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.
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 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.
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).
Rapidly becoming an icon rosé...
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Everything at Chateau d'Esclans is done with quality as the overriding focus. They are very proud to say they take the same care and attention of their grapes as any of the top Bordeaux chateaux do of theirs, and no expense is spared to ensure every vintage reaches its potential in the bottle. The wines themselves are made by Patrick Leon, who used to make the wine at none other than Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Opus One.
This superb rose is made from a blend of old vines grown on the Esclans estate by Burgundian winemaking techniques resulting in a rounded and expressive Provence rose with unusual complexity.
The Whispering Angel has a beautifully delicate pale pink colour. Redcurrant, dried flowers and spices abound on the nose, with a subtle herbal quality. The palate is refined and elegant with faint cherry nuances which are followed by elegant summer fruits and beautifully integrated, yet balanced acidity.
The 2016 vintage was 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 town. Tucked away in its own private valley, the château is surrounded by ancient woodlands and olive groves. Following ancient Celtic and Roman occupation, the property served as a host to monastic practice and as a home to members of the French court in the 14th century. Since 2012, the Perrin family has been involved in wine production at the estate, and has overseen investment in the latest wine-making technology and innovation.
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.
2017 was one of the most difficult vintages in living memory for Provence, suffering from hail and frost in the spring before a drought in the summer. Although the crop was small, the fruit is tremendously concentrated, meaning that the quality is excellent. Harvest was one of the earliest recorded, beginning mid-August.
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 bâtonnage to add texture and complexity.
The wine has a beautiful pale, petal-pink colour, with bright nuances. On the nose, it has aromas of fresh strawberries and spring flowers. It finishes with a refreshing acidity, minerality and a saline finish.
“Les Baronnes” Sancerre rosé is a bled rosé. Juice is obtained by draining ("bleeding") vats of Pinot Noir juice after 48 hours of cold maceration. The alcoholic fermentation is conducted in thermoregulated stainless steel tanks (15-18°C) followed by 3 to 4 months of maturation on its fine lees.
This refreshing, very fruity rosé is easy to drink, fresh and particularly well-balanced in structure and aromas. Enjoy “Les Baronnes” rosé well-chilled but not too cold – about 10°C should be enough to conquer your guests! “Les Baronnes” rosé is a wonderful aperitif, like a ray of sunshine on your table! Whether to whet your appetite or to accompany dishes throughout the meal, this Sancerre rosé is surely up to the task. Great with salads, springtime meals, or picnics – it's also a splendid wine to accompany Asian cuisine!
Awarded a Platinum Medal, 97 points and Best in Show Status at the 2018 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.
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition panel tasting of non-Provencale French rosé (see blue link below).
Run by Pascal and Marie-Laure together with their son Marius, Domaine Tabordet is a 19 hectare estate, including five hectares in Sancerre and 14 in Pouilly-Fumé. The domain is very much a family business, run in a traditional spirit, but using the latest winemaking technology. The vineyards are managed with the utmost respect for the sustainability and biodiversity. The resulting wines are a true reflection of the diverse terroirs which make up their estate showing characteristic flinty flavours, with good weight and a full body.
The vineyard is situated in the heart of the Sancerre appellation on the left bank of the Loire River. The vines are trained according to the Guyot method. The vineyard is carefully cultivated throughout the year with debudding of the vines, tilling of the soil to reduce the need for weed killers and certain parcels are left with grass cover to limit the vigour of the vines. Deleafing takes place at the end of June. The soil in the vineyard is made up of Kimmeridgian marl, which is a chalky clay, flint and pebbly limestone, known locally as "caillottes". The soil imparts the distinctive mineral and flinty characteristics to the wine. The harvest takes place between mid-September and mid-October when the grapes have reached optimal maturity and the vines are machine harvested in order to retain the freshness and aromatics in the berries.
The grapes were carefully sorted and gently pressed in a pneumatic press. The must was lightly clarified, followed by a slow fermentation in thermostatically controlled stainless steel vats. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation and was bottled young to retain freshness.
