VINAS DE VERO LUCES 2014
This is a new wine made by the Gonzalez Byass team in the little-known region of Somontano in northern Spain. I’ve been a fan of their wines for some time, so was delighted to see this well-priced new range from merlot, tempranillo and syrah vines grown at 450m altitude in Somontano’s mountain vineyards of Salas Bajas, Barbastro and Pozande Vero. There are cranberry fruits, good crisp crunchy acid to keep it fresh and a good finish. Drink on its own or with a seafood paella. 13 per cent alcohol.
This is my current favourite Provençal pink – and I gather that Jeremy Clarkson also likes this rosé. It’s so delicate in colour, sleek, elegant and minerally with a crisp, natural acid structure to freshen the palate. A blend of organically grown grenache and cinsault with a touch of mourvedre
and syrah, it is similar to many
Rhône blends, with a minerality and seaside freshness as the vines were grown on schist and sandy soils right on the shores of the Mediterranean in the Benat peninsula. 13 per cent alcohol.
RIOJA ROSADO 2014 Bodegas Muga
(£8.99 each for 2 bts or £11.99 bt, Majestic Wine)
At the foot of Mount Obarenses in Rioja Alta, Bodegas Muga, grow garnacha grapes on clay limestone alluvial soil for this delicious, vibrant rosé. They blend in a little red tempranillo to give the rosé structure and white viura to add aroma and freshness. This is drier than many Spanish rosés, so ideal for serving with grilled meats or barbecued food.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
BURRA BROOK ROSÉ 2014
(£6, Marks & Spencer)
A very upfront fruity rosé from the hot Barossa plains made by winemaker Sam Wigan. M&S winemaker Belinda Kleinig helped Sam blend this really appetisingly dry cuvée of shiraz, grenache, cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese. The 12.5 per cent alcohol is not as high as I was expecting from its origin, but the winemakers have purposefully tried to make a refreshing, rather than heavyweight, rosé here.
McLaren Vale, Australia
16 LITTLE BLACK PIGS ROSÉ 2014
Steve Grimley breeds pigs as well as making wine – hence the name of this bottle, a well-priced, easy drinking strawberry-scented rosé made from a pinot gris base. Grimley has had experience of making wine across three continents. I liked this because it was not as heavyweight and sweet as other Aussie rosés – in fact, it was the favourite New World rosé in our tasting.
This offering is from the enterprising Lindo family, who grow vines on south-facing slopes on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. They have been enjoying some fabulously warm summers recently, allowing them to produce fruity, vibrant, still wines – as well as exceptionally good fizz. Pinot noir is a tricky grape to grow, but winemaker Sam Lindo seems to be able to add some delicious cranberry and raspberry flavours into this delicate rosé.
DOMAINE DES SOURS ROSÉ 2013
High on a limestone plateau south-west of Libourne and Pomerol facing the famous medieval town of St Emilion, this beautiful chateau has long been famous for its rosé. Previous owner Esme Johnson realised the rosé’s potential here, spotting a gap in the market for the approachable easy drinking style of Bordeaux rosé. This is the second wine of the estate – and at a remarkably good price under £7. It’s juicy and plummy with redcurrant fruits.
CÔtes du Tarn, South West France
CHEZ ROCAILLEUX BRAUCOL ROSÉ 2013
Husband and wife team Jack and Margaret Reckitt make this deliciously delicate, crisp rosé near Andillac, north east of Toulouse from the unusual braucol grape. The Reckitts’ story is one of passion and determination to pursue a dream. It all started with a case of red wine from The Wine Society and a subscription to Decanter magazine, followed by a winemaking course at Plumpton. In 2011 they bought this enchanting property in the Tarn. The moderate alcohol (12 per cent), delicacy and elegance of their wine stole the show at our tasting.
CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROSÉ
2014 Domaine Les Gres
From the granite soils of Collobrieres in the Var department of Provence in south-east France, this well-made grenache, cinsault and syrah blend is charmingly light and delicate with a minerally edge and crisp natural acidity – just what I love about Provençal pinks in comparison to heavier New
World rosés. Ideal for serving as an aperitif or with light summer dishes.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
PAINTED WOLF ROSALIND PINOTAGE ROSÉ 2014
(£6.25 reduced from £7.25,
The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com)
Emma and Jeremy Borg make a great value Cape range with low yielding organic grapes sourced from vineyards across Stellenbosch, Swartland and Paarl. Pinotage makes a very savoury style of rosé with some structure and just a touch of sweetness. The Painted Wolf range is dedicated to wildlife preservation, an important topic in South Africa with a percentage of profits going to conservation charities. Great value summery pink.
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