2012 Valençay, Le Clos du Château, Claude Lafond, Loire, France (£8.99, reduced to £7.99 each if you buy bottles, until 2 September, Majestic).
Valençay is a small, 130-hectare wine region in the Loire. It dates back to 965 and is situated to the west of Sancerre and Menetou-Salon. The local cheese is the delicious Selles-sur-Cher and the countryside is bucolic.
It is in this idyllic setting that Claude Lafond conjures up his truly magical Valençay and the 2012 vintage is his finest to date. Made from 85% sauvignon blanc, embellished with 15% chardonnay, this is a relaxing, aromatherapeutic white with meadow flower notes overlaying the citrus core. Lafond cleverly weaves in some texture to this wine, too, without the use of oak, which takes it to another level, making it my favourite wine of the region.
A perfect, all-purpose summer white wine with immense charm and masses of class, the price is a steal and I encourage you to load up with some stock before it runs out. Take some time out from the more usual suspect, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, save some cash in the process, and widen your vinous horizons at the same time. Now all you need is some goats’ cheese, a pile of langoustines, some rustic French bread and some of those lovely, long French radishes!
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).
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