Alpha Zeta was created in 1999 by UK wine importer, David Gleave MW, and New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson with this belief in mind. They realised that the key is to marry local grape growers with impeccable winemaking. All Alpha Zeta wines are made from indigenous grape varieties grown in the hills north-east of Verona. The flavours of the grape shine through in the glass offering great value, quality and balance. Matt works with local Veronese grape growers in hillside vineyards to select parcels of fruit, rather than buying in bulk wine. They have worked together to reduce yields and the grapes are now picked later. In this way, they have been able to improve grape quality and obtain riper flavours.
The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress which helps to produce superior quality fruit.
The grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed and macerated on skins for about 18 hours. After maceration, the must was pressed and fermented at a relatively low temperature (14-15°C) in order to retain the delicate cherry perfumes of Corvina. The wine was held in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks until bottling to maximise freshness.
In the glass, the wine is pale pink in colour with a hint of red. Attractive strawberry and sweet cherry aromas are complemented by subtle floral notes. Dry on the palate, the wine has a vibrant red fruit character and fragrant finish.
The Tempranillo grapes for this wine were harvested at the end of September 2015. They underwent pre-fermentative cold maceration for a few hours to extract colour. Alcoholic fermentation took place at less than 22°C. This wine was bottled in January 2016 and spent two months in bottle before being released for sale.
This Rosado 2015 shows a pale pink colour with pearl tones. On the nose there is an intense aroma of strawberry sweets. The aromas are dominated by fruit with a touch of cream. On the palate this wine is sweet with good volume and the flavours of fruit - strawberry and cream candy is one of the dominant flavours.
This wine should be served well chilled. It is perfect to drink on a hot summer's day and also goes well with seafood, salad and rice dishes.
A red cherry colour with hints of purple. Fresh on the nose with cherry and almond blossom, a hint of dog rose and notes of red fruits. In the mouth it has a tight attack and good weight which is kept lively with savoury structure and lifted acidity. Good
Merlot makes a great rosé, light and refreshing with a pleasant summer-fruit fragrance and flavour.
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.
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.
Lovely salmon-pink colour, this fruity Rosato has delicate perfumes of red cherries and strawberries. The palate is dry and intense with lingering strawberry hints on the finish.
The Castaño family owns over 410 hectares of vineyards in the Yecla DO in south-eastern Spain. 80% of these vineyards are planted with the native Monastrell variety. Castaño symbolises the best of what southern Spain has to offer: rich, warm climate wines made from grapes grown at altitude and transformed into robustly modern wines. For several generations, Bodegas Castaño has been a pioneer in the region.
The Castaño Monastrell Rosé is grown in the Castaño family vineyards, situated in the north of Yecla located at an altitude of 750m above sea level. The vineyards are dry-farmed and the vines are grown on poor, limestone soil. The roots of the vines therefore grow deep into the earth in search for precious minerals and nutrients, which in turn helps to ensure healthy, ripe, flavoursome grapes.
The wine is made 100% from Monastrell. Grapes undergo a direct pressing without maceration of the skins. Fermentation takes place at 16C in stainless steel and undergoes cold stabilisation before bottling. This Monastrell Rosado offers fresh, red fruits on the nose. On the palate it is soft and fruity, with prominent cherry and strawberry flavours, vibrant acidity and a long, lifted finish.
Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of their Top 30 Rosés (see blue link below).
Charles Melton Wines has produced premium Barossa red wines since 1984. At that time, Charlie and a small band of Barossa 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 grapegrowers. Yields are extremely low with often only one tonne per half hectare and the vineyards are truly old with many exceeding 80 years.
A number of key techniques are important to the Rose of Virginia. Cold soak on skins followed by clear settling of the juice helps heighten the aromatics, and co-fermentation of the major varieties delivers the superb hue. A six to eight week cool alcoholic fermentation is followed, before bottling to retain as much youthful zest and life as possible.
This wine has a fragrant Turkish Delight bouquet, with a little pepper and spice to help keep it grown up. 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.
Such a pretty pink with fresh peach and strawberry notes. Beautifully made and great quality. Pale salmon in colour, this is delicate and fresh with plenty of crisp strawberry fruit and a long finish. The new benchmark for Provence rose.
This salmon-hued rose has an intense nose of grapefruit and other exotic fruits. It is fruity well balanced and generous with more citrus fruit flavours.
The Cuvée Alexandre is a delicious and modestly priced Provence Rosé from Château...
