December 6, 2013 4:56 pm

Top 100 festive wines: white wine

Part two of our guide to the best of Christmas drinking
Ingram Pinn's illustration depicting white wine©Ingram Pinn

White wine bargains are always rarer than their red counterparts but there are 28 truly fine wines here, from all over the world, listed in ascending order of lowest-known price in the UK.

Vigné-Lourac, Cuvée Classique 2012 IGP Comté Tolosan

Blend of southwest France (Mauzac, Loin de l’Oeil, Muscadelle) and Sauvignon Blanc grapes make an intensely “local” and comfortable wine with a certain smoky perfume and only moderate acidity. 12%

£6.95 Great Western

Jérôme Choblet, Le Fief Guérin Vieilles Vignes Sur Lie 2012 Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu

Relatively full-bodied Muscadet but definitely saline and fun. Very juicy and salivatory with real depth of flavour. 2012 was a great Muscadet vintage. 12%

£7.99 Waitrose

Thymiopoulos Malagousia 2012 Náoussa

Full marks to M&S for seeking out a fine example of the Greek Malagousia grape that is responsible for this clean, fragrant wine with an attractive undertow of molten honey and lively vegetation. Very good balance and interest. 12%

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Jancis Robinson

£8.99 Marks and Spencer

Miguel Torres, Cordillera Chardonnay 2011 Limarí Valley

Half the fruit grown in this new, cool region was fermented in new French oak barrels. With its vaguely stony nose, it tastes more like Chablis than any other European style. Not the utmost in sophistication but great value. 13.5%

£10.44 Wilks & Co

Maison Roche de Bellene, Cuvée Spéciale 2011 Bourgogne

Most Bourgogne Blanc comes from Mâcon but this barrel-fermented, keenly priced example, made by Nicolas Potel, is very pure and tastes very Côte d’Or. Creditably long. This would make a great house white. 13%

£10.95 The Wine Society

André Pigeat 2012 Quincy

Quincy can offer great value compared with its more famous neighbour Sancerre; much older vines too. Amazingly rich nose for a Sauvignon Blanc. Really seriously broad, floral and fun – but sufficiently fresh too. 12.5%

£11.95 Jeroboams

Ridgeback Chenin Blanc 2012 Paarl

Mildly nutty nose with some flowers, honey and tension on the palate. No hurry to drink this. It’s unusually easy to see a relationship with Chenin Blanc’s roots in the Loire. Good stuff. 13%

£11.99 Real Wine Co

Dom Lyrarakis, Thrapsathiri 2012 Crete

Thrapsathiri is the grape. Some skin contact. Exciting grip on the palate and some refreshing aromas of vegetation. Produced in tiny quantities and offering real substance and interest. Neat finish. 13.5%

£12.95 Berry Bros

Finca Viñoa 2012 Ribeiro

Smart, heavy bottle. Made from a blend of four Galician grape varieties – mainly Treixadura. Satisfyingly complete, refreshing and persistent. 13.5%

£13.50 H2Vin

Dr Bürklin-Wolf, Wachenheimer Riesling trocken 2011 Pfalz

Unusually exuberant for a “village” rather than a single-vineyard wine. Perhaps prolonged biodynamic viticulture has imbued it with some extra zip and flavour. 12.5%

£13.50 Tanners

Dom Vincent Dampt 2012 Chablis

Very pale. Quite intense and sculpted. Good apéritif. A fine emissary of the superior 2012 vintage in Chablis. 12.5%

£13.95 Corney & Barrow

Château Roquefort, Roquefortissime 2012 Entre Deux Mers

An all-Sauvignon dry white bordeaux from a family estate. Excellent price for a creamy wine aged in new French oak barrels. Bright-fruited and seductive. Good balance and already drinking well with no obvious oak. Green fruit flavours. 13%

£13.99 Waitrose

Luigi Maffini, Kratos Fiano 2012 IGT Paestum

Full, scented and one of the most concentrated and sculpted Campanian Fianos I have encountered recently. 13%

£15.75 Lea & Sandeman

Toni Jost, Bacharacher Hahn Riesling trocken 2011 Mittelrhein

Opulent floral and orange-peel nose. There’s a great explosive bunch of flowers and fruit on the palate. Lovely! Not bone dry by any means but excellent value in terms of crisp but fruity delivery. 13.5%

