Five terrific summer wines from some of the best independent wine merchants in the country.
NV Marie Demets, Brut, Champagne, France (£270.00 per case of 12 bottles with free delivery UK mainland, Folly Cottage Wines, tel. 01264 730857 & www.follycottagewines.co.uk). This is the best value Champagne I have tasted this year. Perfectly balanced and made with 90% pinot noir which gives it a wondrous, faint strawberry note on the nose, this is a lusty, creamy, hypnotic wine perfect for elegant entertaining and for summer strawberry dishes.
2011 Domaine de Lansac, Les Quatres Reines, Aubun Rosé, Alpilles, France (£117.00 per case of 12 bottles, Folly Cottage Wines). A beautiful, raspberry-scented, pale pink rosé with a luscious, silky texture and a long elegant finish. This rare wine is the perfect aperitif-style to get your taste buds humming prior to a lovely summer buffet.
2011 Alpha Zeta, ‘R’ Rosato, Veneto, Italy (£6.99, The Wine Society tel. 01438 741177, Corks Out tel. 01925 267 700, Edward Parker Wines tel. 01263 860938, Cooden Cellars tel. 01323 649 663, Mill Hill Wines tel. 020 8959 6754, Noel Young tel. 01223 566744, The Flying Corkscrew tel. 01442 213 155). This feisty, punchy rosé is made from the Valpolicella grape corvina so you can imagine the burst of cherry fruit on the nose and palate. Tailor-made for charcuterie, cold salmon and even coronation chicken, this chunky rosé has real style.
2011 Garnacha, Bodegas y Viñedos Monfil, Cariñena, Spain (£7.50, Lea & Sandeman, tel. 020 7244 0522 & www.leaandsandeman.co.uk). This joyous, ebullient red is a wonderful all-purpose glugger for summer entertaining. You can chill it and the plummy fruit is crunchy and lip-smacking or you can drink it at normal temperature and the soothing, spicy red fruit and liquorice tang will romance your palate.
2011 Chinon Blanc, Château de Ligré, Loire, France (£12.50, Yapp Brothers, tel. 01747 860 423 & www.yapp.co.uk). This chenin blanc is one of the most spine-tingling and racy whites of the season. Stiletto sharp with brazen citrus fruit and a wickedly enticing tart finish this is a stunning wine with salads, seafood and crustacea.