There were leeks everywhere you looked in the Languedoc last week so I decided to make a classic dish of leeks vinaigrette (and finely sliced serrano ham) as a starter for Sunday lunch with friends. Despite the vinegar and mustard in the dressing it’s not a sharp dish - the dominant note is the delicate, sweet, oniony taste of the leeks so I was looking for a light, unoaked white which wouldn’t mask that flavour.
I found it in a bottle of Domaine de Coujan’s Rolle - the Languedoc’s name for Vermentino. It’s a wine we loved when we first visited the region 20 odd years ago and has had its ups and downs but is emphatically on form at the moment judging by this bottle.
I discovered to my surprise that the 2009 vintage is stocked by Great Western Wine (and others - see wine-searcher.com) at what appears to be the reduced price of £7.50 though I’d be looking to find the fresher 2010 if I could. In the Languedoc it’s available at Intermarch.
You could obviously substitute an Italian Vermentino (some good ones come from Sardinia) or one from Provence or Corsica where it is also known as Rolle. It would be good with other cold vegetable dishes, salads and seafood too.