Le Petit Balthazar Viognier Sauvignon, 2021, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
£17.65 (inc VAT)
Low-alcohol wine can often be a bit… well, sad, frankly. This is anything but. Grapes are picked ripe but with low alcohol potential, meaning this viognier/sauvignon blend is low in alcohol (and calories, if you care about such things) but high in flavour and depth. Intense on the nose with a wonderfully fruity finish. Whoever told you that only the bad stuff tastes good obviously never encountered this.
Pierrick Harang doesn’t have a family chateaux, or acres of inherited vineyard. What he does have is a top-quality pedigree as a winemaker (the fifth generation of his family to be able to make that boast). His Le Petit Balthazar range is low-alcohol wine with a difference. No de-alcoholisation to muck up the flavours here, instead just smart science and a LOT of wine knowledge: growing grapes with low alcohol potential even when they’re ripe.