Party in pink

IMG_3186Summer should be a time of relaxation, outdoor parties and pink wine.  So far the British summer has been a soggy mess, but rosé / rosato / rosado still has its attractions.  Andover Wine Friends’ summer party had to be held indoors for the first time in four years and fortunately we had build a tasting room of suitable size so that we could have a civilised seated tasting and supper. Thanks to all who shared their culinary creations, simple or sophisticated!

All the wines were sourced locally: Waitrose, Grape Expectations and Caviste. The idea was to showcase some rosé styles.  The main omissions (possibilities for another year) were sparking pink wines, Cabernet Franc in either its simple medium sweet or more serious dry styles and Italian Cerasuolo.  But let’s pick a three winners from the wines we did drink.

At the cheap end of the market was the aperitif wine pictured above from Campo de Borja, Spain, 2011. £5 a bottle from the supermarket mentioned, it is a striking carmine pink and has simple attractive cherry notes with a slightly confected or sherbet note. But this is highly drinkable and with a bit of hot sun – promised for the middle of the this week! – it would hit the spot for picnics and parties. 

One of the great advantages of wine groups is that you try wines that you might never think of buying, for example off-dry German Pinot Noir rosé – Roséwein or Weißherbst for the linguists out there.  IMG_3193But Grape Expectation’s Pinot Noir Rosé, Ernst Loosen, Pfalz, 2011 is definitely one to try.  Very pale onion skin in colour, mildly raspberry and floral on the nose and a superb, succulent red-fruit palate. And the residual sugar carries the flavour on, making this an unusually long rosé. 

For a special occasion and particularly with food, there is a predictable third and final choice: Bandol, a star appellation for reds and rosé in Provence. Here the vines are grown at 300m above the sea and have a mouth-filling weight and rich texture not often associated with rosé.  Made from 50:50 blend of Mourvèdre and  Cinsault, this is a fine wine: Château de Pirbanon, AC Bandol Rosé 2009.  A suitable wine for the climax of a pink evening!

Other wines tasted

Villa Maria Private Bin, Rosé, East Coast, New Zealand, 2011

Vendanges Nocturnes, Cinsault Syrah, Laurent Miquel, Pays d’Oc, France, 2010

Barton Shiraz Rosé, Walker Bay, South Africa, 2011

L’Authentique, Thomas Labaille, AC Sancerre Rosé, France 2011

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