White Wine Charles Smith Substance Chardonnay 2019. Charles Smith grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains close to Sacramento. He traveled Europe for many years as a rock band manager and soon became inspired by the excellent wines he experienced on the road. He eventually decided to head back to the US with this new passion and set up his very own wine label using top quality fruit from Washington State. Such is Smith’s dedication and commitment to the art of winemaking, he has been named Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and Food & Wine magazines. In his first vintage in 1999 he made just 330 cases of Syrah, while today he crafts a wide range of wines from different grapes and is always experimenting with new cuvees and techniques. This attractive Chardonnay is bursting with bright tropical fruit like lusciously ripe mango, passionfruit, lychee and pineapple. On the palate there’s a refreshing burst of acidity carefully balanced by a medium body and creamy texture. The long, complex finish with plenty of ripe fruit and subtle spiced notes makes this a great match for mature cheeses, creamy pasta dishes, lobster, or substantial salads.
White Wine Charles Smith Substance Chardonnay 2019
White Wine Chateau Coutet 2019. Ranked as a Grand Cru Classe estate by the 1855 Classification, Chateau Coutet is one of the top producers in the Barsac sub-region of Sauternes. Barsac is famed for its lusciously sweet dessert wines thanks to the nearby Ciron River, relatively flat land and light gravel soils. These conditions produce rich autumn fogs which promote the growth of so-called noble rot”, a type of fungus which helps to raise the sugar concentration in the grapes by piercing their skins and allowing water to evaporate. This majestic bottling from Chateau Coutet is primarily composed of Semillon along with a smaller proportion of Sauvignon Blanc and a dash of Muscadelle. The grapes are picked late, giving them time to become infected with noble rot and to create a rich dessert wine with high residual sugar levels. The young wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months to add subtle toasted notes and extra complexity. This is an excellent wine to hold in the cellar for another decade or so since it still has significant potential for evolution and maturation. If you do choose to drink it now, the intense sweetness makes a great partner for foie gras, blue cheeses, or rich chocolate or fruit desserts.
White Wine Chateau Purcari Alb de Purcari 2019. Serve well chilled. Although little-known outside of its Moldovan homeland, Chateau Purcari is making waves as one of Eastern Europe’s most exciting wineries. The winery’s heritage dates back to the 19th century when French settlers partnered with local monks to begin planting Bordeaux varieties here alongside the indigenous grape varieties. Over the intervening years the quality of the local wines has been recognised at key wine competitions like the Paris World Exhibition as well as more recently at the Decanter World Wine Awards where this wine won a silver medal. Alb de Purcari is a stunning white composed of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio along with a drop of Pinot Blanc. The grapes are sourced from estate vineyards planted close to the Black Sea which provides a cooling influence and helps to preserve aromatics and freshness in the white grape varieties. The fruit is carefully harvested by hand and vinified according to time-honoured winemaking techniques before being matured in French oak barrels for 6 months. Enchanting hints of green apple, honeysuckle and stone fruit define the nose while the palate offers mouthwatering freshness, a medium body, and a well-rounded texture with hints of cream and toasted oak from the barrel ageing. A great match for grilled fish, chicken dishes served with a rich, creamy sauce, or a generous platter of cheeses.