The very best white wines for Christmas 2020 – the LLM expert guide

the-very-best-white-wines-for-christmas-2020-–-the-llm-expert-guide

Words by Natasha Heard and Lisa Curtiss

From Riesling to Rioja Blanco and Chardonnay to Chablis, who said white wine wasn’t a winter drink? Not us! Not just for pairing with your white meats either, our selection of wines can be enjoyed with seafood, cheeses, desserts and that fulfilling Boxing Day buffet, so buckle up and let us take you on a ride of winter white wine discovery.

Kleinfels Riesling d’Alsace 2018

With citrus and white flower aromas, and fresh, zesty, dry white stone fruit on the palate, this will go well with squash or root vegetable-based winter soups, making it the perfect starter pairing for vegan guests.

This is lighter in alcohol than many wines but it has a wonderful depth of aromatic flavour. Fresh and dry, the wine has mid-palate depth which works really well with both creamy, wintry squash soups and fragrant, earthy onion soups too.

Price: £10.99

Where to buy: waitrose.com

Altano Douro Branco 2019

Symington Family Estates in Portugal produce this dry and full white wine, which is made from a blend of grapes sourced at high altitude with the end result similar to a Sauvignon Blanc. This refreshing white wine has zesty, citrussy flavours that will pair perfectly with your Christmas Day lunch or a decadent shellfish course.

Price: £11

Where to buy: tanners-wines.co.uk

The Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Exuding tropical aromas of ripe, fleshy nectarine and apricot with hints of caramelisation, the waxy palate builds on these aromas with an intensity of grapefruit marmalade and stone fruit. Whilst broad and rich, the upfront acid line provides a crisp finish with abundant length.

It drinks well alongside most desserts, from the classic Christmas pudding to a freshly baked apple pie. Plus, you can continue to enjoy this gorgeous wine with the classic festive cheeseboard, particularly a rich gorgonzola – perfection!

Price: £12.99

Where to buy: ocado.com

Domaine du Météore, Léonides Blanc 2019

Domaine du Météore takes its name from the 200-metre-wide meteorite crater, which struck a hillside in southern France over ten thousand years ago. Today, Domaine du Météore’s vines grow within and around its crater. High up in the Languedoc mountains, the domaine spans the schist soils of Faugères and Saint-Chinian, which are surrounded by garrigue, with the scent of wild thyme, fennel, and mint.

The Léonides Blanc is bright with golden reflections, a nose of cedar, wild fennel, pear and pineapple. The palate is crisp, balanced between freshness and richness.

Price: £13.25

Where to buy: domainedumeteore.com

El Jardin De La Emperatriz Rioja Blanco, Rioja Alta 2019, Hermanos Hernáiz

A balanced white, with freshness, persistence and a delicate touch. After a soft crush in an inert atmosphere, the juice macerated with the pulp at 8ºC for two days, later, it is fermented at a temperature of 15ºC and after the alcoholic fermentation, the wine remains in contact with the fine lees for two months.

This white Rioja will pair well with grilled fish and shellfish, garlicky prawns, a gazpacho or simply enjoy on its own.

Price: £13.50

Where to buy: champagnesandchateaux.co.uk

Chapel Down Flint Dry 2019

A fragrant white wine with aromas of green apple, Galia melon and kiwi, while being fresh and floral on the palate with a core of dense fruit. This Kent-based offering is a great alternative to aromatic white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and is best enjoyed with poultry or fish dishes on Christmas Eve.

Price: £13.99

Where to buy: waitrosecellar.com

Not Your Grandmas Riesling

The Eden Valley is a unique region where the Riesling vine can interpret the rocky soils with an extraordinary interplay of floral aromas, steely minerality and lemon and lime acidity. This expressive grape rewards winemaking restraint to deliver detailed and compelling flavours. The resulting wine retains a purity of fruit that accurately reflects how delicious the ripe grapes are on the vine. Expect aromas of petrol, lime and lemongrass combining with a light spritz on the palate, delivering quite powerful fruit. This wine is best enjoyed with fish, salads and Asian cuisine.

Price: £14

Where to buy: northernwineandbeer.co.uk

McGuigan Shortlist Riesling

McGuigan The Shortlist Riesling

A contemporary brand built on traditional family values; McGuigan Wines is a leading Australian winemaker. Ideal for the everyday drinker who looks for an easy varietal to enjoy, McGuigan Wines is one of the most awarded wineries in the world.

This award-winning Riesling is full of citrus lemon and lime flavours and is held together with a persistent acidity. This wine pairs very well with most dishes but is particularly ideal for sipping alongside smoked salmon, turkey with cranberry sauce and, most certainly, a cheese board.

Price: £14

Where to buy: groceries.asda.com

Grand Vallon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Grande Réserve Laurent Brotte 2019

Straw yellow with golden highlights and a nose of white flowers and white-fleshed stone fruits evolving into notes of buttery hazelnuts, this incredible white Chateauneuf-du-Pape Grande Réserve is a showstopper with the traditional festive turkey dinner.

