We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Think that own brand wines aren’t worth uncorking? We disagree, and put several of the best bottles to the test to prove it…

Own. Label. Wines. Three words that can strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned sommeliers. But we’re here to tell you that there’s no reason to shy away from these better-value bottles.

In fact, some of our favourite wines are brand’s own offerings. So, to prove a point, we collated a collection of 7 bottles and put them to the test…

2017 Berry Bros. & Rudd Reserve White by Collovray & Terrier

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Let’s start with Berry Bros. & Rudd — and their exceptionally accessible white wine. We’d describe this as ‘dangerous’, given how easy and pleasing it is to drink.

It’s got an almost silky feel, is warm in the throat and has shades of honeydew melon and white peach on the nose. Too many glasses, and it may threaten to taste acidic, but for under £10 a bottle, this is one of our winners.

Grape varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Mauzac and Chenin Blanc
ABV: 13.0%
Score: 8.5/10

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Berry Bros. & Rudd Reserve White

£8.95

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Corney & Barrow Blanc IGP Cotes de Gascogne 2017

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Fellow London wine merchants Corney & Barrow offer an own-label white even cheaper than that of Berry Bros. & Rudd. Again, it’s a commendable bottle for such a low price, but falls a little short in some respects.

A slight fizziness on the palate is distracting, and the sharp taste edges dangerously close to tangy on occasion. Likely better with food, this lightly flowered, lemony wine works — but won’t blow you away.

Grape varieties: Colombard and Ugni Blanc
ABV: 10.5%
Score: 6.5/10

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Corney & Barrow Blanc

£7.95

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Fortnum’s Sancerre Blanc, Domaine Andre Dezat

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

The first thing that hit us about this wine from Fortnum & Mason was the colour. So pale and colourless that it almost looks silvery grey, the taste reflects this; inoffensive, easy to drink but without many distinctive characteristics.

There’s a slightly acidic finish, and overall this is a quality, well-made wine. But would be pay almost £20 a bottle more than once? Probably not.

Grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc
ABV: 13.0%
Score: 7/10

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Fortnum’s Sancerre Blanc, Domaine Andre Dezat

£18.50

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Waitrose Cederberg South African Chenin Blanc

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

The second cheapest bottle on this list, Waitrose’s hat in the ring is a very good effort. There are a surprising number of layers for a wine of such good value; with melon, grapefruit and pear alone coming through on the nose.

Beyond the bouquet, few of these flavours carry through into the taste — and the wine has a slightly savoury flavour, as well as a hint of fizz. But for drinks with friends? A great option.

Grape varieties: Chenin Blanc
ABV: 13.0%
Score: 7.5/10

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Waitrose Chenin Blanc

£8.99

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Fortnum's Pouilly-Fumé, Domaine Jean-Claude Chatelain

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

With a deep, vivid colour, Fortnum’s Pouilly-Fumé is the second offering we tasted from the iconic department store — and another of the best bottles tested.

With summer flowers on the nose, it has both purity of fruit and the typical “gun-flint” character of Pouilly-Fumé. Supremely elegant, it’s a fine-dining wine — but, again, suffers from Fortnum’s slight overpricing.

Grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc
ABV: 12.5%
Score: 9/10

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Fortnum's Pouilly-Fumé

£17.50

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Justerini & Brooks, Dry Riesling, 2015

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

There’s something a little off-putting about the aroma of Justerini & Brooks’ Dry Riesling. But these notes — predominantly of rubber, we decided — are worth pushing through.

For, when you take a sip, this is a great, reasonably-priced Riesling. There’s that fizz again, but you won’t mind it when it bubbles up alongside a refreshing intense crisp apple flavour and spritzy apricot taste.

Grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Riseling
ABV: 13.0%
Score: 6.5/10

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

Justerini & Brooks, Dry Riesling, 2015

£8

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2017 Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary White

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

100 per cent Sauvignon Blanc, this is an incredibly fragrant wine. In the glass, you’ll doubt that these varied, complex nosing notes can transfer to taste — but somehow they do.

Expect a fresh, crisp wine made for drinking parties — and on par with the merchant’s ‘Good Ordinary Claret’ when it comes to quality. Another favourite, and the perfect zesty bottle to keep in the cellar for summer.

Grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc
ABV: 12.5%
Score: 8/10

We tested 7 of the best own label white wines

2017 Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary White

£9.95

Buy Now

Further Reading