Top deal: Delicious Marsanne Sauvignon Blanc Orbiel & Freres from the Flying Winemaker’ Hugh Ryman: 2018 vintage: only £99 per case of 12 bottles delivered
Finding a good wine at an expensive price is easy—the trick is to find a French wine without a hefty price tag yet still delicious enough to drink regularly and to confidently serve your guests. Our Club Tasting Panel were pleased this week to find a new Sauvignon Blanc blend from near Caucasonne, in the Languedoc, which totally fits the bill.
It’s a Marsanne/Sauvignon Blanc which the Tasting Panel learned later—they always taste ‘blind’—is made by the famous ‘Flying Winemaker’ Hugh Ryman, he whose life inspired Sir Ridley Scott’s film ‘A Good Year’, starring Russell Crowe. The Panel pronounced it refreshing and extremely drinkable: tropical and balanced, lively and bright citrus, crisp, fruity, dry—and miles better than it should be for the price.
The wine is Orbiel & Freres, named after the river which meanders through the Minervois appellation, an essential part of Languedoc life for the vignerons of the region. Today, the area is part of the world’s largest wine producing region. It is especially renowned for the quality of its local co-operative cellars, and 10 of these co-ops have got together and invited high-flying winemaker Hugh Ryman to take his pick of their fruit, in order to create wines which offer unbelievable value for money.
Ryman chose 90% Marsanne and 10% Sauvignon Blanc, and with this blend he has definitely succeeded in making wine which stands head and shoulders above anything else at this price. The Marsanne is a particularly tricky grape to cultivate—hence this combination is rare—as it is particularly sensitive to climate changes. It is used to produce white St Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage.
It’s a delicious everyday wine, perfect for drinking alone and with food—and our Tasting Panel enjoyed it with herb-encrusted salmon and green vegetables including asparagus, peas and salad leaves.
Case of 12 bottles. Non Members £130. CCUK Members £99 with free UK mainland delivery.