Features & guest posts
The best of Waitrose’s white wines, fizz and stickies: November 2016
There are always so many wines at the Waitrose tasting I rarely end up doing justice to the whites but here are some bottles I’ve picked out for Christmas, along with some fizz and stickies.
So far as the whites are concerned it seems to be mainly about chardonnay this year. I don’t know whether that’s down to my personal taste or that they were showing particularly well. Frustratingly there was no indication at the tasting that the vintages we were shown were not yet available online - hopefully some will be in store though not in all branches. The previous vintage, where applicable, may be equally good but I won't have tried it recently.
Remember you have to buy 6 bottles in total for the offer to apply and that the deal ends next Tuesday November 8th.
All about chardonnay
Albert Bichot Heritage 1831 Chardonnay 2014 Burgundy £15.99 down to £11.99 Limited distribution in store.
Albert Bichot is one of the better Burgundy negociants and although this doesn’t carry a big name it’s a really elegant creamy white that would go with buttery pan fried fish or crab.
Chatel-Buis 2013 Montagny £12.99 down to £9.74
A fuller, richer style from the reliable Vignerons de Buxy co-operative in the south of the Burgundy region - good value at this price. Try with chicken pie.
Domaine Gerard Thomas 2014 Saint-Aubin Premier Cru £21.49 down to £16.12
‘Snap it up on a 25% off deal’ I wrote in my tasting notes and now’s your chance. - if you can grab hold of a bottle. It's a small parcel which isn't available online - and, I discover, only part of which is the cru I tasted (the Murgers des Dents de Chien.) Saint Aubin is one of my favourite burgundy appellations - almost always more competitively priced than better known Chassagne Montrachet. Just gorgeously rich and creamy. Would be ace with the turkey
Saint-Clair Winemaker’s Blend Chardonnay 2015 Marlborough £14.99 down to £11.24
There’s so much savvy blanc around in New Zealand it’s easy to forget they make terrific chardonnay too. Worth snapping up at this price - though note, they only have the 2014 online. Drink with all the usual suspects.
Rustenberg Chardonnay 2015 Stellenbosch £13.49 down to £9.99
And yet another sexy chard, this time from South Africa. Full, lush and opulent - tastes much more expensive than it is, especially at this price. Again the website has the 2014 though.
Other full-flavoured whites
Chateau les Clauzels 2015 Graves £13.49 down to £10.12
White Bordeaux is one of the most underrated styles of wine and this lush blend of sauvignon and semillon is as good as it gets for the price. Drink with scallops or salmon.
Cune Barrel-Fermented Rioja 2015 £10.99 down to £8.24
Like white Bordeaux, white Rioja tends to be eclipsed by its red counterpart and consequently underpriced. A lovely smooth lush white you could drink with richer fish dishes like hake or with pork. Will age at least 3-4 years.
Crisp, dry whites
La Veduta Pinot Grigio 2015 £8.99 down to £6.74
There *is* decent pinot grigio out there you know and this has a lot of character for the price. Perfect for fishy risotti and pasta dishes. Oh, and fritto misto.
Felsner Moosburgerin Grüner Veltliner 2015, Austria £11.99 down to £8.99
Better than the cheaper Markus Huber grüner Waitrose stocks this peppery Austrian white can handle all kinds of dishes from tricky to match salads to Vietnamese. A very useful bottle to have in your wine rack.
Cave de Blebenheim Kleinfels Riesling 2015, Alsace £9.99 down to £7.49
Lovely crisp taut appley riesling to drink with smoked fish or cold roast pork. Bargain.
Louis Guntrum Oppenheimer Sacktrager Riesling Trocken 2015 Rheinhessen £16.75 down to £12.56
If you’re a German riesling fan don’t miss the chance to snap up this gorgeously refreshing grapey, appley riesling at a great price. Fragrant and fruity rather than sweet. Great aperitif or with Asian food.
La Gioiosa Prosecco Superiore Millesimata 2015 Valdobiaddene £13.49 down to £10.12
It’s pretty hard to find good prosecco but this fits the bill. Will your guests notice? Quite possibly not (except for the rather glam bottle) but fizz under or around a tenner is hard to come by. A Which? Best Buy prosecco in 2015
Cuvée Royale Brut Crémant de Limoux £11.99 down to £8.99
Pleasantly creamy with a subtle touch of apple. Would buy on promotion, probably not otherwise. Good party fizz though.
Domaine Rotier Renaissance Vendanges Tardives 2012 Gaillac £14.99 down to £11.24 Limited distribution
Really lovely lush, sweet wine from the south-west of France. Would be perfect with a lighter, fruitier style of Christmas pud.
Henriques & Henriques 15 year old Verdelho £20.99 for 50cl down to £15.74
Really gorgeous madeira - sweet but with incredible acidity. Would be good with a rich paté. Perfect Xmas present for a wine buff
Curatolo Marsala Dolce £11.29 down to £8.47
Sweet, slightly orangey marsala which would be delicious with Christmas cake or panforte. Or as the base for a zabaglione. Brilliant value!
You can find my pick of Waitrose's red wine range here.
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