Here comes the sun…and the rosé


The sun is out again! At a balmy 11 degrees celcius, it’s considerably warm enough to have the roof down on the car and I even paused to soak up some rays for a few seconds earlier. I realise that it’s not the done thing for wine trades-folk to be delivering wine in such a frivolous vehicle, so the car will be being exchanged for something a little more grown up and practical in the very near future.

The sunshine nicely ties in to the imminent arrival of the first Perfect Friday Wine still rosé. Last year I did a good job looking for the perfect summer rosé and as long as I can find some that meets my high standards, I intend to stock more than one throughout the warmer months. So to start us off, my trusty Languedoc wine producers, Calmel and Joseph have recently released their Villa Blanche Grenache Gris, which I had the pleasure of trying last week and managed to get my mitts on a sample.

In true PFW style, I ran the rosé past my tasting public on Saturday and got some fabulous feedback. It was kept suitably cool all day thanks to the single digit temperature as one can only expect on the first day of March  and many were disappointed because they couldn’t take a bottle away on the day. I can safely say that I have an order in for some of the very first bottles imported into the UK, so expect me to be fully stocked within the next fortnight or so. Pre-orders welcome, just contact me.

Villa Blanche Grenache Gris, IGP Pays d’Oc, Languedoc, France £8.50 Perfect Friday Wine.
Grenache Gris is a paler, close relation of the black grape variety Grenache that you find in many red wines from Languedoc, the Southern Rhone valley and Spain, under the name Garnacha. Grenache ‘noir’ is also used extensively in rosé across southern France and beyond. The gris has a lighter pinky-grey skin, which is reflected here in the beautifully pink colour of the wine.

The Villa Blanche has a really light and fresh raspberry nose, immediately conjuring up warm days and long summers evenings. The palate is dry and delicate with more raspberry fruit with some welcome acidity and a lingering finish. To follow on in the footsteps of the Villa Blanche Picpoul and Syrah, this wine does not disappoint. Great with a bowl of cashew nuts or, needless to say, summer barbecues. All we need now is some heat with this sunshine and the delivery to arrive!

My quest to find the perfect Rosé

Upd 26Jun14: Prices and suppliers updated.

Upd 14Aug13: In a desperate attempt to be accepted by my fellow wine bloggers, I’d like to re-submit this post that I wrote back in June for the 80th  Wine Blogging Wednesday, the subject being ‘Dry Rosé’. I’ll admit, this is cheating somewhat but after some grovelling, @winecast has humoured me and allowed this as a super-early (21 days earlier than the challenge was even set) submission. Check out twitter #wbw80 and here for more excellent entries.

Some love it, some hate it. I am in the former camp and LOVE a glass of Rosé on a sunny afternoon. I like to think that my husband and I were the sole initiators of the rosé revolution in the UK after being introduced to its merits on a holiday to St Tropez back in 2003. Prior to then, I’d tasted very little and if my memory serves me correctly, anything other than Mateus was rare to be seen on a pink wine list in the UK.

Just like I wouldn’t order just ‘a glass of white wine’ in a pub, I wouldn’t order just any old rosé. I’ve been caught out in the past by the sweet, heavy, dark, cheap rosés that many pubs serve and have been known before now to demand to see the bottle before ordering only to opt for a pint of lager instead. I am always astounded by the looks of astonishment by bar staff across the country – surely rosé is rosé? Not at all and I seriously suspect that the rosé haters amongst you simply haven’t found the right one for you yet! Rosé for me has to be dry, lightish in colour and acidic with an almost sherberty finish and I neither mind whether it’s strawberries or peaches and cream. Needless to say – it must be COLD. Continue reading “My quest to find the perfect Rosé”