2017 Les Clos de Paulilles, Collioure Blanc, Rivesaltes, Roussillon, France £9.95, Great Western Wine, 01225-322810, greatwesternwine.co.uk
You will have come across Rivesaltes before – it is home to some of the most extraordinary fortified French wines, which have remarkable ageing qualities and also represent some of the finest value elite wines in the world. In addition, Cazes makes amazing Roussillon wines – Maury, Fitou and so on. But on the seaward sites (as opposed to their landward vineyards) it makes, both Collioure and Banyuls. Its Vins Doux Naturels, or naturally sweet wines, are legendary, but this week’s pick is something out of the ordinary for this estate – a young, dry white wine.
Made from 80% grenache blanc and 20% grenache gris grapes, and coming from schist terraces, there is no oak used here and the maritime influence brings a stunning saline tang to proceedings. I like this style of wine very much because the sea-shell freshness breaks up the density and lustiness of the fruit, making it quite unlike any other style of white wine.
In size and shape it is not dissimilar to a sleek white Burgundy, but on account of its Mediterranean swagger there is a real sense of flair and originality. If you are partial to top-flight seafood and crustacea there is nowhere else to look for a thrilling, white wine to accompany your main course.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)