With a bank holiday weekend dawning and – whisper it – decent weather forecast for Friday, Peter Ranscombe takes a whistle-stop world tour of rosé wine.
FOLLOWING on from our last look at pink wines back in May, it feels like the right time to put on some rosé-tinted specs ahead of the early August bank holiday.
Alas, the Fringe may not be starting this weekend and the weather may fizzle out too after Friday’s sunshine, but at least we’ll have something pink in our glasses to raise a smile.
Our whirlwind world tour of rosés begins with some of the usual suspects in France, Italy and Spain before branching out into some exciting New World options too from Chile and South Africa.
Silence Luberon Magnum 2019 (£11.99, Aldi)
It’s been turning many heads over the past fortnight since it made it’s debut in Aldi and the German discounter’s magnum – or double-sized bottle – of rosé from France’s Luberon region lives up the the hype. Bright and fruity lemon sherbet and raspberry on the nose, with enough fruit flavours on the palate to balance its sharp acidity. One for fans of Provence’s dry style.
Chateau des Ferrages Roumery Provence (£10.99, Fountainhall Wines)
Into Provence proper now, and the elegant strawberry aromas of Chateau des Ferrages, with fresher and more focused lemon and strawberry flavours than Aldi’s Luberon. Great value, especially with the special offer from Fountainhall Wines, which has shops in Aberdeen and Stonehaven as well as its website.
Le Grand Cros Aurelia (€22.00, faulknerwine.com)
Keep your eyes peeled for this stunning bottle of Provence as it starts to appear in the UK – the Faulkner family, which makes it, is selling it on its website, while Asset Wines appears to have started stocking it in the UK too. There’s a touch of garrigue herbs and redcurrant in amongst the lemon and raspberry in its more complex nose, with a touch of tannin adding a savouriness to the raspberry and redcurrant on the palate.
E Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2018 (£11.75, Fareham Wine Cellar)
Provence isn’t the only game in town when it comes to rosé from the South of France, with the Rhone valley harnessing its array of red grapes – from cinsault, carignan and grenache through to even syrah – to produce pink wines. Guigal’s effort was my favourite from the selection I sampled, thanks to its fresh and bright mix of lemon sherbet and raspberry jam flavours, all tied up in fresh acidity, without any sign of confection.
Domaine Romy Imperial Rosé 2019 (£9.99, Fountainhall Wines)
Beaujolais isn’t the first place I’d think to look for rosé but, actually, why not? It’s got gamay, a light red grape, so it’s already halfway there. I really enjoyed the savoury, almost herbal notes in amongst the cranberry and redcurrant aromas, with lots of savoury lemon rind flavours on the palate hinting at how well this pink would go with food.
Rosa di Santa Tresa 2019 (£10.99, Majestic Wine)
Spreading our wings beyond the South of France brings us first of all to Italy and a blend of nero d’avola and frappato made on the island of Sicily. It’s got that really intense nose, which – for me – only comes from organic wines, with lemon sherbet, raspberry jam and redcurrant jelly. Fresher lemon and cranberry join the party on the palate, which finishes with a more savoury lemon rind twist. Complex and delicious.
Familia Torres Viña Esmeralda Rosé 2019 (£7.39, Winebuyers.com)
Spain is next on our hit list with this stonking value bottle from family winery Torres. A very Provence-like pale colour in the glass, but packing a punch with floral notes on the nose and then tonnes of strawberry and lemon sherbet on the palate.
Baron Amarillo Bobal Rosé (£4.99, Aldi)
If you’re looking for something slightly rounder and with a touch of sweetness to balance all that fresh acidity then the bobal incarnation of Aldi’s Baron Amarillo brand is a great place to look. Bobal is a bit of an unloved workhorse grape – hence the price tag – but it really shines here, with red cherry fruit pastille flavours and a kick of fresh acidity for balance.
Miguel Torres Santa Digna Rosé 2019 (£8, Winebuyers.com)
Back to Torres, but this time the Spanish family’s operations in Chile. It may be a ludicrously bright red cherry colour, but this is a serious rosé, which really needs some charcuterie to come into its own. It’s got cabernet sauvignon’s slightly stalky aromas on the nose alongside fruitier raspberry, cranberry and blackcurrant notes, plus an off-dry twist of sweetness on the palate. Impressive stuff.
Roodeberg Rosé (£6.99, Aldi)
Our journey comes to an end in South Africa, where we’re greeted by an exciting and vibrant nose full of lemon, red cherry and raspberry jam. It’s a fruit bomb on the palate too, with fresh acidity, but again an off-dry lick of sweetness, which makes this a good contender to go with some spicier dishes too.
Read more of Peter Ranscombe’s wine, beer and spirits reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.