£14.50 The Wine Society

Dom de l’Écu, Expression de Gneiss 2011 Muscadet

Designed to showcase the soil type of the vineyard, this wine is chock full of personality. Edgy, dense and pungent. A real mouthful – so unlike many Muscadets. 12%

£14.50 H2Vin

Dom Chavy-Chouet, Les Femelottes 2011 Bourgogne

A bit pinched but very well priced for a wine grown in Meursault, even if on the fringes. Light and tight. 12.5%

£14.95 Roberson (also at M&S)

Errázuriz Chardonnay 2011 Aconcagua Costa

From a new vineyard close to Chile’s Pacific coast and very fine indeed. Satin-smooth texture and flavours of lime, damp stones and with an appetising dry finish.

£14.95 Winedirect.co.uk

Dom Zind Humbrecht, Heimbourg Gewürztraminer 2008 Alsace

Very broad, peachy, intense nose and then a firm, grippy palate from one of the star winemakers of Alsace. No fat, just structure. Great to find a mature, single-vineyard example of this heady grape at a specially reduced price. 14%

£14.99 for two from Majestic

Château Depeyre, Symphonie 2011 IGP Côtes Catalanes

One of Roussillon’s great blends of Grenache Gris with about a third Grenache Blanc, from grapes once grown to produce the local strong, sweet wines. But this is bone dry, tense with tingle and real interest. Lovely undertow and layers of flavour. No hurry to drink this. 14.5%

£15.95 Stone Vine & Sun

Schug Chardonnay 2011 Carneros

Very nice balance between the delicacy of Carneros and the ripeness of California. A complete wine that is by no means overpriced. Lovely texture, just a hint of malolactic fermentation. Very open and easy to appreciate. Bravo! 14.5%

£16.99 Marks and Spencer

Dom Grand, Savagnin/Chardonnay Tradition 2010 Côtes du Jura

Pale gold and very nutty on the nose – this tastes like pure Jura with a hint of varnishas well as walnuts. Real excitement without a sky-high price. Very clean, super-tangy finish. Ready to enjoy. 14%

£17.95 Berry Bros

Rolly-Gassmann Gewürztraminer 2002 Alsace

Fun to see such maturity! Very pungent and concentrated, yet still lively. It is quite unlike a young Gewürz but is truly educational. Certainly doesn’t taste past it – just a tad more paint-like than some. Quite a bit of sweetness and a hint of ginger. 13%

£17.95 Old Bridge Wines

Robert Oatley, Finisterre Chardonnay 2011 Margaret River

Rich start, very flattering and mouthfilling. No evidence of the anorexia that has been afflicting Australian Chardonnay recently. Made by Larry Cherubino, this was much more satisfying than any of the white burgundies in the same Waitrose line-up – even those far more expensive. 13%

£18.99 Waitrose

Kumeu River, Village Chardonnay 2010 Kumeu

Very lively and jewelly. Admirably precise and appetising from one of New Zealand’s most experienced Masters of Wine. 13.5%

£20.25 Haynes Hanson & Clark

Dom Hubert Lamy, Les Frionnes Premier Cru 2011 St-Aubin

Light and fresh – masses of acidity and some mealiness, lemon and fresh. Classic nervy white burgundy. 13%

£24.25 Lay & Wheeler

Meursault Narvaux 2009, Louis Jadot

Proper, recognisable Meursault. Very juicy and substantial on the palate and already quite developed aromatically. 13%

£25 for two from Majestic

Sabinares 2011 Arlanza

Special personal project of the winemakers at Laithwaite’s Rioja supplier Gomez Cruzado in a DO near Burgos. Field blend that is mainly Albillo. Excitingly heady nose that is on the verge of sourness but is chock full of flavour. Honeyed start and then wonderfully broad, nutty flavours plus freshness. Very serious wine. For food and with a great expansive finish. 14.5%

£25 Laithwaites

Dom Thomas Morey 2011 Chassagne-Montrachet

Smoky nose. Quite a standout! Lots of fruit, very accessible. Mid- weight and just the ticket. 13.5%

£34.75 H2Vin 6

More stockists at winesearcher.com. Next week: Jancis’s top reds. See also this weekend’s Special Report ‘The Business of Whisky’

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