Fine Wine

Five fine low-alcohol wines – The Drinks Business

We list five fine low-alcohol wines including a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, an Italian Pinot Grigio and a southern French rosé following our extensive blind tasting of the low and no wine category last month as part of our Global Wine Masters competition series.

LOW MATTER WHAT CHARDONNAY

  • Producer: Cordier
  • Region: Occitanie
  • Country: France
  • Vintage: NV
  • Grape variety: 100% Chardonnay
  • ABV: 6%
  • Residual sugar: 6g/l
  • Approx. retail price: £7
  • Medal: Gold

This lower-alcohol wine really impressed for delivering plenty of classic Chardonnay characters despite containing at least half the abv of a standard expression. That means there are ripe flavours of peach and pear fruit matched to a toasted marshmallow note from some oak influence, while a touch of residual sugar (6g/l) ensures the mid-palate has some richness to compensate for the lighter body that results from removing the alcohol. In short, a wine that should please the Chardonnay lover, while proving that it’s possible to craft a palatable low-alcohol white wine. (Patrick Schmitt MW)

BRANCOTT ESTATE FLIGHT SAUVIGNON BLANC

  • Producer: Brancott Estate
  • Region: Marlborough
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Grape variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
  • ABV: 9%
  • Residual sugar: 12.6g/l
  • Vintage: 2023
  • Medal: Gold

Approx. retail price: £8 If you’re looking for the distinctive characters of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but at a lower ABV, then Flight from Brancott Estate is an excellent option. Featuring pungent aromatics and flavours of passion fruit, lemon grass and grapefruit, it’s juicy and fresh, with plenty of flavour, plus some oiliness too. And while there’s a subtle hint of sweetness, the finish is dry and crisp, with a touch of chalky-textured grip. (Patrick Schmitt MW)

REVERO NV PINOT GRIGIO

  • Producer: Kingsland Drinks
  • Region: Northern Italy
  • Country: Italy
  • Grape variety: 100% Pinot Grigio
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • Residual sugar: 23g/l
  • Vintage: NV
  • Approx. retail price: £8
  • Medal: Gold

Kingsland imports northern Italian Pinot Grigio grapes to produce this low-alcohol expression. Pale lemon-yellow in hue, the wine shows ripe yellow plum and golden apple fruit, a medium-dry palate (23g/l residual sugar) and crisp acidity. Nicely defined flavours are followed by good length of finish. A good match for a southeast Asian stir-fry. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)

JACOB’S CREEK DOTS MOSCATO WHITE 2022

  • Producer: Jacob’s Creek
  • Region: Australia
  • Country: Australia
  • Grape varieties: 91% Gordo (Muscat of Alexandria), 9% others
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Residual sugar: 70.6g/l
  • Vintage: 2022
  • Approx. retail price: £6.50
  • Medal: Gold

An exceptional example from one of Australia’s superb producers, this is a medium-dry wine with just enough alcohol to balance the exotic fruit and lively acidity. Pale lemon-hued, the tropical aromatics show ripe yellow peach, guava and white grape, with a creamy nuance adding texture across the palate. Medium-weight, the wine has good definition and length. A valid aperitif for sipping on the sands, or with grilled prawns. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)

LOW MATTER WHAT SYRAH ROSÉ

  • Producer: Cordier
  • Region: Occitanie
  • Country: France
  • Vintage: NV
  • Grape variety: 100% Syrah
  • ABV: 6%
  • Residual sugar: 6g/l
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Approx. retail price: £7
  • Medal: Gold

Like the Low Matter What Chardonnay listed above, this lower-alcohol rosé proved that it is possible to make a good wine with 50% less ABV. Crafted by France’s third-biggest wine producer, Cordier by Invivo, the pale salmon-pink product employs southern French Syrah to yield a wine with similar delicate characters as you would find in Provençal rosé. That means there are flavours of peach, pear and red berries, along with a touch of nettle and pepper, and a chalky-dry, fresh finish. In place of the alcohol, there is a little bit of sweetness, which gives the wine some weight, along with a lingering note of strawberry jam. (Patrick Schmitt MW)

About the competition

With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, The Global Low and No Masters provides a chance for your wines to star. The 2023 competition was judged on 6 December at Aspen & Meursault in London, employing experienced judges. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade – the title of Low and No Master. This report features the medal winners only. Please visit The Global Wine Masters website for more information or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

Read more

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All the medallists from the Low and No Alcohol Wine Masters

Top 10 alcohol-free wine brands in the UK

The remarkable rise of zero-alcohol fizz


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