (not available in all stores)
Light melon with a creamy apple ending. The touch of sweetness on the flavour adds sophistication.
Tesco Finest English White 2013
This Surrey blend of Chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau and Seyval Blanc makes for a fruity and crisp white with only 11.5% alcohol.
Definition French Chardonnay 2014
This own-label white from Majestic tastes like a buttered crumpet.
Domaine Williiam Fevre Chablis 2013
Half bottle £10.05 (equivalent price £20.10 per 75cl) halfwine.com
Sharp apple with a creamy almond and apricot ending. Posh stuff.
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© Paula Goddard 2015 www.paulagoddard.com