© Leon Edler

Another selection of stunning wines, all chosen on the basis of value rather than price and listed in ascending price per cl.

Fief Guérin 2018 Muscadet Sur Lie, Côtes de Grandlieu

£8.49 Waitrose
Delicate, saline, super-pure — evidence of the rehabilitation of Muscadet. Anyone for oysters? 12%

Rainer Wess Grüner Veltliner 2018 Kremstal

£20 per magnum The Wine Society
This has Austria’s trademark grape’s signature white pepper and breadth of clean fruit. Broad and peachy. A please-all for Christmas entertaining? 12.5%

Turner Pageot, Le Blanc 2017 Coteaux du Languedoc

£12.50 The Wine Society
Marsanne grapes treated to some skin contact results in a spicily tangy wine with rich, honeyed fruit but real tension too. No hurry to drink this very serious, unusual wine for the price. A real find. 14%

Ch Rives-Blanques, Dédicace 2018 Limoux

£12.95 The Wine Society
The Panman family of Rives-Blanques were hit by hail and mildew in 2018 but their oaked Chenin survived pretty well. There’s admirable tension in this bone- dry, versatile wine with a really attractive toastiness to it. To judge from a 2008 I tasted recently, it should age far better than I’d expect for a wine at this price. It may seem potent but Chenin’s naturally high acidity maintains the wine’s refreshment value. 14.5%

Ch Ksara Merwah 2018 Lebanon

£13.50 Vintriloquy, £14.99 Oakham Wines
There is massive interest in rediscovered indigenous grape varieties in this part of the world. Merwah was the grape with which the Jesuits founded Ch Ksara in the Bekaa Valley in 1857. This wine, with its broad, candied-lemon flavours, is based on 60-year-old vines planted as high as 1,500m above the Mediterranean. 12.5%

Domaine Fichet, Bourgogne Aligoté 2018 Bourgogne

£13.95 Stone, Vine & Sun
Now that summers in Burgundy are so much warmer, the second-string Aligoté grape is responsible for a host of exciting white burgundies. This one is from Olivier Fichet of the Mâconnais. 12.5%

Domaine Vincent Carême, Spring 2018 Vouvray Sec 2018

£14.99 Waitrose
This really does taste like the essence of spring. Vincent got to grips with Chenin in South Africa and has slowly built up his own modest but superbly run domaine in his native Loire valley. With its tangy acidity, meaty intensity and pure undertow of wild flowers and apple skins, it would make a lovely aperitif. Residual sugar (just 4.5g/l) is negligible. Artisanal wine in a supermarket — a rare beast. 12.5%

Quinta de la Rosa Reserva Branco 2017 Douro

£15.49 JN Wine, £17.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
Portugal’s whites are fast catching up with the reds. This serious, full-bodied blend of 60% Viosinho with a mix of local port varieties is aged in French barriques and is unlike any other white wine. 13%

Lenton Brae Semillon/Sauvignon 2018 Margaret River

£15.50 Private Cellar
How does this small wine region in the far south-west corner of Australia do it? It manages to make superb Chardonnay, sumptuous Cabernet and this local speciality, a combination of the two grapes of white Bordeaux. If you came across this labelled Pessac-Léognan you’d be thrilled. There’s just a hint of oak and the wine manages to be both opulent and refreshing. A great food wine. Maybe with smoked salmon? 13.5%

Begude, Etoile Chardonnay 2018 Limoux

£15.99 Majestic (bolder 2017 is £16.95 Stone, Vine & Sun)
Here’s a racy alternative to white burgundy from the hills of the Languedoc, made by British émigrés. Certified organic, with all the extra care that involves, it’s a blend of the best fashionably large oak casks of Chardonnay in the cellar. Limoux has long been a source of crisp, lightly oaked and great-value Chardonnay. 13.5%

Zanut, Zakaj 2016 Brda

£16.95 Stone, Vine & Sun
Grown in Slovenia, just over the border from Italy, and based on Friulano grapes. Slovenia and Croatia are treasure troves of characterful white wines. This one both smells and feels a little like apple skins and is substantial enough to serve with a main course. 13.5%

Treloar, La Terre Promise 2017 Côtes Catalanes

£17.99 Cambridge Wine Merchants
Beautiful, distinctive Roussillon blend of old-vine Grenache Gris (which always seems much livelier than Grenache Blanc) with Macabeu and a little bit of Carignan Blanc. Yields were barely a quarter of what is usually considered profitable; this wine is underpriced. It was fermented and aged in oak but the effect is on its tight structure rather than leaving any oaky flavour. Spicy fruit on the palate goes on and on in the aftertaste. Serve this with food. Just the job for white-wine drinkers with the turkey. 13.3%

