I’ve found myself oo-ing and ah-ing over two delicious pink sparklers this last week. Nothing new there then, as anyone who knows me remotely will know that I do love a good rosé fizz (then again, show me a girl who doesn’t).
Anyway, I’m especially pleased because both of these brand spanking new wines are English. English sparkling wine has had plenty of airtime/column inches recently (from Waitrose’s vineyard planting in Hampshire to Cornish producer Camel Valley’s success in international competitions, we seem to hear about the potential of English wine quite a lot).
That said, it still gives me a buzz that as a nation of historic under-achievers in wine production (although it’s hardly our cool country’s fault), we’re now pulling out all the classy sparkling wine stops.
As I said, this was yet further endorsed this last fortnight as I was lucky enough to be sent a sample of the Coates & Seely Rosé Brut Britagne 2009, a new venture between Christian Seely and Nicholas Coates.
It’s made from two grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and it’s a sumptuous, juicy and refreshing strawberry-filled rosé with mouth-watering crispness. And even though on the face of things it sounds a bit pricey, I happen to think it’s well worth the money. Funnily enough, a wine merchant friend of mine challenged me as I was waxing lyrical to him about it the other day…
Him: “Yes, yes, but is it WORTH the money [at £29.95 a bottle]?”
Me: “It is absolutely worth the money. I would just as happily drink this as I would a many a rosé Champagne, which would be easily in this same price bracket, if not more so.”
And I would.
I had less time to analyse the second rosé in quite as much detail, all I can tell you is that I was very happily supping it at the launch of newly-located wine accessories one-stop shop Around Wine in Chiltern Street in London (www.aroundwine.co.uk). A great little party with far too many tempting Galvin-created canapés, delicious English fizz and a goody bag to boot. Happy days.
Anyway, the rosé this time hailed from Kent, Gusbourne Estate to be precise. It was a less voluptuous and obviously fruity sparkling rosé than the Coates & Seely version, even though this Kent one has all three of the traditional Champagne varieties of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay in its blend. This was more on the elegant and mineral spectrum, with a delicate fragrance and fine acidity. A very pretty, clean and refreshing sparkling wine indeed.
There’s also plenty of fun-filled and exciting Wine Gang Christmas Fairs news to tell you, and things are changing by the minute. If you simply can’t wait then check out www.thewinegang.com right now, but for those of you who want the precise lowdown, then check out this page again over the weekend. Until then, happy Friday!
PS – Here’s where to find those two yummy rosés…
Coates & Seely Rosé Brut Britagne 2009, £29.95, Lea & Sandeman (www.leaandsandeman.co.uk)
Gusbourne Estate Rosé Brut NV, £24.99, The Wine Room (www.wine-room.co.uk)