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WINE OF THE WEEK: Domaine Saint Gayan Sablet L'Oratory 2021, Sablet Côtes du Rhône Villages, France

£15.25, Yapp Brothers

If you thought Sablet was a red wine, you would be right. Most of the time. Nine in ten bottles is red, but 10% of this small southern Rhône neighbour of Gigondas is white – dry white with, as Saint Gayan shows, the potential for delicious high quality.

In the case of L’Oratory 2021, we're talking about a limpid, richly textured wine with floral, citrus, spice and white peach notes and just the right balance of fresh, soft-touch acidity.

The blend would be a good blind-tasting test for an aspiring Master of Wine: the 2021 is 37% Viognier, 35% Clairette, 14% Bourboulenc, 7% Grenache Blanc and 7% Roussanne. And the wine is aged on its lees in stainless steel for six months, which contributes to the creamy texture.

The vineyard is barely 2.4ha – a small fraction of the 34-ha Gigondas-based Saint Gayan estate – and the vines, growing in soils of limestone, clay and sand (sable is French for sand), have an average age of 23 years.

It’s good match for creamy chicken, fish, seafood and pasta dishes, including fish pie and crab tart; for chicken or pork cooked in milk (à la Elizabeth David or Paula Wolfert); and for orecchiette, pork, capers and white wine (a Florence Knight recipe). It's also a delight on its own. 13.5%. Empty bottle weight: 582g.

Domaine Saint Gayan L'Oratory 2021, Sablet Côtes du Rhône, France

£15.25, Yapp Brothers


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