With its attractive pale salmon colour, this cool climate rosé from this illustrious region of France is elegantly styled. Lifted red fruit aromas of wild berries follow through to a crisp, delicately fruity palate with a hint of minerality and an elegant long finish. Serve chilled as an elegant apéritif, also try with charcuterie, spicy Asian inspired cuisine and summer salads.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The 2016 vintage was Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Spanish Value Wines (under £20); (see blue link below) (NB: Decanter are showing the wrong bottle - the standard RB Rosado - in this review).
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).
The growth cycle of the 2016 vintage was characterised by a delay of 15 days in comparison to a typical year. After a very cold end to the winter, spring saw the arrival of abundant showers. Summer was very dry especially towards the end of the vineyard's cycle. The quality of fruit produced in 2016 was very good.
The grapes were harvested manually into small 15kg crates which were refrigerated and taken to the winery where they remained in cool conditions for a further 24 hours. They then passed to the optical sorting table where only the best loose, whole, healthy grapes were selected. After gentle maceration and racking, the must is transferred to concrete eggs to settle before fermentation. The fermentation occurs over 20 days and is done at temperatures below 15°Cto conserve the wine's more delicate aromas. After fermentation the wine is left on its fine lees for around a month before bottling.
LaLomba Rosado has a pale peach colour which is both clear and bright. The aromas are complex with medium intensity with notes of fresh red fruits, apricot, lychee and citrus. There is also a hint of orange blossom and some delicate herbal notes. The palate is perfectly balanced and it recalls the fruity character foiund on the nose. This wine is ready to drink but can be laid down if necessary.
This is a great aperitif but also goes well with salmon, sushi and mussels.
The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition panel tasting of non-Provencale French rosé (see blue link below). However, it is stubbornly unavailable in the UK market, and we offer the excellent 2015 vintage, a little age on Tavel being tyically a good thing!
See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
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.
The wines of Tenuta Ammiraglia represent the Frescobaldi’s expression of modern Tuscan wines: influenced and inspired by the Mediterranean sun, sea and coastal breezes. The modern Ammiraglia winery, designed by the architect Piero Sartogo, is reminiscent of the prow of a ship pointing towards the sea. Perfectly integrated amid the hills and covered with greenery, it combines the most recent technological innovations with respect for the land and surrounding nature. The wines of Tenuta Ammiraglia are distinguished by the freshness, minerality and richness of the fruit.
A relatively dry and mild winter in 2017 led to earlier budding than usual. The spring rainfall guaranteed excellent water reserves during the long, dry summer with temperatures consistently exceeding 30°C, which guaranteed grapes in excellent health.
Located in Magliano in the Maremma on the southern tip of Tuscany, the Ammiraglia estate boasts 150 hectares of vineyards that blanket gently rolling hills overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. In this area the amount of sun and reflected light reach the highest levels and together with the marine breezes create particularly favourable growing conditions. To enhance the unique character of this territory a reservoir was created to collect water and give freshness to the vineyards during the driest months of the year. The combination of all of these factors, impart the wines of Ammiraglia with exceptional richness and aromas that are unique to Maremma.
The berries were carefully selected and immediately pressed without any maceration, capturing just a hint of the colour from the skins, resulting in the delicate rosé colour. The grapes were then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel for three months, retaining the purity of fruit and aromatic expression. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation. The Syrah was blended with a touch of Vermentino and the wine spent one month in bottle, prior to release.
Refined and elegant, Alìe is characterised by its delicate rose colour and subtle peach highlights. Enveloping and well rounded on the palate, with citrus notes of pink grapefruit and a hint of cherry underpinned by a streak of minerality. A beautifully balanced wine, with an intense and persistent finish. Alìe partners beautifully with smoked fish, particularly salmon, as well as with prosciutto, lighter meats, poultry and fish. It is particularly recommended with spicy dishes and Asian cuisine.