White Wines

The initial part of this introduction is the same as the one on our REDS page, but the country descriptions further down refer directly to the white wines from each country.

As you will probably know the wine world is divided up into "old world" and "new world" countries. Old world consists of mainland Europe - France, Spain, Italy, Germany etc, while New World consists mainly of the regions colonised by European settlers such as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Chile, Argentina and South Africa, although the South African wine insustry dates back to the mid 17th century so "new" could be a misleading term. This sector is ever expanding with new emerging regions such as Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, and these days even India and China.

So there is a lot to choose from! The UK is regarded as the "shop window" of the world and most producers want their goods on sale here. And as the UK has no history of producing quality wines there is no allegiance to traditional regions or styles over here, giving every wine an equal chance to shine on it's own merits. Hence the UK wine market is probably the most diverse in the world.

Naturally we assume more choice is a good thing. But with a subject as vast and confusing as wine there is such a thing as too much choice. Most UK consumers find selecting the right white wine amid the myriad of different retailers and brands a very challenging experience. Unfortunately the UK is flooded with poor quality wine, driven by low supermarket prices and some of the highest excise duty rates in the world - the UK pays over 40% of all the excise duty of the entire European Union! This means a cheap wine in mainland Europe costing three Euros, would cost you more like £8.99 by the time it is on sale in a UK off license - three times as much!

Most retailers, whether supermarkets, grocery chains, off licenses or even independent retailers end up sourcing factory produced wines made on a large scale, with large quantities of additives, driven by price, so finding a good bottle of wine amongst them is like finding a needle in a haystack. This is where we come in. We are a small privately owned, fiercely independent business specialising in sourcing only good quality white wines, made properly by people (not machines), with minimal if any additives. We buy the vast majority of our white wines direct from small family owned wineries, and pass the savings onto our customers.

That means you get great quality wines at the right price, our small family wineries get their wines to market, and hopefully we make a profit in the middle which we reinvest into sourcing more great wines. We only sell GOOD WINES so every wine on our site is good, many are exceptional. Most have at least one award, many are multi gold medal winners. So you can be confident of getting a good bottle regardless of which country or region you choose. Many of our really tiny artisan wineries don't actually enter their wines for awards as they produce so little, but these are also sourced on their merits and are excellent wines.

Here is a guide to help you decide where to start looking.

Argentina

Their signature grape is Torrontes which makes floral aromatic dry white wines. There are some innovative producers who now barrel ferment this grape to produce fuller more rounded wines, and some who make late harvest dessert wines from this grape too. But don't overlook Argentina for great fresh Sauvignons and good oaked Chardonnays as they can be high quality at low prices.

Australia

As we can't find any whites low in enough in sulphites we don't currently offer any white wines from here.

Chile

Great Sauvignon if from the right area - avoid EVERYTHING from the Central Valley though as this is all rubbish. We don't stock anything from this region. Some good Chardonnays too and cool climate Gewurztraminer.

France

Again we avoid the expensive areas. We have good barrel fermented organic Chardonnay from Limoux, and other good sulphite free or organic whites from along the south coast. We don't offer anything from Burgundy, the Loire or Bordeaux as we believe these regions are already well catered for in the UK and they don't offer value for money.

Italy

Again some sensational whites from this country. We have stunning barrel fermented Chardonnays from right up in the Alto Adige to right down the bottom in Sicily. Plus world class Sauvignons, world class Gavi, the best Pinot Grigio from Santa Margherita, Vermentino and a whole host of other whites such as Lugana and Soave. And many top class sparkling wines too.

New Zealand

Sorry - we have stopped importing directly from New Zealand and we are aware this area is now a weakness for us but do take a look a our exceptional Sauvignons from South Africa. We have only a handful of NZ whites which we source through UK importers.

South Africa

We are hoping our disappointed New Zealand fans will try some of the world class whites from here instead, such as Grande Provence Sauvignon Blanc. In South Africa, if you avoid the big producers, you can find top quality Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It's not just Chenin Blanc anymore, They also make some good blends, and some very good dessert wines too. And again these wines are great value.

Spain

Spain used to have a reputation for making poor quality flabby whites, but since the introduction of much better technology and facilities it is now producing some excellent examples, particularly from Rueda and Ribeiro. The whites we have sourced are real handcrafted boutique wines which are not only superb wines but also exceptional value for money. They tend to be made from native Spanish grapes which many Brits have never heard of, but please give them a try as there is a wealth of great white wines coming from Spain these days.

USA

Again we concentrate on sulphite free whites from Fey winery.

