Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Summer wine survival kit

I do hope that writing about wines for summer weather will not put the kybosh on any sightings of the sun from now until September.
Now and next time I’ll provide you with a handy list of wines that should see you through summer for all sorts of occasions. Use that wine rack attachment in the fridge for its intended purpose and you’ll be ready for anything. This week: pinks to quench your thirst.

Think pink
Nothing says summer like rosé and, thanks to our enthusiasm for the style there is now a wider choice to buy than ever. Cheap rosés are in plentiful supply, but some guidance on the more pricey ones might be appreciated. I had the chance to taste (blind) some rosés ranging in price from £12 to £100 and these were some of my favourites.

Whispering Angel 2014 - £16.99 from The Wine Reserve, Cobham and other independents
A lot to pay for a bottle of rosé? Somehow we seem to think that rosés can never scale the heights of truly fine wine in the same way as white and red wines. Is rosé just too frivolous? Well try this and see what you think. This Provence rosé is pale and pretty, a blend of Grenache, Rolle (aka Vermentino, a white grape) and rosé specialist red grape Cinsault. I found it to be herbal and delicate, but with presence and length.

I also rated Château Léoube, Rosé de Léoube 2014 - £14.50 from organic specialists Vintage Roots; £14.95 from slurp.co.uk; also independent merchants. It typifies the “don’t try too hard” charm of Provençal rosés and has enough depth of flavour combined with freshness to make for great balance. 

Albury Silent Pool Rosé 2014 - £15 or thereabouts for stockists including Taurus Wines, Bramley and The Wine Reserve Cobham, see www.alburyvineyard.com
Made on the south-facing chalk slopes of the Downs near Guildford, 2014 is the best vintage yet of this organic wine. Made from classic Champagne varieties Pinots Noir and Meunier, it has lovely red fruit characters, citrussy acidity and real depth of flavour.

Williams Chase Rosé 2014 – £14-15 from The Good Wine Shop, Corks Out and Harvey Nichols, £13.50 from Tanners – also look out for magnums
This beautifully packaged rosé sounds English, but is very definitely French, from the Lubéron (Peter Mayle country for those old enough to remember him). I found a beguiling mix of asparagus and rose petal aromas with lovely freshness on the palate.

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