The last few days here in Bristol have seen a complete change in our weather: beautifully warm, sunny and, above all, dry; a real pleasure after a long, wet, dreary (and occasionally snowy) winter and early part of the spring. No surprise then that our thoughts immediately turn to barbecues, picnics and that perfect summer drink: a glass of chilled rosé. So, it was a very happy coincidence that earlier this week, on the first really sunny day, was the launch party of the latest vintage of Dunleavy Pinot Noir rosé, one of our most local wines, made from grapes grown at Wrington, just a few minutes’ drive south of Bristol.
Of course, I had to go along and taste!
The wine has a lovely rich colour with attractive aromas and flavours of crushed strawberries. Just a touch off-dry but very clean and refreshing and with a good dry, fruity finish. Ideal for drinking chilled on its own in the garden (assuming this weather lasts!) but equally worth pairing with a seared fresh tuna steak or simply some cold cuts.
Ingrid Bates, owner and winemaker at Dunleavy, hosted the launch party of her 5th vintage at Bellita Wine Bar, now established in Cotham Hill in the space once occupied by Flinty Red. An appropriate choice of venue as Bellita pride themselves in a winelist comprising all female winemakers – and why not, as they ask?
The wine was clearly going down well at the launch and also, later in the evening, at local restaurant, Bulrush, where I noticed it being served to some enthusiastic diners at the next table.
English wine has improved enormously in the last 30 years, mainly with some very successful sparkling examples, but Dunleavy’s delicious still Pinot Noir rosé shows a different direction in which local growers can clearly also thrive. It is available direct from the vineyard (www.dunleavyvineyards.co.uk) or from local wine merchant Grape and Grind.