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  1. Tampesta Albarin Blanco D.O Tierra de Leon

    This artisan Tampesta Albarin is from the DO Tierra de Leon in North Western Spain. It's a lovely full flavoured wine with body and good mouth feel, having been aged on the lees. Very fresh and natural on the long finish, made by expert Galician winemaker Luis Buitrón, vice-president of the Spanish Federation of Winemakers and president of the Association of Oenologists of Galicia.


    Free sulphur: 15

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  2. Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Chardonnay

    A rich, round Chardonnay from their Gran Reserva range. Fermented in stainless steel then aged in barrel for 9 months.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.39
  3. Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc

    A good quality Sauvignon from the premium "Gran Reserva" range from this large winery.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.39
  4. Jordan Unoaked Chardonnay

    Platter 3.5 Stars

    Jordan Unoaked Chardonnay is a fresh crisp wine with full round body.

    Sulphite level: Medium

    John's Rating:

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    £11.45
  5. Rainbow's End Wooded Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch

    Rainbow's End is one of my favourite wineries. This time Anton has aged some of his excellent Chenin Blanc in wood for a few months.

    Absolutely delicious! The wood has added some body and good mouthfeel. Ful of flavour yet still clean and fresh on the finish. This is excellent wine and very low sulphite too, so no ill effects or headaches etc.

    Highly recommended.

    Free sulphur: 22mg/l

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  6. Jikken Bareru Sauvignon Blanc

    Platter 4 Stars

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    This Jikken Barreru (Japanese for "experimental barrels") Sauvignon is from two different sites, one at Simonsberg, the best site for Sauvignon in Stellenbosch, blended with wine from Elgin, well known as the best cool climate zone in SA due to it's altitude and location right above False Bay.

    Very pale, almost clear in the glass. It has an intense nose with typical big Sauvignon aromas. Then big fruit on the palate finishing absolutely bone dry. This is very good wine for the money.

    Please note for anybody with a full blown sulphite allergy, we gave it a medium low sulphite rating as Jane had a very mild reaction and we prefer to err on the side of caution. If you have a sulphite allergy try Leon's other Sauvignon Blanc - "Fume Blanc" which has just 4mg/l free SO2.

    Free sulphur: 38mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.50
  7. Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT Ardesia

    A decent, easy drinking Pinot Grigio. Soft and fruity with a dry finish.

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £7.99
  8. Moncaro Trebbiano

    A good solid wine for everyday drinking at this price. Soft and fruity with a dry finish.

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £7.99
  9. Moncaro Marche Bianco "Terre Cortesi" IGT

    Moncaro Marche Bianco "Terre Cortesi" IGT is a great fresh and fruity white wine, ideal with or without food for every day drinking.

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £7.00
  10. La Selva Organic Sangiovese Bianco

    La Selva Organic Sangiovese Bianco is a delicious full bodied rounded wine with plenty of fruit and a great overall balance. Made properly without added tartaric acid, La Selva have relied purely on the quality of the grapes and their natural acidity to produce this delicious healthy wine. Lovely on it's own and great with seafood too.

    This wine is excellent and highly recommended.

    Free sulphur: 30

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  11. Frey Natural White sulphite free wine

    This is a great introduction to sulphite free whites and to Frey's wines of course. It's got bags of flavour and a slightly nutty dry finish. Equally lovely on it's own or with some food.

    Due to a technical issue with our organic licensing body for importing organic wines from outside the EU, we have had to have our latest shipment of Frey wines declassified from organic to non organic to clear Customs and meet EU regulations. We had to do this to avoid them being stuck in port for weeks while we sorted out this mess. Hence we are not permitted to market them as organic or even to describe them as organic. We will also be making changes to the physical labels on the bottles to remove the word organic. We apologise for any disruption this may cause and for defacing the labels on these superb wines.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  12. Cave de Cairanne Vin Nouveau Chardonnay

    A limited production Chardonnay for everyday drinking.

    Gold in colour, crystal clear. Swirl around and you'll see some legs sticking to the glass hinting that this wine has body. Aromatic with big flavours of melon and peach, good mouthfeel and a long clean finish. 

    Whilst technically dry there is some residual sugar in there making this wine appealing to those who enjoy a sweeter wine as well. It's not a sophisticated wine but for this price it's excellent value for every day enjoyment. 

    No wood used: Yes

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £8.99
  13. Soave Classico 'Colombara' Zenato DOC

    Soave Classico Colombara Zenato is a superb single vineyard Classico Soave, restoring faith in the DOC for producing quality wines.

    A blend of Chardonnay and Garganega from a single vineyard, hand picked, soft pressed and fermented under temperature control. Another lovely full flavoured wine from the Zenato family. Recommended.

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £10.99

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