Matthew Jukes -Articles- Wednesday Wines

Wednesday Wines – Episode 153 – An unmissable, rosé-drenched mixed bag!

First four delicious 2022 Rosés

2022 Mirabeau, Classic Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France (£12.99, Waitrose).

I tasted a trio of Mirabeau’s newly released 2022s over the weekend (they should be on the shelves very soon), and they are all worthy of comment. It is interesting to note that after I tasted the wines, some neighbours popped around, and they, too, went through the wines and were eager to share their thoughts. It is always fascinating to hear genuine, knee-jerk reactions to wines from wine-smart amateurs, and they precisely mirrored my notes with their comments.  It is worth noting that they tasted ‘blind’, too, so they were not influenced by the pretty new Pure bottle or the more expensive Etoile bottle format. 2022 Classic was everyone’s preferred wine taking drinkability and price point into consideration. It is the lightest, most gluggable, and least intrusive, and while it sometimes looks a little wanting in less opulent vintages, the 2022 harvest was generous with a little more flesh on the bone than the edgy 2021s, and this suits Classic well. It will be a best-seller this summer, particularly if the price is tweaked in the sales! For my part, I felt it was my favourite vintage of this label to date, with silky smooth fruit notes and a decent, enticing perfume.  2022 Mirabeau, Pure Rosé, Côtes de Provence (£15.99, Waitrose) looks rather racy in its shimmery new bottle, although I was perfectly happy with the old design! There is much more fruit weight, mid-palate power and length here, making it a more vinous and interesting vintage than the crisp, dynamic 2021. It is a wine that might tire out the palate unless you are eating, so I cannot see it being used for drinks parties, but it is perfect for summer buffets! There is a coming of age for Pure and also Etoile because they both show more distinction and elegance on the palate, taking them up the ladder of Provence Rosé to a level above where they have been sitting previously.  2022 Mirabeau, Etoile Rosé, Côtes de Provence (£17.00, Sainsbury’s) is even more involving than Pure with a lower addition of Syrah in the blend (as far as I can tell, although I have yet to see tech sheets). This is a more refined wine than its siblings, with an even, silky, and surprisingly long finish. Hats off to Mirabeau for this trio of luscious and delightful 2022 vintage wines.

2022 Château La Mascaronne, Grande Réserve Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France (£23.55, www.vinatis.co.uk; £24.95, www.finewinedirect.co.uk). 

NB – the merchants listed are those I found on the web, but the UK distributor notes that the following merchants have taken deliveries, whether or not this wine is listed on their website – www.thewhalleywineshop.comwww.thewinereserve.co.ukwww.valhallasgoats.comwww.terroirwines.co.uk

Climb the Provence Rosé ladder a few more rungs, and you will find one of the most hypnotic releases of the year. This is another 2022 with stunning buoyancy and fruit silkiness on the palate, and it is forward and drinking already, which is remarkable. There is so much class and elegance here it takes the breath away. Glittering fractals of flavour dance on the palate, and the calibre of fruit used in this wine is plain to see on both the nose and palate. Even the length leaves one gasping, and it underlines the fact that this wine is one of the permanent elite in the constellation of Provençal Rosé greats.

And also two deals at Waitrose – hurry along!

2022 Éminence de Bijou, Rosé, Coteaux de Béziers, France (£13.99, reduced to £9.99, until 12th April, Waitrose).

While the estate wine, Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose, is a reasonably chunky rosé, if you are looking for a wine with more grace and balance, then the newly released Éminence is subject to a ‘launch discounted price’ that appears to reduce its price to the same tag as the estate wine! With lovely control and relaxing melon, cucumber and peach notes, this is a steal at a tenner, and I advise you to buy all you can before the price goes up!

2020 Escarpment, Noir, Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand (£17.99, reduced to £10.00, from 29th March to 11th April, Waitrose).  

Today, Waitrose promotes ten of its wines, reducing their prices from mid- and upper-teens to a tenner each. Of the ten fine wines reduced, this is the absolute pick of the bunch! The 2018 vintage of Noir was a previous winner of the Daily Mail Wine awards, and I have recently tasted both the 2021 and 2022, which are incredible. This 2020 is a lovely wine with bright fruit and leaf notes on the nose and a silky, plummy palate with a long, spicy, savoury finish. I cannot believe the discount, so if you are looking for a lovely all-rounder, and a wine that also chills nicely for summer parties, this is it! In addition, I will be writing up a sneak preview of the new vintages of Escarpment wines on this website very soon, and they are the finest I have ever tasted!