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Wrong Place; Wrong Name. But Dead Right on the Palate.

White wine from an unexpected region and a red grape once thought to be something else come together in today’s Top Tips.

While not exactly one of life’s major mysteries, there is a hint of the unexpected in today’s post.

One concerns the location that provides the featured white wine.

While the red wine was the subject of mistaken identity in South America for decades.

What is beyond question, though, is that both wines are offerings most MidWeekers will enjoy.

Read on to discover more about them.

In the usual way, hyperlinks and pictures are used where possible to help you locate the bottle in question.

A mildly surprising location

2022 Paul Mas Sauvignon Blanc (£8 at Asda and 12% abv):

Sunny Languedoc is not an obvious source of sauvignon blanc.

However, with the right (relatively cool) location and – as here – winemaker, it can provide understated (almost Loire-like) versions like this.

Soft with a long finish, it delivers restrained apple, melon and white peach flavours.

Enjoy too the accompanying ripeness, grassiness and gentle grapefruit acidity.

Identity now definitively established

2021 Irresistible Carmenere (£7 at the Co-op and 14%):

Wine book authors revel in the early confusion in Chile between merlot and carmenere vines.

Admittedly, their appearances and Bordeaux origins are similar, but it is amazing that so much carmenere was once wrongly labelled as merlot.

DNA put matters right, and carmenere is now a much-appreciated Chilean signature grape – as this version from the Maipo Valley testifies. 

Aromatic and smooth, it is centred on skilfully integrated cherry, plum and date flavours.

Those are neatly supplemented by balanced tannin (but firm acidity) and suggestions of chocolate, paprika and allspice.

See you again on Thursday when the focus switches to red wines for BBQ events.

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9 Responses

  1. Looking forward to Thursday’s post Brian but hope you will include some “wet weather” options for us North of the border. Think we’ve had our summer so it’s back to BBQ under the brolly again.

  2. As was said in our Twitter exchange about this wine, I am more forgiving about the label that you are, but no need to compromise about quality of the wine – both of us rate it.

  3. Happily, Chris., the wines can be enjoyed inside or outside. Less so with the barbecue – without the intervention of the Fire & Rescue service.

  4. Another terrific Jean Claude Mas white wine blend is Paul Mas Reserve Languedoc Blanc at Waitrose £9.99.
    A stylish blend of Marsanne,Grenache Blanc .,Vermentino! and a dash of Viognier.Subtle but satisfying use of light wood and a peachy pear flavour with a touch of thyme and oregano.

  5. Rather think that Camenere label is wonderful. Especially the colours and the guitare. 50 years ago in Istanbul at our camp site bar we drink bottles of rustic red with an embossed chimpanzee on the bottle!! Very novel all those years ago. That bottle was way more appealing than the wine!!! Will have to travel to a Co op branch to get the Carmenere round here … but I will. Cheers now …

  6. Good call Paul. Sainsbury’s also have Languedoc Blanc from the Jean-Claude Mas stable with most of the same grapes – not sure about the viognier though.

  7. Hi Brian,
    Agree with you about the very good Languedoc Blanc from Sainsbury’s at £8..It is on offer at 25% discount ,if three or more bottles are bought ,until 25 th July.

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