It is always reassuring to see others reaching similar conclusions to your own.
Consequently, I was pleased to see David Williams expressing these views in the Guardian the other day.
Note in particular what he says about needing to revise his “longstanding rules of thumb that I use to guide my wine-buying”.
His first conclusion has a familiar ring given what has been said on this site – “Accept that £8 is the new £5.99”.
He describes that as “the price below which you’d have to be lucky to find something decent”.
Furthermore he says “ … you know you’d have to exceed [it] if you wanted the really good stuff.”
He also suggests that the £8 to £12 point on the quality ladder four years ago, has now leapt up to £12 to £15.
So, today’s selections pick up on those comments from a wine writer (and bloke) for whom I have considerable time.
They take the customary format of a “Friday Night Treat” and – a rung or so further up the stairway – a “Sunday Best” option.
However, both are from a region that takes value for money very seriously – Languedoc.
Adopting my traditional format, images and, where possible, hyperlinks accompany the assessments of the wines.
First the Friday Night Treat
2021 Belleplane Viognier (£10.95 at Slurp and 13% abv)
Underlining that value for money point, here is an example of Languedoc producers creating affordable versions of wines that cost serious money elsewhere.
That is good news because viognier is a lovely grape serving up wines that are aromatic, indulgent and even exotic.
Perfumed and textured, this example brings us complex peach and rose components.
These are coupled with firm satsuma acidity, savoury liquorice undercurrents (nicely balanced by sweet hints) accompanied by supplementary oak influences on the finish.
And that Sunday Best choice
2020 Domaine Jones, Fitou (£14.50 at The Wine Society and 14.5%):
Interesting to see how the Rhone’s GSM blending formula is often adapted in Languedoc to GSC – by using carignan instead of mourvedre.
That grape provides extra flexibility and is plentiful in Languedoc as its resistance to drought ideally suits the region’s hot and dry conditions.
Here is one such example from the acclaimed Katie Jones – originally from Ashby de la Zouch of course.
This illustration of her winemaking skills is inky in colour but soft in texture and centred on herbal and espresso charged damson and bramble flavours.
Further complexity comes from its olive, cinnamon and dark chocolate touches embellished by gentle acidity and nicely balanced tannin.
Join me again on Monday to see what I am I recommending as the latest Top Tips among High Street retailers.
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