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.
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.
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.
Situated in the village of Bué in the heart of Sancerre, Christian Thirot’s white and rosé are classic expressions of cool-climate Sauvignon and Pinot Noir respectively. Production is small, with a ''hands on'' approach in the vineyard and minimal handling in the winery.
Pale salmon pink in colour with a subtle nose of wild strawberries. On the palate the wine is delicate and soft with elegant red fruit character and well balanced acidity. Clean and dry with a crisp, refreshing finish.
The rosé wine will bring spicy touches to exotic dishes such as chicken cooked with pineapple and thai rice. It also goes well with charcuterie and chicken or seafood salad.
Awarded 92 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).
Combining Garnacha with 10% Viura from high altitude vineyards in the Rioja Baja, its a pale, spicy, aromatic number with notes of redcurrant and white pepper. Ageing in concrete eggs adds extra complexity here.
Rosé Grande Réserve is a splash of a fresh fruit bouquet with a nose of flowers. Its authentic aroma and its flavours fully illustrate the freshness and the benefits of organic agriculture.