With lockdown easing, and temperatures slowly moving in the right direction to make outdoor socialising positively pleasurable rather than the terribly British “mustn’t grumble”, we’ve sorted out a Summer Six collection to get things moving again. There’s fizz, a rosé, two whites and two reds, all aimed at the optimistically bright days ahead.
Domaine J. Laurens, Crémant de Limoux Brut, Les Graimenous, 2019
Led by Chardonnay, assisted by Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Mauzac this beats many a Champagne for value. A pretty pale lemon, a hint of apple on the nose, followed by good fruit on the palate, racy and long.
Chateau La Grave, Minervois Rosé, Expression, 2019
From approximate halves of Syrah and Grenache, this delivers both ripeness and intensity. Pale salmon pink, with berry fruit aromas, this is a perfect all rounder, fruity enough to enjoy on its own but also dry enough for food.
Pehhcora Pecorino Terre Di Chiete IGP 2018
Grown in the Italian region of Abruzzo from the Pecorino grape, this is typically crisp & dry, minerally with fresh acidity. Straw yellow in colour with an elegantly floral bouquet of peach & mango. Ideal as an aperitif or just for sipping on a hot summer's day.
Chateau du Cros Sauvignon Bordeaux AC, Famille Boyer 2019
Made from 95% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Sauvignon Gris, from the Loupiac region of Bordeaux, there’s a beautiful freshness to this wine. The grassy Sauvignon nose is followed by almost tropical fruit, balanced acidity, and a long clean finish.
La Salette, IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rouge, 2019
This is a light, deliriously purple-hued wine which one could easily serve lightly chilled with lunch or with spicy food: the French would call it "frais", fresh. There’s a sense of fresh ripe strawberries and raspberries, a gentle fragrance, plenty of flesh and minimal tannins. This very easy-drinking blend of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc delivers immediate pleasure.
Piekenierskloof, Cinsault, 2019
This South African Cinsault comes from an estate on the Paleisheuwel plateau in the Citrusdal mountains, some 200 miles north of Cape Town. Like all the best Cinsault, this shows floral notes and ripe red berries on the nose, followed by velvety fresh fruit with soft tannins holding it all together. It might remind you of a cru Beaujolais in style. Very quaffable!