2016 Bergerie de l’Hortus, Classique Blanc, Domaine de l’Hortus, Pic Saint Loup, Languedoc, France. £13.95, ConceptFineWines.com.
Twenty years ago, I drove down to the south of France to do some tasting on behalf of my great friend and one of the most influential men in our wine industry, the late Adam Bancroft MW. All of the wines that he sent me to are still firm favourites in our market, but one estate stands out as being the standard bearer for its region and also for the extraordinary value afforded by its wines. My featured white is made from a beguiling blend of roussanne, sauvignon blanc, viognier, sauvignon gris, chardonnay, petit manseng and bourboulenc. I swear you can taste every single grape in this exquisite blend. It is the essence of spring in a glass and, at 12.5% alcohol, is it also beautifully gentle and relaxed.
The 2016 Bergerie Classique Rouge is a thrilling red, too, made from a grenache, syrah and mourvèdre blend, and a proud possessor of refined tannins and more breeding than the usual rustic fare found in this part of the world. Below these two you will find a pair of glorious but classy gluggers – 2016 Loup y-es tu Blanc and 2016 Le Loup dans la Bergerie Rouge (both around the £11-mark). With great labels and knockout, juicy, authentic flavours, this is a stunning duo, and as there is no space here to list the many retailers, I will note them all on my website. These four wines will amaze you with their value and aura!
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).