2020 Lirac Blanc, La Fermade, Domaine Maby, Southern Rhône, France
The wine-tasting invitations are flooding in and, when Yapp sounded the trumpet announcing a specialist Rhône extravaganza, I dropped everything to attend. Yapp has been the most famous Rhône specialist in the UK for all of my 35 years in this wonderful business, and so you will forgive me for writing you a shopping list of essential purchases this week, starting with this heavenly and extremely keenly priced white Lirac. Exotic, smooth, detailed and refreshing, give white Burgundy the heave-ho for a week or so and invite this wine into your repertoire.
In addition, 2020 Argiles Blanc St Gayan (£9.95) is a crazy bargain and a lovely light-white glugger for all-purpose entertaining. The 2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Père Caboche (£25.50) is one of the finest value and most impeccably balanced whites I have seen from this renowned estate. The Crozes-Hermitage Blanc Alain Graillot (£25) is a snip to secure a white Crozes from the most famous of all estates in this dramatic region. The 2020 Le Petit Caboche (£11.50) is an ebullient, forward-drinking red from Vaucluse, and it is already into its stride. The 2019 Lirac Rouge Maby (£15.25) is the red version of my featured white, and it is sensational. The 2019 Sainte-Agathe Domaine Vernay (£24.75) is an epic syrah with Côte-Rôtie-esque pretension. The 2017 Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude Graillot (£42) was simply jaw-dropping. And finally, the NV Clairette de Die Achard (£17.95) is a hilarious fizzy sweetie.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)