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Rose Murray Brown: Perfect white wines for the festive season

Rose Murray Brown picks 12 Christmas whites to help you negotiate the festive season, from quaffing aperitifs with neighbours to matching a powerful white with salmon, goose or turkey.

Published: December 15, 2015
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£10 & under

Macon Villages 2014 Domaine Mallory et Benjamin Talmard

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Brilliant value for an unoaked chardonnay. Sleek, citric, elegant, pure fruits – a good value aperitif to suit all-comers.
£8.75, The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com

Stepp Riesling ‘S’ 2014
So zesty and vibrant with lime, mandarin and grapefruit flavours, this is a fantastic buy at its knockdown price. It would make an unusual crisp aperitif, or serve with cold turkey on Boxing Day as a snappy pick-me-up. This is made by Gerd Stepp, once M&S wine buyer, now back at his family estate in Rheinfalz.
£10, reduced from £15 in December, Marks & Spencer

The Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2014
Instead of a regular sherry, serve this crisp, zingy Australian white when the minister pops round and they will soon be praying for a second glass. It’s a delicious limey, dry riesling aperitif selected by Aldi’s buyer, Dr Mike James, who has recently been hailed as
the number one most influential person in the UK wine trade by Off Licence News. How times have changed.
£6.99, Aldi

Le Champ Des Etoiles Chardonnay 2014

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This is vibrant and creamy, rounded with a touch of oak from ageing in old barrels on its lees. Similar in style to a Macon Villages, with a bit more warmth and ripeness, this Vin de France would make an affordable match for a rich seafood dish or stuffed poussin.
£8.99, Laithwaites, www.laithwaites.co.uk

Under £18

Desierto 25 Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Bodega del Desierto
I was intrigued by the name of the bodegas, “winery from the desert” and that Californian wine guru Paul Hobbs assisted with winemaking in this remote place. It’s an interesting wine, too – very minerally, dry sauvignon blanc, with tight focused green fruits. It needs grilled salmon or scallops to enjoy at its best.
£11.95, Berry Bros & Rudd, www.bbr.com

St Veran Clos Vessats 2014 Domaine Guerrin

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Maurice Guerrin owns 35 different plots between Solutre and Vergisson, west of Macon – and this is his special Clos Vessats, a tiny two-hectare plot with limestone and clay soils giving a lovely creamy, rounded chardonnay with nutty, gentle, oak notes – with enough body and weight to match with chicken or turkey.
£12.50, Oddbins

Clos Floridene 2012
How did Co-op get their hands on this mature white Graves as other merchants are selling it online at £26 a bottle? A beautiful white Graves from mainly sauvignon blanc with semillon and a hint of muscadelle with citric fruits, grapefruit and lime plus well-defined smoky oak notes: great with salmon.
£17.99, Co-op

Chateauneuf Du Pape Blanc Mont-Redon 2014 Abeille-Fabre
You need a weighty white to combat the turkey and its spicy trimmings, so head to the Rhone. The key here is rich, ripe fruit balanced with natural acidity to refresh the palate. Expect light floral aromas, creamy texture and good length.
£17, The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com

Under £25

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Chablis Premier Cru 2012
This might look pricey for chablis, but this Premier Cru is very stylish, combining a vibrant minerality, fresh acidity with a lovely honeyed toasty undertone which would work well with roast goose.
£20, Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh, www.harveynichols.com

Greywacke ‘Wild’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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This “wild” sauvignon is unusual in being made with natural yeasts and is 100 per cent barrel fermented. It is textured and complex with savoury, spicy, sour grapefruit, lime and almond notes with richness enough for a seafood dish.
£24, Villeneuve Wines; Woodwinters; Valhallas Goat; Aitken Wines; Lockett Bros; Fine Wine Co; Henderson Wines; Luvians; Drinkmonger; Ellies Cellar

Avancia Godello 2012
From Valdeorras, Spain, this is the best godello I have tasted – citric, curranty and smoky, this delicious full-bodied oaked white would suit white Burgundy lovers looking for something different to match with turkey or goose.
£24.50, Ultracomida, www.ultracomida.comwww.uvinum.co.uk

Pouilly Fuisse 2013 L A Ferret
This wine cleverly combines a fresh minerality with nutty, rich, leesy roundness in a challenging vintage. Would suit those who like a classic white Burgundy with their turkey.
£24.99, Vino Wines, Edinburgh; Fountainhall Wines, Aberdeen; Aitken Wines, Dundee; Roberson Wines, London

• Join Rose’s wine tastings in Edinburgh, Glasgow & St Andrews, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Like this? See also: 

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• Rose Murray Brown: 15 of the best supermarket champagnes

• Rose Murray Brown's 10 best wines for under £10

Rose Murray Brown is one of only 323 Masters of Wine worldwide and is the only one to host wine courses and regular wine tastings in Scotland.

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