Domaine Bonfils (France) Blanc Neuf La Bastide 2006
Made by Olivier Bayle (ex Lafite-Rothschild!), this is a Vin de Pays d'Oc wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon that is unashamedly modelled on white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is a classic CndP blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne
which has been barrel-fermented. The nose offers a really enticing melange of dried apricot, ripe, juicy nectarine and the vanilla and almond toastiness of the barrels. There's a little hint liquorice or
caraway seed, in an aromatically complex wine. On the palate it shows lovely restraint, with a fat, lemony core dominating, and the more lush, stone-fruit flavours of peach and apricot layered beneath.
The wine stays beautifully balanced with its moderate 13.0 alcohol, and finishes
with crisp lemon and white fruit acidity. Laithwaites' staff christened this wine 'baby Beaucastel Blanc,' and indeed, I take their point. £8.25, Laithwaites, but buy a case for £79.00 and the price drops to £6.67 equivalent.