DWWA 2013 International Trophies: White Blend Under £15

This year's winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show White Blend Under £15 went to Château Jolys, Jurançon Sec 2012, France.

DWWA 2013 International Trophies, Château Jolys Jurançon Sec Southwest France 2012

Château Jolys, Jurançon Sec, Southwest France 2012 (14%)

Fantastically fruity with a rich concentration of limes, satsumas, apples and grapefruit supported by fresh acidity. Apple tart and peach aromas, and a finish of river-washed pebbles and flint. Superb.

UK £10.29; Wai

Tasted against • Demorgenzon, Maestro, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2012 • Beyra, Vermiosa, Altitude 700 Mt, Beira Interior, Portugal 2012

Jurançon has put on a great show this year, winning this International Trophy and three Regional Trophies (two of which are also made by Château Jolys), proving that southwest France’s native Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng are well worth discovering.

Many visitors to Jurançon over the past decade will remember the bright smile and cheery spirit of Marion Latrille at Château Jolys. This estate in La Chapelle de Rousse was purchased in a derelict state by her father, Pierre-Yves Latrille, at the end of the 1950s. Today, Château Jolys is the region’s biggest property. Over the past decade, Marion has brought her own touch of finesse and poise to what were always well-made and attractively priced wines, as well as her charm in selling them.

When I rang Marion to congratulate her, there was a surprise: Marion had left the domaine at the end of 2012 to move with her partner to St-Martin in the Caribbean. Her two nieces, Camille Bessou-Latrille and Claire Bessou-Latrille, the winemaker, had taken over, although they continue to draw on the advice of their grandfather and the cellarmaster Jorge de Almeida.

The dry white Château de Jurque, Emotion 2011 and the sweet Château Jolys 2011 Regional Trophies (see p226) were both made by Marion, whereas Claire has made this fresh, young, dry 2012. ‘Claire very much wants to carry on with the style that Marion established, so to get an International Trophy with her first vintage is really encouraging,’ says Camille.

Credit, too, to Pierre-Yves, who always planted as much Petit Manseng as the sites could justify. That this is 60% Petit Manseng is a further reason for its outstanding quality and value.

Andrew Jefford

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