Mouth-filling and plump with honey and fresh ripe peach, it has great length and an elegant citrus finish. It’s guaranteed to delight your friends and family.

Price: £14.99

Where to buy: aldi.co.uk

Chapel Down Bacchus 2019

Bacchus 2019

A great example of a quality English wine white and from a grape variety that is becoming regarded as the still wine varietal of England. A crisp, refreshing highly aromatic white wine characterised by gooseberry and elderflower on the nose. The palate is fresh and zesty with flavours of nettle, kiwi and freshly cut grass leading to a crisp, dry finish. The perfect accompaniment to poached salmon this festive season.

Price: £14.99

Where to buy: waitrose.com

Wolf Bass Gold Label Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

Hailing from Australia, and over 50 years in the making, Wolf Blass is an iconic collection of beautifully crafted wines that are famous the world over for quality, character and consistency. If you enjoy Yellow Label and are intrigued to discover more, wine enthusiasts can experience the elegance and excellence across the Red, Silver and Gold Label Wolf Blass collection.

This chardonnay boasts aromas of stone fruits, honeydew melon and a hint of grapefruit with a rich palate – a show stopping wine and the perfect centrepiece for your Christmas turkey dinner.

Price: £15

Where to buy: groceries.asda.com

Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019

A much loved 100% sauvignon blanc classic from Marlborough, New Zealand, bursting with aromatic tropical fruit characters. This wine displays powerful aromas of passionfruit, guava and blackcurrant, while the palate combines citrus fruits, pungent herbs and fresh zesty acidity. Perfect with shellfish, lobster and fresh goat’s cheese starters.

Price: £16.15

Where to buy: nzhouseofwine.co.uk

Astrolabe, Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2018

A super example of this variety, with lime rind and pink grapefruit, ripe gooseberries, lemongrass and lemon balm. It’s full bodied and has a crisp dry lingering finish. This white wine will serve best with a year or more bottle age and will develop gracefully for many years. Perfect with oysters, shellfish, lobster and crab – the most lavish fish course, fit for a spectacular Christmas celebration.

Price: £17.98

Where to buy: armitwines.co.uk

Joseph Mellot Sancerre Rosé 2019

Joseph_Mellot_Sancerre_Rose nv

No, not just for summer soirees, a rosé is a great option for pairing with oriental dishes, perhaps as a starter or flavourful canapes on the big day. If you adore Sancerre and a great rosé, this is the wine for you. Made of 100% pinot noir, it’s fresh, lively with delightful berry and floral notes.

Price: £21

Where to buy: northandsouthwines.co.uk

Six Brothers Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2019

Pale straw with green hues, this delicious Chardonnay has hints of floral notes and aromas of white stone fruits, notably peach and nectarine. Stone fruits persist amid a creme brûlée like creaminess on the palate, framed by subtle oak tannins and a perfectly poised acidity. Barrel fermented in French Oak, this delicious Chardonnay has nutty, nougat influences too. This wine has an ageing potential of three to four years, and will benefit from this time in the bottle, but if you can’t wait then decant and swirl before enjoying.

Price: £25.99

Where to buy: majestic.co.uk

Durup Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume 2018

A beautiful, full chardonnay from Burgundy with aromas of baked bread and a full-flavoured palate characterise this superb premier cru Chablis. The well-positioned vineyard of Fourchaume slopes gently down to the road to Maligny, home to the Durups who own Domaine des Valery. Both vegan and vegetarian, this is a sampling you won’t want to miss out on.

Price: £26.50

Where to buy: tanners-wines.co.uk

Domaine du Météore, Lyrides Blanc 2018

Domaine du Météore makes it onto the list again with this opulent cuvée. Inspired by the land and its history, Domaine du Météore makes organic wines and this offering is golden in colour with inviting notes of jasmine and candied ginger, balanced with Williams pear and apricot. Well-rounded and elegant, expect an exceptional long finish with freshness of its Faugères terroir.

Price: £28.50

Where to buy: domainedumeteore.com

Finca la Emperatriz Rioja Blanco Alta 2016

Finca-La-Emperatriz-Gran-Vino-Blanco-2016-II

Pale lemon in colour with a gold glint, the nose is intensely nuanced with a nod to traditional Rioja aged whites. White fruit and fine toast aromas over a background of hay and dried herbs, while it is full-bodied and juicy on the palate, with good acidity adding liveliness and persistence. It stands out for its harmony, the result of a slow ageing process and restrained presence of oak.

This white Rioja will pair well with Spanish dishes such as paella, tortilla, salt cod, serrano ham. Also great with asparagus, vegetable stew, rich fish such as tuna, roast chicken, and pork.

Price: £34.50

Where to buy: champagnesandchateaux.co.uk

All prices correct at time of publication.

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