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Superstar Sunday Best and Friday Treat Options

A look at rosé through the century opens today’s post which goes on to recommend wines from Languedoc and an “off-piste” part of Spain.

Intriguing to see how the approach to rosé has changed this century.

At the millennium, it remained a hard sell to a population who often saw it as wine shipwrecked between quality reds and whites.

Not only that but their perceptions were frequently shaped by the oversweet versions of the Seventies.

However, the hot summer of 2003 kick started its revival as a “drink anytime” thirst quencher but with off-dry versions still in the majority.

Slowly, the joys of drier and paler versions gained traction as supermarket rosé collections first expanded and then transitioned in colour from sunset red to salmon pink.

At that stage too the brilliant partnerships between rosé wine and food started to excite interest.  

Now – probably prompted by that food connection – efforts are re-doubled to turn rosé into an “all year round” drink.

Unsurprisingly, then, today’s Friday Night Treats and Promotion segment both devote space to rosés.

Elsewhere in the post, there are not one but two Sunday Best options (great Spanish wine that is not Rioja and does not use tempranillo) and a white with a surprise for you.

In the usual way, hyperlinks and pictures are used where possible to help you locate the bottle in question

Friday Night Treat

Laid back but tasty rosé

This is from an operation now run solely by Laurent Delaunay – a member of a long-standing Burgundy wine family – but now creating wine in Languedoc like this and the Les Jamelles range.

This example reinforces the contention that, nowadays, Languedoc can make quality rosé to rival those iconic versions from Provence.

Ripe with a very long finish, 2021 Abbotts & Delaunay ‘Les Fruits Sauvages’ Grenache Rosé (from £8.99 at Majestic and 12.5% abv) provides laid-back strawberry, peach and watermelon flavours in a mellow, herbal wrapping given verve by tangerine acidity.

Sunday Best

Grenache fights back

Tempranillo is widely regarded as the King of Spanish Grapes (with justification given its success in Ribera and Rioja) but, unfairly, it does tend to overshadow how good garnacha can be.

Here, for instance, is an excellent Calatayud garnacha – powerful yet flavoursome – that lends forceful credence to that sense of injustice.

Full and dark in colour, 2020 Castillo de Maluenda (from £10.49 at Laithwaites and 14.5%) has smooth prune, blackberry and mulberry flavours at its nucleus.

That central core is neatly embellished with traces of mocha, clove and eucalyptus along with good acidity – but limited tannin.

Sunday Best Bonus

Of course, albariño is Spanish isn’t it? Well, nobody told the gifted Laurent Miquel who has created this enjoyable version in the French Aude region.

Fair dues though, it is indeed one of the first examples produced in France and Miquel was widely regarded as mad to even try.

This result however is much closer to genius than madness.

Light with a gentle texture, 2021 Laurent Miquel Albarino (£9.49 – instead of £11.99 until 27 September – at Waitrose Cellar and 13%) brings us greengage and white peach flavours supported by minty and mineral touches with zippy lime and grapefruit acidity

Promotions

Farewell to them

The current promotions at Tesco and Co-op end next week (on 5 and 6 September respectively).

And welcome to a pair of new ones.

This week saw a new promotion start at Sainsbury’s and one that will run through until 20 September.

Among its contents are reductions on no fewer than 12 McGuigan wines – knocking £1 off those originally priced at £6 or over and 50p reductions on those below £6.

The new Waitrose promotion that started yesterday (and continues until 27 September) waves goodbye to the current peak “pink season” with reductions on no fewer than 14 rosés, including Bird in Hand Rosé and (the pictured) Mirabeau Pure Provence Rosé (both trimmed by £4).

Star Buy in Promotions

Often a mere “also ran” in France, cinsault makes excellent budget-level reds like this in South Africa.

It is ideal for what remains of summer because its low tannin means it responds well to light chilling.

That coolness accentuates the cherry and sappier red fruit flavours in 2020 Mount Rozier Red Snapper Cinsault (£6 – instead of £7 until 20 September – at Sainsbury’s and 13.5%) which, here, are ably supported by earthy herbal and faintly smoky elements.

Check this one carefully though as it might not be on promotion everywhere.

Make a new friend

While in Sainsbury’s and feeling a touch adventurous here’s one to try while it is currently on offer – especially if you enjoy a little savouriness to your white wines.

Smooth and with creamy depth, 2021 Taste the Difference Cȏte du Rhȏne White (£7 – instead of £8 until 20 September – at Sainsbury’s and 13%)has floral quince, orange and melon flavours accompanied by the tomato and green pepper savouriness alluded to earlier.  

Call in again on Monday when I reveal my latest Top Tips – wines that I feel top the pile for exceptional quality at their modest price point.

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2 Responses

  1. Nice selection as usual Brian, it’s a shame Rosé is still considered by many a summer wine and generally not taken too seriously, more often than not consumed as part of a picnic or barbecue and tends to be on the sweeter side, think, white Zinfandels but as you say things are beginning to change, there are now some pretty decent drier (all year round ) style pinks around as the ones you mention above. Chilled whites are still drunk winter time so why not Rosé.
    Like the sound of that Garnacha, (I’ll try and grab a bottle) which is a fabulous style very underestimated (especially anything made with older vines) intensely fruity and usually high in alcohol but doesn’t taste like a heavy wine.

  2. Thanks Dave – appreciate your kind words. That’s a good point you make about folk drinking, say, sauvignon blanc all year but only considering rosé to be a summer wine.
    As for garnacha, the qualities you mention are exactly what attracted me to that particular version.

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