On the grapevine
SAM WYLIE-HARRIS ON... BLOOMING MARVELLOUS FLORAL TIPPLES
WITH our gardens, parks and green spaces bursting into life, and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 21-25) just around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time to plant yourself outside and toast the riot of colour with a redolent bouquet.
■ LA Dame en Rose 2018, France (£6, Marks & Spencer): The colour’s captivating and the grand name that suggests a Best in Show in the famous Great Pavilion at Chelsea.
“We were set on creating a wine that would rival the popular marques,” says Belinda Kleinig, rosé winemaker, Marks & Spencer. “So, it was an obvious choice to blend the best grapes from the Languedoc region, which are ripened under the sun in the south of France, and mirror the notes found in Provence rosés.”
At this price, who can resist?
■ CO-OP Irresistible Viognier, 2017 Pays D’Oc, France (£8, Co-op): This sumptuous viognier from the South of France has pretty apricot-scented aromas and a rich, honeyed mouthfeel, supported by vibrant acidity which heightens the freshness.
Versatile enough to enjoy with or without food, its distinctive scent brings to mind apricot-yellow blooms and a beautiful country garden.
■ ALAIN Grignon Carignan Vielles Vignes PGI Pays de l’Herault 2018, France (£6.99, Majestic): Old carignan vines such as this little gem (nifty at 50) can really rev up the taste buds with its alluring floral nose of blackberries entwined with florals.
Deliciously juicy, with punchy cherry-fruited flavours topped with vanilla, satisfying sweet spice closes the finish.
■ TESCO Finest Marlborough Pinot Noir 2018, New Zealand (£9, Tesco): A plush and very pretty pinot, raspberry and florals accord beautifully and the wine is intense, seductive and generous in fruit (but without any heaviness), with swathes of black cherries, raspberries and a tender note of spice. Elegant, fresh and perfectly poised.
■ DOMAINE Lyrarakis, Assyrtiko Crete 2018, Greece (£12.95, Berry Bros & Rudd): Greek wines are being cited as the next big thing and this intriguing bright white is testament to the improving quality.
Made from Assyrtiko, the country’s A-list white grape that’s mineral-rich with refreshing acidity, an open bouquet of white florals leads to fresh, citrusy fruits and a hint of gingery spice to finish. Really lovely and worth seeking out.