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WINE OF THE WEEK: Plaimont Les Vignes Retrouvées 2017, Saint Mont, France

£8.95, The Wine Society

I haven’t featured the 2017 vintage before, but Les Vignes Retrouvées is no stranger to this slot. Year in, year out, it’s one of the best value dry whites on the market, not least because it’s a wine with such a vivid personality. Bristling with energy, passion fruit, pineapple, aromatic green fruit and laser-cut lime-juice acidity, it’s just the job if you want to break out of Sauvignon Blanc.

But Saint Mont Blanc is much more than a stand-in for familiar grape varieties (many of which, incidentally, have their origins in this area). Tucked away in the foothills of the Pyrenees, half-way between Toulouse and Biarritz in southwest France, the appellation grows ancestral indigenous grape varieties that are rarely, and sometimes never, seen outside Gascony – reds as well as whites.

Gros Manseng heads the whites, with Petit Courbu and small amounts of the even less known Arrufiac. There's an occasional pocket of Petit Manseng too – not in this wine but in Plaimont's top cuvée, an exceptional white that I'll be posting a feature on soon.

Les Vignes Retrouvées makes a perfect aperitif, but can also partner seafood and fish, salads, tomato and vegetable dishes and cheese, including goats’ cheese. 13.5%

Plaimont Les Vignes Retrouvées 2017, Saint Mont, France


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