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 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.
The 2018 is the last vintage to be overseen by the great Patrick Léon: "Our beloved and extraordinarily valued Consulting Oenologist, Patrick Léon, passed away on the 11th of December after having finished his final assemblage of the 2018 vintage for our wines. Patrick’s unmatched sense of accumulated detail and attention to it coupled with executing remarkable precision underscore his outstanding contribution to making our wines great. Going forward his enormously talented, confident & passionate son our Technical Director, Bertrand Léon, in addition to his well oriented team will carry out Patrick’s remarkable legacy of crafting among the finest rosés in the world."
This wine is rapidly becoming an icon rosé...
It is made using a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle, Syrah, Tibouren.
To see Chateau dEsclans fiche technique for this wine, please click on the blue link below.
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).
Domaine Joël Delaunay is a family-owned estate, located in the Touraine AOC. Today, fifth generation owner Thierry Delaunay runs the domaine. Like his forward-thinking father, Joël Delaunay, who insisted on estate bottling in 1970, Thierry was the first Touraine producer to bottle under screwcap in 2004. Domaine Joël Delaunay has 34 hectares of vineyards, practicing sustainable viticulture. 90% of their production is white, with Sauvignon Blanc being the predominant grape variety, and 10% is red, mostly Gamay and Cabernet Franc.
Domaine Joël Delaunay is situated on the bank of the Cher Valley, 50 kilometres east of Tours near the famous Château de Chenonceau. The soil is clay and silex (a mixture of flint and sand) and the pruning method is simple Guyot. The vineyards are planted with grass between the vines to control yields.
After a hard frost in April 2017, which had a significant impact across the Loire Valley, the end of spring and summer was relatively clement, allowing the grapes to reach optimum maturity. The harvest itself was early, starting from 1st September. Although the difficult conditions resulted in a small harvest, the small size of the grapes resulted in excellent concentration and very high quality fruit.
The grapes were pressed in a pneumatic press with careful selection of the resulting juices to control the colour. Alcoholic fermentation took place over 20 days at a temperature of 14°C. After fermentation, the wine was aged on its fine lees prior to cross flow filtration and bottling.
This wine is pale salmon-pink in colour. The nose opens with attractive scents of red berries and floral notes. The same fruit recurs on the palate, enhanced by a touch of pepper. The palate is lively and tense with a silky texture. A vibrant, enjoyable rosé.
The 2016 was 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 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 winter was mild, with cold spells in January. Spring was marked by frost, which affected some vines. The summer warmed up and flowering took place under good weather conditions. The summer remained warm and was very dry; as a result the vines stared to get depleted of water. Thankfully a significant storm took place at the end of July, bringing beneficial rainwater. Harvest took place early, starting on 18th September, with grapes having reached good maturity levels and excellent quality.
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 to retain the purity of fruit. 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 notes of sweet fruits, citrus and blood orange follow through to a crisp, delicately fruity palate with a hint of minerality and an elegant long finish.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition's 'Weekday Wines' (see blue link below).
The 2015 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of their Top 30 Rosés (see blue links below).
Las Fincas is the product of a long friendship between Julián Chivite and the Arzak family and their shared passion for rosé wines. The grapes come from vineyards in northern Navarra, which are influenced by Atlantic and Continental climates.
"We began to conceptualize our perfect rosé, that wine we would always want to drink, and from there Chivite Las Fincas was conceived. Our Garnacha and Tempranillo grapes are grown on the Finca de Legardeta, land that has belonged to my family for years, where the Atlantic-continental climate and soil have always contributed to the exceptional characteristics of all of our wines." Julian Chivite
The careful winemaking process is based around the traditional bleeding method, or saignée, which takes place after a brief maceration period allowing for the extraction of aromas, thus preserving the characteristic refinement of this wine. Low-temperature fermentation takes place over approximately 21 days in stainless steel tanks and then the wine is aged on its lees.
The Las Fincas Rosado is pale pink with intense fruity aromas – white stone fruit, pomegranate, fresh cherry, raspberry – with a delicate floral finish. The palate is smooth, balanced, unctuous, and lively, with a character and persistence that are surprising given the wine’s delicate appearance.
An excellent match for rice dishes, barbecue, white meats, seafood, and salads.
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.
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.
A lively, fruity rosé wine with aromas of red summer fruits and an attractive sweetness on the palate.
The Château de l'Aumérade is a 400 year old estate located in in the heart of Provence. Originally belonging to the Aumerat family, the traditional Mas property dates back to the Renaissance period. In 1594, the Duke of Sully, Henry VI's finance minister, presented the Château with a Mulberry tree and Plane trees for their luxurious gardens, as a gift for supplying the Royal Court. In 1930, a young Henri Fabre senior and his wife Charlotte, fell in love with the Château de l'Aumérade, with its 300 hectares of estate vineyards and purchased it from the Aumerat family. The Château was designated as a Cru Classé when the Provence appellation was created in 1955, a system classifying the wine estate rather than the vineyard area. It is one of only 18 that still remain in the designation. The Château is currently run by Henri Fabre junior and his sister Marie-Christine.
2017 was an extremely challenging vintage in Provence. Frost and hail during the spring damaged the crop and reduced the yields. The summer saw drought conditions which put the vines under stress. The fruit was harvested early in mid August and although the crop was smaller than average, the fruit was immensely concentrated and the resulting wines are of excellent quality.
The Cuvée Marie-Christine rosé is made exclusively from an 89 hectare Cru Classé parcel, located on the plains of Pierrefeu. The mineral rich terroir of red clay and limestone soils in this parcel provide good drainage and the vines receive a cooling ventilation from the salty Mistral winds blowing in from the sea just a few miles away.
The grapes were immediately destemmed and gently pressed to preserve the fresh, fruity aromatics. The juice was cooled to 13°C and settled. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures of between 15 to 18°C, retaining the purity of fruit. Racking and blending was followed by a gentle filtration prior to bottling.
A lovely pale powder-pink hue, with refreshing aromas of grapefruit leading to succulent peach and apricot on the palate. Fruit forward and full, with a hint of spice, this elegant rosé has a refreshing acidity and a long finish. Serve chilled as an elegant apéritif or as an ideal accompaniment to Mediterranean or lightly spiced Asian cuisine; sushi, exotic fusion food and grilled fish.