Wine of the week: the most memorable gig in the wine world

Every so often a bottle of white Rhône sneaks up on my palate and completely blows me away.

2018 Saint-Joseph Blanc, Lieu-Dit, E. Guigal, Northern Rhône, France 

£39, noblegreenwines.co.uk; £35.95, farehamwinecellar.co.uk; £39.50, Fenwick Newcastle, 0800-783 1783.

Every so often a bottle of white Rhône sneaks up on my palate and completely blows me away. While white Graves always loiters with intent, never really hitting the high notes cleanly, and top Alsatians impress once every blue moon, it is the Rhônes that stick in my mind and make me wish I had bought a case and not a bottle. 

I am not sure why marsanne and roussanne, in the right hands, have the ability to confound the senses. I handed a 19/20 score the other day to my featured wine. I had just tasted the always excellent 2017 Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc (£13.50, noblegreenwines.co.uk; £12, selected Tesco), which, on reflection, is the finest possible support act to my hero headliner. I once saw The Pogues support Manic Street Preachers at the Clapham Grand, and I reflect about this gig more than any other. These two wines are the vinous equivalent of that gig – they are that good! 

The delicate, relatively inexpensive blend of 60% viognier, 15% roussanne, 10% marsanne, 8% clairette, 5% bourboulenc and 2% grenache blanc readied my senses for the main act. There is no oak involved in the CdR and so when Lieu-Dit careened into my taste buds, wearing 50% new barrels (drums in my laboured analogy) and sporting a massive riff of 95% marsanne on lead guitar and 5% roussanne on bass, I found myself in a cacophony of awesome flavour. This wine is a genuine “design for life”.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)

Recommended

I wish I knew what contagion was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what contagion was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

Most of us probably know what “contagion” is in a biological sense. But it also crops up in financial markets. Here's what it means.
21 Sep 2021
Why is the UK short of CO2 and what does it mean for you?
UK Economy

Why is the UK short of CO2 and what does it mean for you?

The UK is experiencing a carbon dioxide shortage that could lead to empty shelves in supermarkets. Saloni Sardana explains what’s going on and how it …
21 Sep 2021
What to invest in to beat soaring energy prices
Investment strategy

What to invest in to beat soaring energy prices

As gas and electricity prices hit the roof, John Stepek explains how to invest to offset higher energy bills.
21 Sep 2021
Are Spacs just for suckers?
Investment strategy

Are Spacs just for suckers?

This year has seen a big boom in activity by special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) in the US and the Spac craze is spreading to other markets…
21 Sep 2021

Most Popular

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest
Small cap stocks

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest

We are living in strange times. But the basics of investing remain the same: buy fairly-priced stocks that can provide an income. And there are few be…
13 Sep 2021
Two shipping funds to buy for steady income
Investment trusts

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income

Returns from owning ships are volatile, but these two investment trusts are trying to make the sector less risky.
7 Sep 2021
How to stop recurring subscriptions becoming a drain on your money
Personal finance

How to stop recurring subscriptions becoming a drain on your money

Tracking and pruning subscriptions isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here's how to take charge.
14 Sep 2021