There’s a chance that we might be nearing the end of the world as we know it, with record high temperatures being reached last month, and an alarming number of folk donning a pair of shorts at the first sight of the mercury rising.
And, if there’s one shift we are noticing more than any other, it is an unseasonal and unnerving desire to sip on a glass of chilled white wine in the evening sun — despite the fact that we are still in early March. With this in mind, we asked the real experts to give us their predictions for the vino blanco set to seriously impress this year.
According to a Head Sommelier...
Lorenzo Abussi is the Head Sommelier at Rüya London, and champions thinking outside of the box when it comes to sourcing the perfect white. For a taste of the best that Turkey has to offer, he recommends the Fume Blanc 900, a 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the hillside of Izmir.
“The wine is produced from High altitude vineyards. After the harvest, the wine ferments and ages in barrels, to give the final product a particular intensity and texture.”
For an early taste of the summer ahead, Lorenzo recommends a Sicilian Azisa. “Produced from the most famous Cantina Mazzei, this amazing blend of autochthonous grapes is fruity and floral with hint of zagara flowers and a very pleasant minerality”, he says. “Served chilled, not cold, this will be a must for the summer.”
According to a wine importer…
Richard Ellison is the Founder of Wanderlust Wine, the ethical importers of wines sourced from off the beaten track — here, he calls upon his wide-reaching knowledge of where to find the best hidden gems for these suggestions.
For those looking to get experimental, Richard advises trying the Kikelet Dry Tokaji. “It’s Tokaji — but not as you know it!” he says, “everyone knows the Hungarian wine for being one of, if not the best sweet wine in the world. However, there is also dry Tokaji available. Furmint is the grape everyone is talking about and made on volcanic soils, it carries through incredible minerality and vibrance.”
For something a little closer to home, Richard suggests trying something other than a sparkling wine from English soil. “Furnace Projects are a vineyard who are creating wine that is unique, different and well made in Herefordshire. They make two whites, Starling and Blackbird — selected for their fit (and resistance!) to the English climate.”
Heading further afield, Richard’s final recommendation is the Australian Fiano from Oliver’s Taranga. “Absolutely packed full of flavour and profile, this is juicy and mouth-watering but still delicate – with honeysuckle florals characters accompany the crunchy texture to finish.”
According to what we've loved most...
OK, so we might not be the real experts here, but there are a few white wines that have really impressed us so far this year— and which deserve to be championed amongst our shortlist.
For a Chardonnay which tastes like a fine Burgundy (at a fraction of the price), the Tolpuddle 2015 Chardonnay is an intensely aromatic, but dangerously drinkable number. Hailing from the Tolpuddle Vineyard in the Coal River Valley, this wine benefits from a cooler climate in order to develop a naturally elegant finish.
If you are something of a sweet-tooth, the The Clarendelle Amberwine is made from late-harvested grapes in Monbazillac — combining citrus, honey, marmalade and candied fruit flavours. Dizzyingly decadent, Amberwine is seemingly designed for impressing a dinner party table, thanks to the wine’s beautiful hue from which it takes its name.
Finally, the Chateau De Santenay Le Roche Blanc makes our shortlist (and not just for being another beautifully-coloured number). This golden wine has yellow peach and apricot perfumes with hints of vanilla sweetness — all supported by by judicious oak ageing.
Tolpuddle 2015 Chardonnay
Clarendelle Amberwine Monbazillac 2015
Chateau De Santenay Le Roche Blanc (Price for 6)
Looking for more wine guides? Here’s how to decant wine, according to a top collector…