(2023) A pale, coppery rosé made from the southern Italian Aglianico, fermented cool in stainless steel. Gentle, ozoney, small red berries on the nose, leading on to a totally dry, really saline palate, the wine verging on the austere for me, with fruit slightly buried beneath that salty acid concentration. Fascinating and unusual, and I can see this working really well with some food rather than as as garden sipper. No UK stockist at time of review.
(2022) Beware the small print here, as the very dark glass disguises the fact that this is in fact a delicate rosé, not a red, with a fascinating winemaking story: fermented with Rioja yeast and aged in French and American barriques for three months. There's a hessian and herbs, savoury note to the aromas, but also vanilla over raspberry. It's undeniably complex, my mind also going to charcuterie, umami characters. In the mouth a lot of intense fruit sweetness and ripeness, but the grapefruity, lemon-pithy bite of the acidity and that dry redcurrant fruit that underpins the wine gives loads of gastronomic appeal. Balfour suggest matching to strong cheeses, which would be an interesting experiment. Don't serve this too cold; treat it more like a red wine.
(2022) My first taste of Riverby's rosé, which is predominantly Pinot Noir. There must be some bits and pieces of aromatic varieties in here too, as the nose has a definite floral lift, along with bright Bazooka Joe cherry and raspberry, all very pretty and very punchy. In the mouth this has an immediate creaminess and sweetness, verging on an impression of being off-dry, but the juicy red fruit of the mid-palate shows some tartness of hedgerow berries, and the lemony thrust of acidity cleanses the finish, A fine sipper with 12.5% alcohol and easy-going sweetness.
(2022) Is this a light red or a very dark pink - it's hard to say. A nice hint of bloodiness to the plum and redcurrant fruit. The palate has a very nice savoury red fruit, herb and and lightly earthy and meaty savour.
(2022) From vineyards bordering St Emilion, this is 80% Merlot, some of the vines over 50 years old, and the wine aged in both clay amphora and different sized barrels. Smooth and fruit driven nose, edged with bloody and gamy notes. The palate has a layer of polished oak over spicy black fruits. Good length here, finishing with spice, fine tannins and balancing acidity.
(2022) The 'nude' bit refers to the wine being stripped down in terms of packaging, bottled in 100% recycled glass, stoppered with local cork and finished with a paper collar instead of a tin capsule. It is also organic and vegan-friendly. It's a Côtes de Provence rosé made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Rolle. Aromatically it has a little bubblegum/cherry lips florality, and a peachy undertone. In the mouth there's a clever tension between sweet and ripe berries, pear and peach again, and a tugging mineral and citrus acid core. It has a pleasing, rounded mouthfeel and good length in a stylish package.
(2022) A certified organic, vegan, and sustainably-grown rosé from the high Uco Valley in Mendoza, it's also signed up to a Fair Trade policy so all eco credentials are firmly in place. Mostly composed of Pinot Noir and Syrah, it has a pale colour and a fine strawberry bon-bon aroma with an herbal edge sitting subtley in the background. In the mouth, vivid cherry and confit lemon is precise, fruity and juicy, with natural sweet fruit and keen acidity in balance. All sit together very harmoniously. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) A lovely and in many ways typical, fresh and fragrant Provence pink, this is from a well-established producer, but new to the UK thanks to FromVineyardsDirect. Unusually, it is almost all Syrah: 84% along with 16% Grenache. Refined and pale in colour, it has a strawberry bon-bon nose, gently floral and with a touch of citrus zest. In the mouth very fruity and charming, plenty of vivid raspberry and white peach, and long with balanced acidity for gastronomic appeal.
(2022) A rather lovely wine, blending old-vine Grenache and Cinsault, with a little Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, grown at 350-metres altitude. Salmon pink with a touch of peach, there's an exotic lychee and fragrant mandarin and peach aroma, leading on to a crisp but textured palate with vivid fruit and a fine lemony acid balance. There's a little grip here that's welcome as a food wine, yet it has charm and easy-drinking pleasure too.
(2022) I have to say, this wine caused me a bit of head-scratching. First of all, let me be clear that the stuff in the bottle is very good; a vibrant, and intense berry-infused wine from a vineyard in Bandol, with excellent concentration and a mineral edge to the crisply-defining citrus acidity. It's a brand, created by two English entrepreneurs, with a whole diesel/cars/driving schtick behind their website (where the wine can be purchased). They also stress their carbon-neutral ambitions for the wine and its supply-chain. Quite how appealing the name will be and how the story fits together is unclear to me, as is the decision to package the wine in a very non-descript bottle. That may be part of a light-weight strategy, but with most rosés going all-out for shelf-appeal glamour, it's a bit odd for a wine selling for between £15 and £18. It's an oddity, but a delicious oddity it's true.