What to drink this week

More se­ri­ous rosé

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

In a re­cent col­umn, I ex­pressed a cer­tain nos­tal­gia for the days when rosé didn’t have to be ul­tra-pale and über-so­phis­ti­cated, in the Saint-tropez mode, and when pink wines could get away with a cer­tain depth of colour or even char­ac­ter. At a re­cent tast­ing, I found my wishes be­ing granted by the wineb­uy­ing equiv­a­lent of the Tooth Fairy, the thought­ful and ac­com­plished Kather­ine Dart MW of Berry Bros & Rudd.

Pink wines with colour and char­ac­ter do still ex­ist, Harry Eyres as­sures us

Why you should be drink­ing them

You might think se­ri­ous rosé is a con­tra­dic­tion in terms, but such think­ing would be his­tor­i­cally shal­low. Not long ago, dur­ing a cel­lar tour at Gui­gal in the Rhône, Philippe Gui­gal re­marked to me that, as re­cently as the 1980s, Gui­gal’s Tavel rosé was as dark as a pale Pinot Noir red and was sold at four years of age.

What to drink

Kather­ine’s of­fer­ings didn’t in­clude a Tavel, but the Berry Bros & Rudd Provence Rosé by Château la Mas­caronne (be­low, £12.95; www.bbr. com) is a slightly fleshier pink than many of the more eti­o­lated Côte d’azur ver­sions, with en­tic­ing straw­berry fruit and a touch of cin­na­mon. I was even more ex­cited by the 2016 Langhe Rosato Tred­iberri (£10.95; www.bbr. com), made from 80% Neb­bi­olo (the grape of Barolo and Bar­baresco) and 20% Bar­bera. Quite a deep pink in colour, this rosé is a proper wine, bristling with bright fruit and en­ergy. Fi­nally, from quite an un­ex­pected source, there’s the 2016 Birichino Vin Gris Rosé (£18.00; www.bbr. com) from Cal­i­for­nia; the colour is pale, but there’s a fas­ci­nat­ing gamey­ness (from old vine Mourvè­dre) and lovely, fresh acid­ity.

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