Wednesday Wines – Episode 9

Episode 9 – 27th May 2020

Two rather nice rosés this week and each has a little twist of originality and excitement.

2019 Château du Rouët Rosé, Cuvée Réservée Tradition, Côtes de Provence, France (£8.50, 500ml bottle, Coop). 

It has been a challenge to keep up to date with new supermarket listings during the lockdown as there haven’t been any wine trade tastings at all for the last few months.  Thank goodness that a few big players are proactive and none of them is more communicative than Coop.  It is rare to find half-litre bottles of wine, but this is the perfect size for two large glasses and I cannot think of a nicer wine to relax with, in this format, as you wind down after a hard day’s work.  With only 13% alcohol and no oak used, this is a keenly balanced blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 20% Syrah and 10% Tibourenc (sic).  Super-smooth and gentle on the palate with a kiss of pink grapefruit acidity on the finish, this is a mellow number and the reason why it makes this feature, aside from the excellent format, is because I have tasted hundreds of 2019 rosés this year and this is one of the finest value to date.  Just yesterday it was sitting on my tasting bench next to another, very famous brand at twice the price and this wine demolished it with its class and composure.

2019 Still by Hattingley Valley, Rosé (£84.00 for six bottles – £14.00 each – and free delivery for two cases, www.hattingleyvalley.com). 

This is the first still wine that sparkling specialists Hattingley Valley has released.  Made from Pinot Noir Précoce, or Frühburgunder as they call it in Germany, this early-ripening mutation of Pinot Noir is a useful variety in our cool climate and it also has pretty red and black fruit notes which work extremely well in this wine.  Sourced from Kent and Berkshire vineyards, and picked before the autumn rainfall, this is a saignée-style wine which essentially ‘bleeds’ a little colour from the red skins into the juice resulting in a silky-smooth, extremely easy to glug wine!  There is no oak getting in the way and so this wine is ready to go and it is utterly delightful already.  The weather looks good this week, so load up with this delicious wine now. but don’t delay as the production was limited to only 1300 six-packs!