On the grapevine

SAM WYLIE-HAR­RIS ON... BLOOM­ING MAR­VEL­LOUS FLO­RAL TIP­PLES

Bangor Mail - - The Food Focus -

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.

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