Merlot makes a great rosé, light and refreshing with a pleasant summer-fruit fragrance and flavour.
ABV = 11.5%.
The Dal Cero family has transformed their Ca' dei Frati property, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda, into a model Italian estate over the past two decades. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but now, following the purchase of a large chunk of prime vineyard in 2008, they have over 160 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality and today they remain the best producer in Lugana.
The secret to the success of the Ca' dei Frati wines is their outstanding vineyards. Most producers in the zone overcrop and train the vines high. At Ca' dei Frati, the vines are trained low, newer vineyards have a higher density of planting, and yields are well below the average for the zone. Fruit for this wine came from two vineyards, 'I Frati' in Sirmione and 'La Tur' in Desenzano. The soils are a mixture of chalky clay, sand and lime. The vines are single and double Guyot trained. The yield is 9 tonnes per hectare.
2016 saw a hot and dry summer in Lombardy. A cool spring with some rainfall was followed by a hot June and July. Large shifts between day and night time temperatures throughout August helped to balance ripening and produce healthy, grapes with refreshing acidity.
There was a short period of skin contact at the start of the vinification process to extract colour. The must was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, 80% of the wine was allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine remained in tank for six months before bottling and then a further two months in bottle before release.
60% Groppello , 15% Marzemino, 15% Sangiovese, 10% Barbera.
Rosa dei Frati is light pink with a touch of 'onion skin' orange. Zesty and vibrant with aromas of summer pudding and strawberries, it is perfectly balanced with a lovely refreshing finish.
ABV = 12.5%.
Charles Melton Wines has produced premium Barossa red wines since 1984. At that time, Charlie and a small band of Barossan winemakers turned their winemaking efforts to what were then considered a couple of unfashionable varieties: Shiraz and Grenache. These wines were initially styled on those from the Rhône but are now considered leading examples of the varieties in their own right.
At Charles Melton Wines, great emphasis is placed on the quality of fruit. All grapes are dry grown and harvested from the winery's own 80 acres of prime Barossa vineyard land, as well as from a select group of grape growers. Yields are extremely low with often only one tonne per half hectare and the vineyards are truly old with many exceeding 80 years.
Average winter and spring rainfall set the vineyard up for a great 2017/18 season. Warm and dry conditions in late spring and early summer encouraged early ripening and harvest began the first week of February.
The fruit was crushed and destemmed, then cold soaked on its skins for 48 hours. The juice was then drained and the skins pressed. Only the free-run juice was used for the Rose of Virginia. The juice was then cold settled, and racked off its lees after two days. The wine was fermented at low temperatures (10-12ºC) in stainless steel tanks to retain the elegant fruit and floral aromatics.
This wine is a blend of 64% Grenache/Garnacha, 27% Syrah/Shiraz, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon.
This rosé has a fragrant Turkish Delight bouquet, with a little pepper and spice to add complexity. The usual unique vibrant cerise tint adds colour to the table. Balanced acidity, tannin and weight give the usual Rose of Virginia combination of richness yet crispness. It will retain its fruit sweetness and perfume over a couple of years at least.
ABV = 12.5%.
This domaine has been doing what it does best now for over 200 years – which is to make great rosé. Current chief, Bernard Maurel, is the 7th generation of his family to live at the Chateau and makes typically Provencal wines: pale and refreshing with cool, subtle red fruit flavours. Bernard’s other job is running a private bank based in Marseille – a not entirely unprofitable venture that ensures d’Astros does not lack for investment when improvements are required in the cellars or vineyards.
The vinification of Chateau D'Astros is entrusted to Laure Ambroise-Habasque, a reputed agronomist and oenologist. She is adept at traditional low-temperature vinification.
Vinification takes place in tanks at a maximum temperature of 16°. After fermentation, which lasts between fifteen days and three weeks, the wine is drawn off and sulphur is added. The wine then begins its ageing process in vats or barrels for three to twelve months depending on the vintage. Then comes assemblage/blending, to marry the finest expressions of the vintage, followed by bottling.
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah.
This delicate rosé has an intense nose of grapefruit and other exotic fruits. It is fruity, well balanced and generous with lots of citrus fruit flavours. (It is a dry rosé).
ABV = 12.5%.
The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition interview with Sacha Lichine of Chateau d'Esclans (see blue link below).
Chateau d’Esclans is located on an exceptional site, on elevated land near the Gorges de Pennafort, twenty five kilometers northwest of the ancient Roman city of Frejus on the Mediterranean coast.
As a negociant and vinificateur (winery), Caves d’Esclans identifies vineyards, grapes and wines from Château d’Esclans as well as local growers to make what has reputedly become the world’s greatest rosé. As their objective is to obtain the best quality grapes and wines, they have created good working relationships with the local grape growers, situated beside Caves d’Esclans, whose vineyards are treated with the same high standards of quality as are the vineyards of Château d’Esclans.
This wine is rapidly becoming an icon rosé...
It is made using a blend of Grenache 20%, Cinsault 20%, Rolle 20%, Syrah 20% and Tibouren 20%.
To see Château d’Esclans' fiche technique for this wine, please click on the blue link below.
ABV = 13.5%.
Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
When Cédric Gravier took over the family operation in 1996, the production - which until then had been sent to the winemaking cooperative - received a new lease of life with the addition of a producing cellar. The domaine extends over 60 hectares of the Bandol AOC and includes a number of varied plots, located for the most part in the villages of La Cadière and le Castellet.
This wine (a blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Cinsault, 20% Grenache 20%, 10% Carignan) hails from from a terroir of calcareous clay, typical of Bandol, its quality partially explained by the low yield of just 40 hl/ha.
Harvested during the month of September, in line with the ripeness of each variety. The grapes were selected depending on their condition and underwent skin contact (maceration pelliculaire) at a low temperature before being pressed. The juice, after settling, was placed in a stainless steel vat for a period of 15 days between 18°C and 20°C before racking. The juice was fined in early November then re-racked and assembled in January. The final assemblage is stocked in concrete vats until bottling after filtration from March to July.
This is a Bandol rose of both freshness and subtlety. It has a a clear and shiny robe (salmon-coloured), a delicate nose of candied citrus fruit and spices and a surprisingly full-bodied, balanced and fresh impact on the palate.
The Running Duck range is made by Stellar Organics – the pioneer winery from Western South Africa. The wines are certified organic and have also been made according to “Fair for life” guidelines. This social & fair trade certification ensures that human rights are guaranteed at any stage of production, that workers enjoy good and fair working conditions and that smallholder farmers receive a fair price.
The brand is named after the Indian Runners ducks sent roaming into the vineyards to eat snails and other threats to the vines. This is natural pest control and allows the winery not to use pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
This wine has a lovely strawberry pink colour. Ripe strawberry and raspberry dominate the flavours. It has fresh acidity and a tropical fruity finish. This wine goes well with pizza, pasta dishes, cheeses and salad.
ABV = 13.0%.