(2020) From English MW Justin Howard-Sneyd and his family, this blend of Grenache and Syrah is made by Jean-Marc Lafage of Domaine Lafage, with a limited run of individually numbered bottles. It's an unashamed homage to Provence from its pretty, pale salmon pink colour, to its sheer acidity and cool red fruit profile. As in the 2018 there's a whiff of exotic pot-pourri of flowers and spices, dry reducrrant, downy peach and watermelon fruit. That bracing shot of acidity revs up the finish, so whilst delicate and light, it has a bit of tension and grip too. Note that members of Domaine of the Bee's wine club can buy for £12, and bibwine.co.uk will be selling a limited number of 2.25-litre boxes of this wine.
(2020) From the highest part of the Pinot Noir vineyard, this spent a full 60 months on the lees and has a dosage at 6g/l. The nose is lovely, crammed with small red berries, that extended time on the lees giving a touch of biscuit and light earthiness. In the mouth peach and, again, small tart red berries are brisk and fresh, the lemony thrust of the acidity extending the finish. A really nice rosé. No UK stockist at time of review, but the wine is available internationlly from xtrawine.com for around £22 per bottle.
(2020) A very unusual non-vintage wine in that it is 90% Chenin Blanc, with 10% of added Merlot. In a 250ml can, Cloof stress its low carbon footprint and unaffected quality. Its a deeply coloured pink, the nose showing a little toffee apple character, some pulpy strawberry too. In the mouth it is crisp, apples and lemons, just a hint of briar and cherry, and dry in the finish. Pretty far from 'Provençal' in style, as it is described in the Cloof literature, but the standard two-glass serving in its lightweight can may appeal for picnics, etc. Coming into stock at time of review.
(2020) Who doesn't love a wine like this occasionally? Is it red or rosé? Well, that's a moot point but it's nice to include this cherry-pink wine here as it certainly captures the summery spirit of rosé wines. This Piedmont wine is gently sparkling and off-dry, a counterpoint to the low alcohol Moscatos of the region with only 7% abv. Made from the Brachetto grape grown in the town of Acqui Terme, the wine is stored 0°C in Banfi’s 19th century cellars. It is frothy and offer a gorgeous pot-pourri of liquidised strawberry, pepper and sherbet with a touch of dark chocolate to boot. Mouthfilling, creamy and sweet, that pulpy strawberry sundae sweetness is balanced by just the right level of acidity and a hint of stemmy earthiness, into a long finish. Perfect summer in garden stuff.
(2020) Based on 50% Cinsault with Syrah and Grenache, this Rhône rosé is a full-flavoured and full bodied rendition, but not without delicacy. The colour is pale and attractive, the nose has a little confiture and watercolour paintbox lift, and the dry palate loads of small, dry, raspberry and reducurrant fruit flavours, sliced by fresh lemony acidity with a little salty edge into the finish.
(2020) I'm a fan of Torres' aromatic white version of the Viña Esmeralda and I have to say this wine put a broad smile on my face. Pretty and pale pink in colour, it is 100% Grenache from Torres' vineyards in the Penedès, and is fragrant with old roses, pomegranate and strawberry. On the palate some residual sugar makes it summery and very easy-going, the tang red fruit and citrus acidity balancing nicely, so that it finishes basically dry, and quite pure and long.
(2020) Part of the Louis Latour portrfolio, Simonnet-Febvre is a Chablis producer who also make some fine Crémants. in this case a rosé made from of Pinot Noir, given some skin contact. It's a lovely, appealing wine, all bright and sherbetty raspberry and strawberry delicacy, some rose-hip floral nuances that I regularly find in this wine. The palate is dry, but again has that brightness and crunch, the keen raspberry and juicy cherry palate sweeping into fine citrus acidity. Garden party or barbecue aperitif? Look no further.
(2020) From the Bordeaux vineyards of Chateau Surain, but designated as a Vin de France, so possibly the fruit coming from elsewhere, this is cool, fresh and dry, a nicely pitched savoury pink straddling lemony savoury qualities and small, firm red berry fruitiness, and really very nicely done.
(2020) Something a bit different in amongst a sea of Provençal styles on the market, this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which is deeply coloured following 36 hours skin contact. The nose is all confiture with Morello cherry and raspberry jam notes, and a sense of creamy roundness. In the mouth there's an unmissable bit of residual sugar, and balancing is not just some crisp acidity but a little tannin, which along with more berry-ripe fruit gives this a bit of savouriness to offset the sweetness of the finish.
(2020) What a lovely rosé from Ventoux in the Rhône Valley, a blend of 50% Cinsault with 25% each of Syrah and Grenache. It's pale in colour and had beautifully lifted floral, watercolour paintbox and bright kirsch aromas, so bright, elegant and vivacious. In the mouth the 12.5% alcohol early-picking is obvious with a little flinty, sulphide note adding intrigue and the fresh but juicy and substantial weight of dry redcurrant and cherry fruit behind, the pert acidity perfectly judged. A very nice style this, gastronomic and mouth-watering, yet vivid and flavourful.