Category Archives: Rose wine

A Summer of Rosés

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How attitudes to rosé wines have changed! Just a few years ago, they were either despised or ridiculed. No longer! To borrow a fashion term – and, after all, a lot of choices in wine are down to fashion – rosé is the ‘new black’!   A good rosé should be fruity, refreshing and a delight to drink, either on its own or with simple food and, especially at this time of year (assuming the rain will stop and we will get some summer in the UK).

So, where should you start in choosing rosé? The big brand White Zinfandels and blush wines that are on every supermarket shelf are very popular but they’re not my taste – I find them too sweet to make a good aperitif or accompaniment to a starter or main course, yet not sweet enough to cope with a pudding. I prefer something crisp and dry. There are lots around: from France, look to Tavel or Provence, or, for something really unusual, to Corsica (try Clos Culombu, available from the Wine Society, £11.50).

Corsican Rose

The reputation of Spanish rosés hasn’t always been great – and that’s being polite! But there’s been a massive transformation in recent times and bottles from Catalonia, Navarre or Rioja (yes, they do make rosé there as well as red – and white) are much fresher now. Waitrose and Majestic both have Muga’s Rioja Rosado at around a tenner – a good one to sample.

And then there’s the New World: take New Zealand, for example; many would agree that some of their Pinot Noir reds are world-class but the rosés from the same grape are pretty tasty, too. I put The Ned Pinot Rosé (Majestic, £8.99 if you buy it as part of a mixed case of 6) on a tasting recently and it showed really well to a group who were, initially, quite sceptical. But I think I convinced them (most of them, anyway) and if you, too, are a little doubtful, hopefully I’ve convinced you to give rosé a try as well.

There really is nothing better when the sun’s shining.

 

Bristol’s Local Vineyard

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Grapes picked, wine made and bottled. For a vineyard owner, all that remains of a year’s journey is to hear what customers think of the latest vintage. So, a release party is always an exciting and nervous time, particularly when it’s just your 3rd commercial vintage and you’ve won International Wine Challenge awards for your first two.

But Ingrid Bates from Bristol’s local vineyard, Dunleavy, need not have worried. Her delightful, crisp but delicate Pinot Noir Rosé is, if anything, better than ever. Lovely pale strawberry colour, nose of crushed red fruits and a juicy, fresh palate – this is the perfect wine to serve lightly chilled on a warm summer evening in the garden.

DunleavyIngrid planted her vineyard in the Wrington Vale, just a stone’s throw from Bristol, in 2008 and made her first wine (just 100 bottles!) 4 years later. 2013 saw the wine’s commercial release and I’ve keenly followed its progress ever since. The 2015 has a smart new label featuring a design by a local artist and, more significantly, a screw cap replaces the previous cork closure – a sensible decision for a wine made to be drunk young and fresh.

At present, this rosé is the only wine Dunleavy produces although Ingrid has plans for a sparkling at some time in the future; one step at a time! The wine is available direct from the vineyard (email hello@dunleavyvineyards.co.uk) or (along with a tempting selection of other English wines) from local independent wine merchant Grape and Grind in Gloucester Road where the launch party was held. I’m sure it will also continue to be on the lists at a number of restaurants in and around the city.

Regular Bristol Wine Blog readers will know that I’m a great supporter of English wines and this Dunleavy Rosé just confirms that view. English Wine Week runs from 28th May to 5th June; make sure you have a bottle of something local handy to celebrate!