The best white wines for Christmas
Wine prices can go up, but so can quality – and I truly believe in all of the wines below, regardless of cost. Many retailers are offering discounts on these single bottle prices below. I also recommended a few premium wines that come in bag-in-box packaging. The wines are classified in increasing price per cl.
AA Badenhorst, the curator 2020 Coastal region 13%
Adi Badenhorst offers value even at a premium price. This drink-me blend of 51% Chenin Blanc, 22% Chardonnay, 22% Viognier plus a little Semillon and Colombard is satin.
£ 6.74 (was £ 8.99 in December) Waitrose
Domaine Huber Grüner Veltliner 2020 Traisental 12.5%
Very pleasant, even intense, introduction to the Austrian signature grape variety, medium bodied and refreshing. Great price.
£ 7.78 (was £ 10.79 for December) Waitrose
Villiera Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Stellenbosch 13%
South Africa is a good source of value. This wine is appetizing dry with real character. To drink with or without food, but circulate it a little to ventilate it.
£ 8 M&S
De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Cape Town 13.5%
You almost feel the ocean wind in this subtle dry wine with top notes of green fruits and vegetation. Great value at promotional price.
£ 8.99 (was £ 11.99 in December) Waitrose
Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Stellenbosch 13.5%
Another Cape answer to Marlborough that’s pleasantly dry and full of flavor. Drink now.
Corte Mainente, Vigna Cengelle 2020 Soave 12.5%
From a producer eager to develop his sales in the United Kingdom, hence the extremely friendly price. Convincing proof of the quality revolution at Soave.
£ 10.95 Stone, vine and sun
Blütenreich Riesling 2020 Niederösterreich 12.5%
Organic methods in the vineyard. Very fine and very Austrian with a bit more spice and body than the average German Riesling. Great value.
£ 10.99 MJ Wine Cellars
Ciu Ciu, Oris 2020 Falerio 13%
Des Marche, on the east coast of Italy. Certified organic. Edging of green apples but enough ripe fruit and interest. Excellent balance and dynamism.
£ 11.90 The Supply Table
Luigi Baudana, Dragon 2020 Langhe 13.0%
Blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc with local Nascetta and a little Riesling from an estate belonging to the Vajra de Barolo family. A palette of flavors with floral and green fruit notes. Long and vibrant. A good wine for the money.
£ 11.95 The Wine Society
Encostas da Pedra Alta 2019 Douro Branco 12.5%
Blend of wild Douro yeast partially fermented in barrels. Full of tangy character and still young and dynamic at two years old. Truly tense and glorious.
£ 38.50 for a 2.25l bag in box (equivalent to £ 12.83 per bottle) The BIB Wine Co
TR Wines Dry Furmint 2020 Upper Hungary 13%
From a single plot in the village of Talya near Tokaj. Light nose of baked apples and excellent structure. Recognizable dry furmint with a little chewiness of apple skin. Really interesting.
£ 39 for a 2.25 l bag in box (equivalent to £ 13 a bottle) The BIB Wine Co
Pazo da Maga 2020 Ribeira Sacra 13%
Brilliant value of the steep slopes of the Sil valley in north-western Spain, where viticulture is described as “heroic”. Made from the great Godello grape.
€ 14.95 Léa & Sandeman
Autòcton Xarel-lo 2019 Spain 12.5%
The Catalan Xarel-lo grape can produce sophisticated dry whites like this, from old certified organic vines in an old winery south of Barcelona.
£ 15.50 Léa and Sandeman
Sybille Kuntz Riesling trocken 2020 Moselle 12%
Truly beautiful dry Riesling from a craggy vineyard cultivated in biodynamics. Intense but not heavy. Pleasant to drink with spicy dishes.
£ 15.99 to £ 23.99 De Burgh, Vino Vero, Highbury Vintners, Uncharted, Noble Fine Liquor, Tivoli Wines
Kyrenia 2020 Patras 12%
A wine from the north of the Peloponnese made from the Roditis grape variety. Light nose of dried leaves but excellent grip in the mouth without too much alcohol.
16 £ The supply table
AA Badenhorst, Riviera 2020 Swartland Secateurs 13%
An orange wine (very pale) composed of 75% Chenin Blanc and 25% Grenache Blanc. It would be a great introduction to the white adherent on contact with the skin.
£ 16.90 The Supply Table
Quinta da Silveira Branco 2017 Douro 12.5%
Dry whites from the Port Valley in northern Portugal are among the most interesting wines in the world. This one is usefully mature.
