Breamy white – Saint Mont 2014
Saint Mont 2014, France
(£8.50, Marks & Spencer)
South-west France really is a treasure trove for us wine hunters – and this Saint Mont from M&S is a brilliant example of why.
It’s great value. I recommended it on Saturday Kitchen to go with a delicious but tricky-to-match dish by Diana Henry of bream with walnuts, pomegranate, spelt and blackberries. Diana commented, ‘good price, I was surprised: it tastes more expensive than it is’, terming it, ‘gorgeous’. The reason for this is that south-west France isn’t one of the more celebrated wine regions on the planet so tends to over-deliver, making wines of real character and individuality (not to mention plenty of history behind them – monks in the 11th century were tending wines in this area). This one’s a blend of little-known grape varieties Gros Manseng and Petit Courbu.
It’s quite a succulent, almost honeyed style, which means it can cope with slightly spicier and richer-flavoured dishes. But it’s also wonderfully fresh and balanced, hence going with fish and tangy ingredients like blackberries and pomegranates. ‘It’s a belter,’ proclaimed show co-host and one half of the Hairy Bikers Dave Myers, describing it as, ‘like the dish: there’s an awful lot going on in the wine’. (6.5/10, Peter, Sept 2016)