Beaulieu, located in Rognes in Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence. The estate comprises 180 hectares of vines which lie at an altitude of 400 metres, in the heart of an ancient volcanic crater. The vineyard land had been farmed in the area since Roman times, although the Château itself was built as a stronghold for the French King Henry III in 1576. Today, the estate is run by the Jeanjean family, who co-own Mas la Chevalière (in the South of France) and Domaine Laroche (Chablis) with Michel Laroche.
Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence lies west along the Mediterranean coast from the Côtes de Provence appellation. The sunny, dry, Mediterranean climate ensures ripe, fruit-driven wines. The sea breezes moderate the hot, drying influence of the Mistral, which blows from the North; this means that the vines are not stressed, the balance is better and the wine retains freshness and aroma alongside the fruit.
The grapes were pressed and fermented in the same way as a white wine. This minimised the extraction of harsh phenolics, and has led to a more delicate style of rosé with a fine textured finish.
This wine is a brilliantly clear salmon pink. It abounds with redcurrant and wild strawberry perfumes that develop into juicy white peach and pear notes. On the palate, fresh acidity is balanced beautifully with the alchohol, giving an elegant mouthfeel and refreshing length.
Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2016 edition's "Weekday Wines" (wines under £25) (see blue link below).
Château Gassier is situated 25 Kms from the ancient town of Aix en Provence, at the foot of Sainte Victoire mountain. A specialist producer of rosé wines, this 40 hectare property blends Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache to produce classic, refreshing Provencal wines.
Le Pas du Moine is a very clear rosé with delicate pink hints. The aromas are Intense with floral (blackcurrant buds), exotic (lychee, passion fruit, fresh mango), pink grapefruit, red berries (redcurrant, fresh wild strawberries) aromas and a few notes of spices. On the palate a great freshness and a nice balance. Beautiful length, a lot of finesse and minerality. Great roundness! This wine should be served between 10-12°C and is a perfect match with exotic Asian meals (eg minced beef with Thai basil, tuna tataki, sushi).
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition reviews of (both) their Top 30 Rosés and Celebrity Vintners (see blue links below).
Château Miraval is located in the Provence village of Correns, the first 100% organic village in France. All of the crops, including grapes, are grown organically in this wild and picturesque village. Château Miraval has 50 hectares of grapes grown on the estate. The terraced vineyards are at 350 metres altitude, resulting in cool nights that moderate the warm days which in turn help the grapes retain their delicate aromas and crisp acidity. The clay and chalk soils at Miraval are also important for quality, because they help regulate water supply to the vines so they have water when they need it and drainage when they don't. At harvest, the grapes are hand picked in the coolness of the morning and hand sorted twice to ensure that only the best grapes go into making the rosé.
Château Miraval has 50 hectares of grapes grown on the estate. The majority of the fruit for this wine comes from the Château's three best parcels - Muriers, Longue and Romarin. The remainder is sourced from within the Correns region, just north of Brignoles in the heart of Provence. The terraced vineyards are at 350 metres altitude, resulting in cool nights that moderate the warm days which in turn help the grapes retain their delicate aromas and crisp acidity. The clay and chalk soils at Miraval are also important for quality because they help regulate water supply to the vines so they have water when they need it and drainage when they don't.
Grapes were harvested by hand in the cool, early hours of the morning and hand sorted twice to ensure that only the best grapes made it into the rosé. The Cinsault, Grenache and Rolle parcels were gently pressed to extract just the right amount of colour, while the Syrah was made using the saignée method. The wine was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks separately and then blended post fermentation. Additionally, the Rolle was put into 228 litre barrels, with occasional battonage to add texture and complexity.
Beautiful, pale, petal-pink colour, elegant with bright nuances. A beautiful aromatic expression with aromas of fresh fruit and spring flowers, refreshing acidity, with great minerality and a saline finish.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of their Top 30 Rosés (see blue link below).
Ollieux Romanis is a magnificent property with a huge winery nestling at the centre of its vines. The winery and wine cellar were built in 1896 from stone quarried from within the property and they still stand proud today. The first parcel of Carignan was planted in 1896 and it is still used for production of grapes today.
The grapes are harvested manually and are macerated before fermentation for between 3 and 6 hours. This helps to ensure the delicate colour of the wine. It is pressed very lightly and the fermentation is monitored to assist with the prevention of any unecessary bitterness in the flavours of the finished wine.
The wine has a pale pink colour with aromas of orange and red flowers. The flavours are of wild strawberry with hints of pepper, flowers and herbs. This wine goes extremely well with grilled chicken or calamari dishes. This wine is suitable for both Vegetarians and Vegans.
Please note - Chateaux Ollieux Romanis uses organic farming methods and is undergoing conversion to fully certified organic status.