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Sauvignon Semillon, Chenin Blanc from Sainsbury’s and Tesco: Lynn News Wine O'Clock

Giles Luckett's Wine O'Clock column

Hello. Next week the weather is set to turn fair, which after the foul we’ve had over the past few days is the least it can do. To compliment the inevitable hysterical, ‘Phew, what a scorcher!’ headlines, here are a collection of cool whites to sip in the sunshine.

First up, one of the best value wines I’ve seen in a long time, the creatively named Australia Sauvignon Semillon (Lidl £4.25).

A Chenin Blanc
A Chenin Blanc

While no one will call this profound, well, no one who can define profound - it is profoundly drinkable.

The nose is a tingly mix of gooseberries, pears, and kiwifruits, and in the mouth, there are refreshing flavours of citrus fruits, grapefruit and a rich touch of apricot.

This is a great fun solo sipper or partner for seafood or salads.

If you’re looking for something richer, then I recommend the Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc (Tesco £8.50 with a Clubcard).

I’ve been an admirer of Villa Maria for many years and their wines, red and white, never disappoint.

My latest encounter with this wine was something of a surprise. It was less aggressively gooseberry/green peppers, and also seemed to have less residual sugar.

Overall it was leaner, tighter, more elegant and precise. It’s still a cracking little fruit bomb, but there’s rhubarb, lime, and minerals adding complexity and freshness.

Next, we have the South African Chenin Blanc 2020 (Adnams £13.99). South Africa produces some of the best Chenin there is, and with three years of bottle age, this example shows the grape’s quality.

With its fresh nose of white blossoms, honeydew melon, and grapefruit, you’d expect this to be zesty and light. While these elements are present, there’s also baked apple, peach and nectarine tones that make it fresh, yet weighty and satisfying.

I’ll finish this week with a flourish with the Studio by Miraval White (Sainsbury’s £13). While name won’t win any awards, the wine will. Miraval is one of the finest estates in Provence, and the Studio is for their more experimental wines.

The Studio is made from Rolle also known as… Anyone? Yes, that’s it Vermentino. It’s a funky, cool, stylish wine that combines fresh green and yellow skinned fruit – grapes (I was surprised), peaches, and plums – with balancing savoury notes of crushed nuts, dried herbs, and a touch of almond kernel bitterness that roots in the region’s style.

Dry, and crisp, this is great wine for roasted poultry and well-seasoned white fish.

More soon…!

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