BBQ and 10 wines for the Summer

At last my friends, summer is here. Take a moment. Drink in the sunshine. The Ashes is in full tilt and England have just scraped a first test win. Schools are getting ready for their end of year shutdown – The Fish is very happy about this! Holidays are front of mind. We haven’t had a Spring to speak of; its as if it went from 10C to 28C in one foul swoop. But summer has arrived when many of us had given up all hope!

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I lit my first BBQ of the year on Saturday and enjoyed a wonderful NZ Riesling and a magnificent white Burgundy from the underrated appellation of Saint Aubin with my chicken and lamb tikka kebabs. Today the matches were out again and the dish of choice is paella with squid and chorizo. My thoughts went straight to Albariño or Verdejo to continue the Spanish theme, but a visit to Jez at Wine & the Vine changed my mind with a tasting of a delicious Vermentino from Australia (I wouldn’t have gone near it had the Aussies won the first test!) and… big pause…. A Pinot Grigio Rose! Those of you who read the blog regularly will know that I have little time for Pinot G and rarely write about rosé; but the summer has done funny things to me! It’s fantastic!

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So here’s my 10 wines to get stuck into this summer. 5 whites, 3 reds that drink beautifully when chilled, and 2 rosés:

Berton Vineyards Metal Label Vermentino 2012, SE Australia (Wine & the Vine £10.25)
This really is the taste and smell of summer. Like a bowl of citrus with some tropical cousins and a touch if apple peel. Lovely zing if acidity and just the lightest hint of sweetness. Was a perfect partner to the paella. 90 points

Clos de Nouys Vouvray Demi Sec 2011, Loire, France (Waitrose £10.99)
Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Really rich flavours of ripe peaches, hint of apricot and lively acidity combine beautifully with the sweetness to provide a refreshing and balanced mouthful that makes the sun seem that little bit warmer. 90 point

Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde 2012, Portugal (Waitrose £7.49)
Currently £5.99 with 25% off. Portuguese wine used to be the sort of stuff you drank on holiday and would never consider drinking at home… How times have changed! Lots of lemon, lime and apple skin fruit and massively refreshing. It’s not complex but its deliciously refreshing and a real fun wine with that hint of spritz. 89 points

Pegasus Bay Riesling 2009, Waipara, NZ (Roberson £17.95)
Ok so this isn’t cheap and I’ve written about is before, but its bloody brilliant! Intense lime and pineapple freshness – like crushed pineapple chunks. With that bit if age theres also that wonderful whiff of petroleum that is so delicious in aged Riesling. Lovely off-dry finish in the style of a German Spatlese, and very, very long. One if my very favourites. 93 points

Sera da Estrela Albarino 2011, Rias Baixas, Spain (Wine & the Vine £14.25)
There really is nothing to dislike about this wine. From Galicia in North West Spain comes heaps of fruity intensity on the nose with apple, peach and even a touch of the tropics. All of the fruit is there in your mouth too and its quite full bodied too; a lovely texture. The fruit stays with you for quite one time and the saltiness of quality Albariño is there at the end. Lovely stuff for any occasion. 92 points

Michele Chiarlo Dolcetto d’Asti 2010, Piedmont, Italy (Wine & the Vine £11.55)
You don’t have to pay a fortune for a red wine from Piedmont! Youthful aromas and palate of young red cherries and Victoria plums. Wonderful acidity and just enough tannin to provide a super balance. 90 points

E Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2009, Southern Rhone, France (Majestic £11.99, £8.99 when you buy 2)
Black cherry and dark plums with a beautiful waft of herbs de Provence on the nose – quite a bit of anise. This follows though onto the palate, where the spice and fennel comes first, followed by very black cherries and really grippy tannins. This is robust and delicious. 89 points

Domaine de Noblaie Chinon 2011, Loire, France (The Wine Society £8.95
Chinon reds are 100% Cabernet Franc and are delicious chilled when young. Bright red currant and sweet cherry nose with a deliciously fragrant whiff of green, fresh herbs. Bright and crunchy red berries, good acidity and a delightfully tangy finish. Totally ace for the price! 89 points

Sharpham Whole Berry Rosé 2011 (www.sharpham.com £13.95)
I may have to reconsider my views on Rosé. UK fizz certainly has a great reputation these days but this is a belter too. The wine is made by lightly pressing whole bunches of Dornfelder grapes and the outcome is particularly fine. Loads of strawberry fruit but it reminded me of a fine dessert containing rhubarb poached in a sugar syrup with some lightly poached meringues. It really is wonderful stuff, perfect for a party in the back garden. 89 points

Sacchetto Pinot Grigio Blush delle Venezie 2012, Veneto, Italy (Wine & the Vine £8.45)
It’s made from Pinot Grigio. It’s a Rosé. And I think its great! Imagine a basket if delicate summer fruits; strawberries, raspberries and sweet cherries. It’s all here with just enough acid and a lovely dry finish. Sunday on the patio sorted! 89 points

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This maybe isn’t a perfect summer wine but its absolutely fantastic and I enjoyed it with my BBQ chicken tikka on Saturday night!

Domaine Larue Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Cortons 2008 (Bin Two £24.00)
Apple and savoury buttered crumble with custard spiked with butterscotch and vanilla. Delicious aromas. Buttery, toasty savouriness combines with a beautiful acid steak of apples as well as some tropical fruits. The oak is beautifully judged and integrated through the finish, which is delightful and lingering. This is a massively underrated Burgundy appellation. 92 points

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Posted on July 14, 2013, in General, Tasting post. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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