HIGHLY COMMENDED Chilean white Tapihue Wines Vina Quintay Grand Reserve Chardonnay, Casablanca 2017 (£12.29, Halewood International): Balanced, cool-climate Chardonnay.
WEINGUT DÖNNHOFF, OBERHÄUSER BRÜCKE RIESLING SPÄTLESE Nahe, Germany 2013 The Nahe’s terroirist master of Riesling, Helmut Dönnhoff, now ably assisted by son, Cornelius, continues to make some of Germany’s finest wines from his 25ha of Erste Lage, or grand cru, vineyards. The vineyard here is a monopole situated right next to the river, with a terroir of weathered rock, with gray slate bedrock covered with a layer of loess loam. And, according to the Top 100 judges, it yields a wine of “perfect, exquisite balance between sweetness and acidity. “It’s not at all cloying – it’s just so classy with its lemon and orange flavours, and waxy texture.”
AVANTIS ESTATE WINERY LENGA
Kato Asites, Dafnes, Crete, Greece 2018
Evia, Greece 2018
It was a stellar performance in this year’s competition for Crete’s Diamantakis, with a Trophy for Best White for its Diamantopetra White, and a second slot in the Top 100 for this electric Assyrtiko. High altitude is one of the keys to the success of this dry white: the Assyrtiko vines are planted at 600m above sea level in the eastern foothills of Psiloritis. Winemaking, in the family’s modern facility opened in 2008, is precise, aiming to capture the vibrant joys of the variety. “Bright, zingy and fresh – great value,” said the judges. “Such a nice balance and with all that delightful citrussy fruit this is just the thing to recommend to customers looking for a match with fish.”
Greek Gewürztraminer? If you’re making wine in a country that can do quite OK with its own enticingly aromatic varieties, that might seem like an odd thing to attempt. But after years of work Avantis Estate was convinced that the famously billowing spicy variety could work very well in the terroir of Euboa in central Greece. And the judges were inclined to agree with them after tasting this unoaked cuvée, named after the wife of Avantis’ driving force, Apostolos Mountrichas. “Very punchy, spicy, rosepetal and lychee-scented nose – yup, this is very definitely Gewürz,” the judges said. “It works really well – there’s great balance among all that exotic flavour.”
Avantis Estate Winery
RRP £39.80 ABV 8%
RRP £13.99 ABV 13%
RRP £14 ABV 13%
Kozlovic Malvasia, West Istria 2017 (£14.49, Hallgarten & Novum Wines): Intriguing herbs, flowers and stone fruit; fresh acidity.
English white Gusbourne Guinevere, Kent 2016 (£25, Gusbourne): Burgundy comes to Kent! Classy oakinfluenced Chardonnay.
French white Domaine Bouchié-Chatellier Pouilly-Fumé ‘Premier Millésimé’, Loire 2017 (£23.99, Boutinot): Elegant, flinty, true-to-type Loire Sauvignon. Turckheim Pinot Blanc Organic, Alsace 2017 (£12.99, Boutinot): Clean, easy-drinking freshness with nice weight of orchard fruit. François Lurton Mas Janeil Blanc Le Traou de l’Ouille, Côtes du Roussillon 2015 (£21.50, Enotria&Coe): Characterful, smoky-reductive, rich and golden: complex. Domaine Cazes Collioure Clos des Paulilles White, Roussillon 2017 (£17.95, Enotria&Coe): Rounded Grenache Blanc/Gris blend with peachy floral tones. Sylvain Loichet Ladoix Village Blanc Bois de Grechons, Burgundy 2015 (£50, Hallgarten & Novum Wines): Soft, creamy, approachable white Burgundy. Gouffier Bouzeron ‘Les Corcelles’, Burgundy 2016 (£23.99, Hallgarten & Novum Wines): Fresh, wellmade 100% Aligoté. Jean-Luc Colombo St-Péray La Belle de Mai, Rhône 2018 (£25.50, Hatch Mansfield): Decadent: marzipan, stone fruit and honey.
The Wine Merchant Top 100
The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners Supplement 2019