£ 16.95 Davy’s Wine Merchants
Inama, Vigneti di Foscarino 2018 Soave 13%
Soave can be just as good as a good white burgundy. This 2018 lasts forever in the mouth and it’s a bargain at a reduced price.
£ 16.99 (up from £ 19.99 in December) Waitrose
Terrazas de los Andes Chardonnay 2018 Mendoza 14%
From a range of vineyards in the Andes. Impressive persistence. Great natural freshness and clearly ripe fruit, although the smoke successfully diverts it.
£ 16.99 Majestic (just £ 11.99 if six bottles are purchased)
Planeta, Eruzione 1614 2018 Sicily 12.5%
The vines of Carricante are planted at 800m on volcanic soils. Flavors of hazelnut and lime with a light chew. Amazing texture.
£ 18.50 The Wine Society
Ch Grand Village 2019 Bordeaux White 13.5%
Super precise dry white from the owners of Ch Lafleur in Pomerol that looks almost more like white burgundy than white burgundy.
£ 18.67 Justerini & Brooks
Ch Suduiraut, Le Blanc Sec de Suduiraut 2020 Bordeaux 13.5%
Sauvignon-smelly on the nose, then rich and full in the mouth. Creamy texture and pleasant fragrance.
£ 19.50 Cambridge Wine Merchants, plus Wine Bar and Merchants bottles
The Heirs of Comte Lafon, Les Maranches 2018 Mâcon-Uchizy 13%
Dominique Lafon de Meursault’s southern outpost produces a good value for money white burgundy. It is much more racy – less plump – than most White Macons.
£ 22.48 Lay & Wheeler
Jean-Marc Brocard, Vau de Vey Premier Cru 2019 Chablis 13.5%
Steel and mineral nose from a constant producer. The wet stones, the super fluid aroma of Chablis fly away from the bottle.
£ 22.50 The Wine Society
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Marlborough 13.3%
The last vintage of this world famous wine is particularly successful. It’s not a good deal, but it’s reliable.
£ 23 to £ 27 Amathus, Frazier’s, Fareham Wine Cellar, Hedonism, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Majestic, Laithwaites and others
Domaine Mann, Riesling Altengarten 2018 Alsace 13.5%
This biodynamically grown wine was my favorite during a recent tasting of this retailer’s current range. Great value.
25 £ The supply table
Rall White 2020 Coastal Region 13%
Donovan Rall is a South African New Wave superstar and his super tight red and white blends that are eminently suitable for aging are arguably his most economical wines.
£ 25.68 Justerini & Brooks
Finca Allende Blanco 2016 Rioja 13.5%
My favorite white rioja for miles. A complex dry, waxy white that can withstand a wide variety of foods.
£ 26.95 Berry Bros & Rudd, £ 26.99 Bancroft Wines
Keller, Von Der Fels Riesling trocken 2018 Rheinhessen 12.5%
Klaus Peter Keller’s most famous dry rieslings now cost triple digits per bottle, but it’s almost as good. Thrilling.
£ 28.50 Streatham Wine House
Grosset, Polish Hill Riesling 2020 Clare Valley 12.8%
Australia’s most famous dry Riesling – a modern classic. A recently opened 2001 bottle was as fresh as a daisy – a justification for the screw caps recommended by Jeffrey Grosset so long ago.
£ 34.99 to £ 41 Rannoch Scott, Oz Wines, Vinoteca, Butler’s Wine Cellar, NY Wines, Bottle Apostle
Dom Jean Monnier 2019 Puligny-Montrachet
Classic tasty white burgundy, with notes of structure induced by lemon, lime and oak that is already usefully accessible.
Bodega Chacra, Mainqué Chardonnay 2019 Patagonia 12%
Chardonnay from southern Argentina produced under the direction of cult winegrower Jean-Marc Roulot. This shows. The basic Bourgogne from Roulot would cost a lot more. So good.
£ 39.50 Léa and Sandeman
Kershaw, clonal selection Chardonnay 2017 Elgin 13.5%
Such precision from a British wine master who is now spinning gold in one of South Africa’s coolest corners.
David & Nadia, Hoë-Steen Chenin Blanc 2020 Swartland 13%
A gloriously pure South African answer to Puligny-Montrachet from old vines.
£ 51.68 Justerini & Brooks
Dom Bruno Colin, Les Chaumées Premier Cru 2015 Chassagne-Montrachet
Creamy, with a hint of white Pessac-Léognan. Crunchy and chiseled but with lots of fruit intensity on the mid-palate. Amusing!
£ 69 Four Walls, Old Bridge and other independents
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