Natural Wines Part 1 – The Whites

Did a piece for Spectator Scoff recently all about natural wines – you’ll find it here. Have to confess that it’s the first time I’ve ever started an article in such a fashion, but that’s just the effect that natural wines have on a boy. If reading’s not your thang and you prefer to watch and learn, then sit back and enjoy this video – there’s another on a set of reds that I’ll be posting soon. And if you’re very lucky, I might even throw in some words of wisdom on the subject from Doug Wregg of Caves de Pyrene, the enterprising company which provided most of the wines below.

Gatti Prosecco Sur Lie, Marca Trevigiana IGT, Friuli, Italy (£13.49 Les Caves de Pyrene)
Forget frothy sweet and insipid Prosecco, this is rich but dry wine with smoky apple and nutty pear flavours balanced by a minerally dryness and a clay-like finish. B+

De Nays Labassere Jurançon Sec 2009, South West France (£12.99 Oddbins)
Rich and juicy but again quite dry style, with the classic green apple, quince and fennel notes of Jurançon, and earthy dry mineral tang and notes of herbs and flowers. S

Matassa Blanc Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes 2008, Roussillon, France (£28.49 Les Caves de Pyrene)
(You could try the link but it took me to a Japanese page advertising pink hair straighteners – Tom, Sam, what’s going on?!?)
Wonderfully compelling style, starts off in a smoky toasty vein then opens up to show sappy pear, apple and citrus flavours backed up by almost volcanic mineral notes and touches of blossom. Tasty, complex and intriguing, and with bags of life still ahead of it. S+

Dario Princic Jakot 2006, IGT Venezia Giulia, Italy (£28.49 Les Caves de Pyrene)
Marmalade in both colour and flavour, firm and structured, rich and full-bodied with dry burnt sugar and crystallised orange flavours, and a finish that combines taut acidity with smoky tannins. Not for everyone though… S(-)

La Stoppa Ageno 2005, IGT Emilia, Italy (£23.49 Les Caves de Pyrene)
Like a dry Tokáj made with Gewürztraminer, showing aromatic ginger biscuit and rose petal characters, crystallised citrus fruit flavours and touches of aniseed and white pepper. Not quite as firm as the Jakot, but still on the chewy side, which some might object to. S-

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