Six of the best summer white wines by Sam Wylie-Harris
Hello heatwave! Sunshine, blue skies, long, lazy days – and we’re thirsty for bright young things to sip in the sunshine.
We’re in the mood to channel verdant green vineyards, breezy coastal sites and centuries-old olive groves. Want to join us?
From refreshing, light styles to a lively fruit salad and greener than green, these polished whites channel a chilled cornucopia of gratification…
1. Andrew Peace Chardonnay 2020, Victoria, Australia, £5.50, Co-op stores
If you love a fruity, fresh white but think you don’t like chardonnay, give this a whirl. Mellow lime on the nose mingles with yellow fruits, and its juicy, tropical palate and hint of pineapple is enhanced by citrusy freshness. A splash of semillon lends richness and a delicious reminder of how a ripe chard can charm us with its broad flavours, especially at this price.
2. Cambalala Grenache Blanc 2020, Western Cape, South Africa, £6.49, Aldi
A lively fruit salad of tangy green fruits, ripe guava, juicy spiced pear fruit and lemon peel, this gold nugget from South Africa really hits the spot, with a brilliant balance of concentrated flavours and refreshing acidity closing the finish. Mouth-watering, food-friendly and a top drop with spicy seafood or grilled Cajun shrimp. Intense and downright delicious.
3. Ponte de Lima Loureiro, Vinho Verde 2020, Portugal, £6.95, The Wine Society
Young, fresh and sprightly with a seam of spritz to give it a lovely lift, there’s real vivacity to this vinho verde, as it dances on the palate. Fresh aromas of lemon and lime blossom, backed by pear and stone fruits with a happy, zippy finish makes it even more appealing. A perfectly poised Portuguese for summertime sipping.
4. Torres Viña Esmeralda 2020, Catalonia, Spain, £9, Tesco
High summer is the perfect time to pay a little more attention to delightful, off dry styles, with bags of blossomy fruit crowned with fragrant florals – such as this pretty blend of muscat and gewürztraminer. Bringing the best of both worlds together, with heady notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, lychee and roses, it’s soft and silky and the intensity of ripe, stone fruits is perfectly balanced by light acidity. Utterly gorgeous, a natural with Asian inspired summer salads.
5. Cantina Goccia Celi, Umbria, Italy, £12.50, Woodwinters
A bright white with excellent eco-friendly credentials, Cantina Goccia were one of the first wineries to introduce the Frugal Bottle made from 94 per cent recycled paperboard. Teasingly lightweight, at five times lighter than the average glass bottle, it’s a joy to hold and drink. An invigorating blend of grechetto, vermentino and chardonnay from the ‘green heart of Italy’, the wine’s full of lemony notes, blossom, white peach and sage, underlying minerality and lovely floral lift on the fruity finish. A must for al-fresco entertaining and picnic hampers.
6. The Rothschild Collection Rimapere Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand, £19, Harvey Nichols
A notch up the scale, this splendid sauvignon blanc is a collaboration between the Rothschild dynasty and blue-chip winery Craggy Range – and highlights everything we love about the country’s most famous export. Exciting and beautifully aromatic, with the promise of a perfect parcel of passion fruit, concentrated gooseberry, vine tomatoes, freshly cut grass and lemony acidity, it’s super pure, expressive and full of finesse. A joyous glass.