Carol Brown offers up a variety of wine choices which will transport you from your staycation to some of your favourite European destinations.
Oh, those summer whites! My selection this month takes you to some of our favourite European destinations, so even if this year is all about the staycation, I hope that you can enjoy them in the campervan, under the stars, on the beach or even in the back garden!
Tenuta Roveglia 2019, Lugana DOC, Italy, Asda £9.50
The DOC zone of Lugana overlaps the regional borders of Lombardy and Veneto and if you have ever holidayed around the south of Lake Garda you will probably have passed through the five communes of Desanzano del Garda, Pozzolengo, Sirmione, Lonato and Pechiera Del Garda that make up the zone. The white grape here is Turbiana (formally known as Trebbiano di Lugana).
This is such an expressive example of the style – fragrant with blossom, spice, peach and apricot. On the taste, it’s dry with a lovely purity of fruit, think nectarines, peaches and pears leading to a lingering finish.
Drink alongside simply grilled sea bass or bream.
Triplica, Greco di Tufo DOCG, Campania, Italy, Majestic Wines £9.99
The Greco grape is probably Greek in origin. Some of the best examples are found on the volcanic soils of Campania in the South of Italy and especially in the DOCG zone of Greco di Tufo.
Also, the climate in this part of Italy can be really hot in the summer months; the grapes are grown at altitude – around 450-500 metres – so it’s cooler and there is quite a difference between day and night-time temperatures. Volcanic soils often give a minerality to wines.
Lovely and fragrant with notes of almond, melon and mango. This is dry and zingy with grapefruit and citrus and a mineral edge.
The Society’s Exhibition Sancerre 2019, Domaine Serge Laloue, Loire Valley, France, thewinesociety.com £16.50
The appellation of Sancerre is in the central vineyards of the Loire Valley and is the homeland of Sauvignon Blanc.
The wines also happen to go really well with locally produced young goats’ cheese. Although the majority of wine produced here is white, you might occasionally see really pale rose or red Sancerre.
These are always made with cool-climate loving Pinot noir and are well balanced and delicate.
This is a scented glassful of peaches, pears and elderflower with uplifting grapefruit notes. That grapefruit tang reappears on the taste with nectarine and pineapple and a dry mineral end.
Chateau L’Oiseliniere de La Rammee, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2018, £8.50, thewinesociety.com
The appellation for Muscadet is at the Atlantic end of the Loire Valley. The Serve et Maine zone is the largest region in the Nantes covering an area between the Loire tributaries the Sevre and the Maine.
Lively styles of wine are produced from the Melon Blanc grape which are further enhanced by the wine spending at least six months “sur lie” (resting on the lees) which gives more definition and complexity.
This is a cracking example with savoury, minerally scents and notes of green apple peel and pear. In the mouth it’s dry and racy with a mineral lift to the lingering citrus and pear flavours. Enjoy over a long lunch and a plate of shellfish or moules mariniere.
CVNE Maruxa Godello, Valdeorras DO, Spain, RRP £14.75, simplywinesdirect.co.uk
If you spend any time in my company, you will soon be introduced to the Albarino grape from north-west Spain – now I would like you to meet the Godello grape!
The Valedorras DO is inland in the Atlantic-influenced north-west area of Galicia.
The scents are of melon, peach, pear and Golden Delicious apples. It’s dry and mid-weight and citrusy with white peach and a lovely, textured mouthfeel with a lifting fresh acidity.
Imagine alongside baked hake and gambas!
Ponte de Lima, Vinho Verde DOC 2020, Portugal, £7.50, thewinesociety.com
Over the border, we are now in the northern Portuguese wine region of Vinho Verde which is also Atlantic influenced. The grape is the local Loureiro.
This takes me right back to my first educators visit which was a tour of the wine regions of Portugal.
Lightly effervescent as Vinho Verde often is, the aromas are reminiscent of lemon peel and lime juice with blossom and apple touches. It’s lively and lemony with a green apple crunch and lingering finish. Drink, as I did on the first night of that trip in Oporto, with a seafood platter.
Virtual wine tastings are here to stay and my September Virtual Wine Uncorked dates look at wines from the south-west of France and also California.
I’m also very excited to get back to live, in-person tastings with the return of the informal Aberdeen Wine Appreciators on September 23 with a tasting of wines from South Africa.
For more information, visit wineuncorkededucation.co.uk