(2019) The latest incarnation of a regular favourite and one that, in the opinion of d'Esclans founder, Sacha Lichine, is the best ever made. Sadly, it is also the last made by celebrated winemaker Patrick Léon who died in December (Patrick was winemaker at Mouton Rothschild before creating Whispering Angel in 2006). A blend of Grenache, Rolle and Cinsault, is the colour a touch deeper than usual? It certainly has bags of fruit in the aroma, not only tangy citrus peel but small red berries and a delicate more floral and rose-hip perfume. In the mouth it is bone-dry, with precision to the fruit and a sense of both substance and finesse. From Vineyards Direct offer the wine 'en primeur' until the end of February 2019, at £132 per case. Duty and VAT will be payable when delivered in March, so the per bottle equivalent will be around £15.77 - guaranteed to be at least £2 per bottle cheaper than the price once on the shelf. Watch the video for more information.
(2018) Full-fruited and attractively buxom for a rosé, this pale-ish but more deeply-coloured pink has loads of sweet, ripe berries on nose and palate, a big squirt of lemon juice acidity to freshen, and is enjoyable in an unpretentious and straightforward way.
(2018) This rosé from the island of Evia is made from 100% Mavrokoudoura, a new variety for me, and is a medium- to pale-coloured peachy-pink with intriguing aromatics that are quite ripe and lychee, or passion fruit-like, but something stony and gravelly too. In the mouth it is bone dry and grippy, a big grapefruity hit of sour citrus and acidity, this has mouth-watering presence, some pulpy strawberry character soon swept along in the acidity of the finish. Different, and plenty of personality here.
(2018) The 2015 vintage of this delightful rosé made my 'Wine of the Week', and this 2017 follows in the same vein of pale, lacework-light character from one of Turkey's best grape varieties. Delicate passion fruit and underripe white strawberries, a lovely finish that also balances between sweet and downy peach and raspberry, and its decisive core of acidity to give excellent freshness and tang. Delightful.
(2018) From the Languedoc, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Merlot and Mourvèdre in the mix for a medium-pale rosé, with a fairly simple and straightforward strawberry and raspberry fruit, the palate fruity and generous, a little briary leafiness and a slightly astringent quality to the acidity stopping it a little short, but keeping it fresh.
(2018) From the super-impressive Alpha Estate in Greek Macedonia, this has the delicate Provençal colour and character, spices, small hard red berries and a touch of watermelon. Made by running off some juice from the red wine cuvée, 'Hedgehog', after two hours in the press, it has a nice salty mineral freshness. Long and nicely done.
(2018) A blend of Grenache and Cinsault, and clearly mimicking the Provence style, this is a Vin de France, the classification that allows cross-regional blending of grapes. Pale and fairly neutral in aroma, there's a delicate, light peach and red fruit quality and a fairly obvious dollop of residual sugar. There's a sense of this being a very 'made' wine, but the recipe is successful enough to justify the £6.99 'mixed six' price in Majestic if it sounds like your cup of tea.
(2018) From the traditional rosé stronghold of Tavel, very close to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is a deeply-coloured and quite serious pink made from Grenache and Syrah that’s so unlike the in-vogue pale Provençal style, yet is quite marvellous: crammed with cherry and ripe red berries, there’s a creaminess to the flavour and texture and the little nip of tannin and focused acidity give it structure and length too. Excellent with an Italian fennel sausage casserole perhaps? On offer at time of review for £11.75.
(2018) A lovely blend of 60% Grenache with Syrah from vineyards at 300-400m altitude, planted on clay and limestone soils, this is a most delicate and dry rosé, passion fruit and watermelon aromas touching into the tropical, a saline hint in the background. In the mouth that sweep of peach and grapefruit fresh but full fruit meets more delicate rose-hip, a lovely tart acid background pushing out the finish to a fine point.
(2018) Made from Syrah (60%), with Grenache (35%) and Cinsault (5%), this is more robustly fruity than the 'Pure' bottling, but that's not to say it is in any way clumsy or crude. Very pale in colour, tha aromas are of lychee and raspberry, clearly more fruity than the Pure, but with a sense of breezy freshness too. On the palate the limey acid core is excellent, in a dry wine that frames the summer berry fruits with citrus, an ozoney lick of salty mineral character adding some grip in a slightly nore powerful, but delightful pink.