Cave de Hunawihr, Rosacker Riesling 2018 Alsace Grand Cru

£18.25 Exel Wines, £21.99 Noel Young
Stupendous, dense, dry Riesling grown a stone’s throw from the world-famous Clos Ste-Hune that costs many times more. Vinified by the local co-op. 14%

Dom Jean Chartron, Clos de la Combe 2015 Bourgogne

£19.33 Private Cellar
Classic white burgundy at a decent price. Ideal for a traditional dinner party. At peak now. 12.5%

Botanica, Mary Delany Chenin Blanc 2017 Citrusdal Mountain

£22 Wine Society
From old bush vines on a mixed farm way up the west coast of South Africa. Very dense nose with some richness (as opposed to sweetness) on the palate. Should age well too. So complex it deserves a decanter and to be served not too cold. 14%

Berthier, Terre de Marne 2017 Coteaux du Giennois

£22.45 Amathus
Clément and Florian Berthier produce small lots of super-precise northern Loire Sauvignon Blanc from different terroirs, this one from Kimmeridgian marl with small oyster fossils. Opulent yet tense and so much better than many a Sancerre. 12.5%

Pandolfi Price, Los Patricios Chardonnay 2014 Itata

£22.95 Stone, Vine & Sun
Fabulous southern Chilean answer to Meursault. Elegantly packaged and now fully mature, it doesn’t taste nearly as potent as the label suggests. 15%

Hofmann, Appenheimer Steinberg Chardonnay Trocken 2017 Rheinhessen

£22.95 Yapp Brothers
Yapp used to be known for Rhône and Loire but here is evidence of just how far it has branched out: a German Chardonnay raised in new oak but not too obviously so. Very outré, very charming. Excellent balance. Just 13%

Mac Forbes Chardonnay 2017 Yarra Valley

£24.50 Tanners
Compared with the Agnès Paquet Auxey-Duresses at about the same price, this is pretty good — with the same delicacy but just a little more sweetness. 12.5%

Argyros, Monsignori 2017 Santorini

£24.95 Wine & Greene, also Noel Young, Clark Foyster, Butlers Wine Cellar, Bottle Apostle, Highbury Vintners
Greece is the place to look for really fine, distinctive dry whites. Enormous elegance in this underpriced wine made from Assyrtiko vines up to 200 years old. The grape is so resistant to summer heat that it’s been imported into South Australia. 14%

David & Nadia, Aristargos 2017

Swartland £25.95 Vincognito
David & Nadia Sadie have built up the most brilliant operation from scratch. This is a beautiful blend of six different grape varieties, typically from old vines. Grab any wine you can find, although most of their UK allocation is available only by the case in bond from Justerini & Brooks. Grrr. 13%

Dom Agnès Paquet 2017 Auxey-Duresses

£27.75 Haynes Hanson & Clark
Racy and delicate. Complete and everything absolutely in the right place. Obviously Côte d’Or with savour but very pure and open already. Not a bad price in a Burgundian context. 12.5%

Savage White 2018 Western Cape

£28.99 Handford, £29 Swig.co.uk, £30.50 The Good Wine Shop
Duncan Savage is one of the most skilled of the pack of ambitious, motivated, young(ish) South African winemakers. After a glorious career at Cape Point, he now has his own cellar in Cape Town in which to work his magic on wines such as this entrancing, sappy blend of fruit from handpicked parcels of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chenin Blanc. Worth every penny. 14%

Novum Chardonnay 2017 Marlborough

£31.95 The Vinorium, Kent
Debut vintage of a personal project of the winemaker at the admirable Fromm winery in Marlborough. This impressive wine is not cheap but it is hugely promising. Crystalline, complex and clearly able to improve in bottle but it’s already a charmer. 14%

Dom Henri Germain 2016 Meursault

£45 Domaine Direct
Germain’s Meursaults rarely disappoint. This, from a classic white burgundy vintage, really delivers. Very lightly reductive with a light smokiness, this has accessible, charming fruit that has power but no heaviness. 13%

Dom Bernard Moreau, Morgeot Premier Cru 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet

£53.50 Lay & Wheeler
Alex Moreau is doing a great job at his family domaine in Chassagne. This is based on 30- to 90-year-old densely planted vines. It should be decanted and aerated well before serving if you can’t wait before opening it, though it would benefit from several years’ ageing in bottle. Very classy. 13%

Tasting notes on Purple Pages of JancisRobinson.com. International stockists from Wine-searcher.com

This is the third in Jancis’s series of recommendations leading up to Christmas. Next week: sweet and strong

Follow Jancis on Twitter @JancisRobinson

Follow @FTMag on Twitter to find out about our latest stories first. Listen and subscribe to Culture Call, a transatlantic conversation from the FT, at ft.com/culture-call or on Apple Podcasts

Get alerts on Wine when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article