Jancis Robinsons top whites for 2012

Saturday, 15 December, 2012
Jancis Robinson.com: www.jancisrobinson.com
France seems to hog an even higher proportion of recommendations here than it did for last week's reds - perhaps not surprisingly in view of so many stunning wines from Alsace and the Loire - and Burgundy.
It is worth remembering that above £10 or so a bottle, smaller, apparently more upmarket, merchants can often offer better value than the mass-market retailers - though top marks to M&S for sourcing in strange but satisfying places. I had to cut this list of 34 down to 25 for the Financial Times but this is the long list.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett 2011 Mosel
Broad, fruity, flattering Mosel that is light and lively and very rewarding. Lychee flavours. Off dry, pure and fabulous quality for the price, presumably because the vineyard is not famous. 11%
£9.50 The Wine Society

Verus Sipon 2011 Stajerska Slovenija
Tokaj's Furmint by any other name grown in eastern (sorry, not western!) Slovenia. Exciting! Broad, spicy and pretty tight on the palate but convincingly tense with clean, fresh fruit. Very tart on the finish but none the worse for that. 13%
£9.99 Real Wine Co

Producteurs Plaimont, Le Passé Authentique 2010 St-Mont
Bravo, les Gascons, for having rescued their indigenous Arrufiac and Petit Courbu grape varieties and blended them with Gros Manseng to produce this tense, vibrant, scented, herbal bargain dry white. 13%
£9.99 Waitrose (257 branches)

Sevilen Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Turkey The most unexpected wine of all - A high altitude Aegean that tastes almost more like Chablis than Sancerre. Quite broad across the palate but bone dry and hugely respectable. Great value. 12.5%
£9.99 Marks & Spencer (140 stores)

Meerlust Chardonnay 2009 Stellenbosch

Some leesiness on the nose, but good savoury, confident fruit. Serious wine with lovely texture. Refreshing acidity and intriguing almond flavours. Much more open and approachable - and lively - than many a 2009 white burgundy at this price. Shows just how good Cape Chardonnay can be. 13.5%
£18.99 Wine Rack

A A Badenhorst, Wine NV Western Cape 16.5 Drink 2012-2015
A fair South African copy of the Jura's vin jaune at a fair price. Highly individual. A headache for Cape authorities but great fun for wine geeks. 13%
£18.99 Handfords

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