There is a major shift of interest in Burgundy towards the lesser-known and more
modestly priced Mâconnais, both white and red. Domaine Talmard make a number of approachable Chardonnays, this being the most attractive, with its floral elements overlaying a racy, pure, thirst quenching style. The Talmard family have been in the wine trade for four centuries and are well placed to take advantage of the growing interest in this region.
The Fiano grape is growing in popularity in Southern Italy and Sicily and this example shows why. Owned by a trio of Italian, French and Dutch winemakers who got together in 2009,Carlomagno is a full flavoured assertive wine with fresh melon flavours mixed with lemon. Exceptional value at only £8.25 a bottle, I implore you to try it.
Arneis is making a comeback in Piedmont, where it was originally planted to attract birds with its strong smell, so they would leave the more expensive Nebbiolo grape alone. It is made in stainless steel with no oak, which gives it a delightful floral and pear aftertaste. There is a nice weight to it and because of its mouth cleansing attributes, is an ideal wine to drink with food.
Sauvignon Blanc is now more usually associated with New Zealand than its place of origin in the Loire Valley, but this example shows why it is sometimes better to go back to basics. Patrick Vauvy is the fourth generation of his family to work these 30 hectares of vines on chalk and sandy soils. This possesses the hallmark citrusy/grassy characteristics of the grape but with an overlay of ripe fruit, which gives it far more depth than usual. This wine is perfect for those of you who find the New Zealand version of Sauvignon Blanc too lean and sharp.