Ten great low-alcohol wines from 5.5 to 12.5% - perfect for the post-festive blues
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(8.5%) Leitz, Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck, Old Vines Riesling Spätlese, Rheingau 2007
Restrained yet juicy nose with lemon and lime overtones plus a slight marmalade character. Although there’s a mineral cloak to it, the palate is mainly all about honey-kissed citrus fruit with some zestier citrus notes on the finish
£18 Marks & Spencer
(11%) Sylvoz, Prosecco Brut Le Colture, NV
A fantastic aperitif wine with lovely, soft apricot notes, lifted floral aromas and fresh intensity. The palate is zesty and with elegant structure carrying ripe fruit and further summer garden nuances.
£8.79 Corney & Barrow, London
(12.5%) Château Couhins Lurton Blanc 2006
A trophy winner from last year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, this is a stunning Sauvignon with inviting, salty, spicy notes and crisp ripe fruits. Classy with a refined texture, this is beautifully crafted with invisible oak.
£24.99 Dedicated Wine Agencies, Didcot
(12.5%) Huber, Grüner Veltliner Obere Steigen, Traisental, Niederösterreich 2007
Fleshy and succulent Grüner with peachy, honeyed fruit that displays a creamy facet and is edged with peppers and spice. The acidity is finely balanced and some lees stirring has added a bit of guts and texture.
(11%) Reichsrat Von Buhl, Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2007
This is nothing short of beautiful from top to tail. It has a wonderful seam of minerality running through it, supporting gloriously defined notes of elderflower, honeycomb, freshly squeezed citrus fruit, flowers and dried tropical fruit.
£20-35 Berry Bros & Rudd, London; Harrods, London; Jascots, London; Laithwaites
(5.5%) Michele Chiarlo, Nivole, Moscato d’Asti NV
From a producer renowned for his Barolo, this is one of the top Moscato’s on the market. The mousse is gentle and fine, supporting sweet and inviting stone fruit notes and classic grape flavours. With such low alcohol it’s a true breakfast wine.
(12%) Peter Lehmann, Margaret Semillon, Barossa Valley 2002
This is a cracking Semillon that’s just beginning to hit its stride. Boasting a waxy coating to the palate, crisp citrus fruits provide plenty of punch and lift. In amongst all of that is a mineral core and cleansing acidity.
£11.49 Enotria Winecellars, London
(9.9%) Craggy Range, Glasnevin Gravels Riesling, Waipara 2006
Mosel-inspired Riesling that slips down very easily indeed. There’s a nice tautness to the palate, which helps to carry the slight sweetness of this wine. It’s very floral and citrusy with fine support from a defined streak of minerality.
£14 Amps Fine Wines, Northants; Hailsham Cellars, East Sussex; Charles Hennings Vintners, West Sussex; Raeburn, Edinburgh; SH Jones, Oxford
(12.5%) Pazo de Senorans, Seleccion de Anada, Rias Baixas 2003
This is wine with a structure and size that belies it’s 12.5% alcohol. One of Rias Baixas’ flagship Albarinos, it boasts fantastic length and concentration, crammed with crisp minerality and ripe, juicy honeyed white and citrus fruit.
(12.5%) Pewsey Vale, The Contours Riesling, Eden Valley 2003
This is many people’s top New World Riesling. Its quality level is consistently high and the 2003 (the latest release) is no different. Cool and clean, there’s a strong mineral presence and the crisp fruit is just taking on a lime marmalade edge.
£12.49 Cambridge Wine Merchants, Cambridge; Jeroboams; Laytons Wine Merchants; Pont de la Tour, London; PrV; Selfridges; The Wine Library, London