FIZZING IN THE PINK
By Rose Murray Brown MW Published in The Scotsman 13 February 2016
Bring out a special sparkling rose to impress your Valentine. Here is our pick of the best 12 fizzing pinks on the shelf:
ROSE FIZZ: £10 & UNDER
Italy: TASTE THE DIFFERENCE PINOT NOIR EXTRA DRY SPARKLING ROSE
(£6.75 bt reduced from £10 bt on offer until 15 March at Sainsbury’s)
A great value quaffer at its current knockdown price at £6.75; popular with our tasters for its fresh vibrant taste, crispness, dry palate with summery fruits and a deliciously creamy finish. Not as dry as you would expect from its ‘extra dry’ labelling. Moderate alcohol level too.
Alcohol: 11% STAR VALUE BUY
France: L’EXTRA PAR LANGLOIS CREMANT ROSE BRUT
(£8.99 / £12.99 Majestic Wine)
Cremant de Loire is France’s most popular cremant style, made using the same method as Champagne with local Loire grapes. This really is very dry with crunchy red fruits; it comes from an excellent provenance as Bollinger own Saumur-based Langlois Chateau, one of the leading Cremant de Loire producers.
France: ROCHE LACOUR ROSE BRUT 2013
(£10.79 bt reduced from £13.49 on offer until 14 February at Laithwaites www.laithwaites.co.uk)
Very popular with our tasters. This three grape Cremant de Limoux blend is made using the same method as Champagne, with similar grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir) with a little Chenin Blanc. Winemaker Laurent Mingaud helped by guru Denis Dubourdieu has crafted this pioneering pink; a delicious juicy vibrant salmon-pink fizz; our tasters remarked on its unusual ‘chalky’, ‘minerally’ notes.
Alcohol 12% STAR BUY
ROSE FIZZ: £10 – £20
Spain: JUVE Y CAMPS CAVA ROSE BRUT 2010
(£14.50 bt reduced to £11.30 bt for 6 bts at Exel Wines, Perth; Noble Wines)
A hidden gem from Penedes. Family owned Cava producers have been making fizz in San Sadurnui d’Anoia near Barcelona since the 1920’s. They have a cult following in Spain and starting to make their name now in the UK. This is a very stylish Pinot Noir-based cuvee with 12 months bottle age. Creamy, intense – one of the best rose Cavas I have tasted recently.
Tasmania: JANSZ PREMIUM ROSE BRUT NV
The wild unforgiving cold climate of Tasmania is the source of Australia’s best fizz grapes. Made by Yalumba in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, this is sleek, elegant & well-made. Chilly island temperatures mean grapes have high natural acidity essential for quality base wine. Yeasty biscuit nose, rich red fruits, creamy nutty, silky, fruit-driven, sleek acid core; distinctive long length from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier blend. Very popular with our tasters.
Alcohol 12% STAR BUY
Italy: ITALIA COLLEZIONE SPUMANTE ROSE BRUT NV
Close your eyes and you could be drinking Prosecco. That is because this Spumante Rose is made mainly from white Glera (same grape used to make Prosecco). Whilst all Prosecco has to be white (not rose or red), when a little red grape is added to the blend to give it a dash of pink colour, they have to label it ‘Spumante Rose’ instead. Very pale pink, delicate mousse, gentle alcohol and some sweetness on the palate.
Argentina: CHANDON ROSE BRUT NV
(£12.98 each for 6 bts / £19.49 bt Majestic Wine)
Surprising to think that Moet & Chandon have been making fizz in Argentina since 1959. This current rose fizz from vineyards at differing altitude levels is a craftily-made soft delicate fizz, with yeasty nose, richness and vibrant with a ripe fruit palate; 18 months ageing has given it complexity and depth.
ROSE FIZZ OVER £20
France: SAINSBURY’S CHAMPAGNE BRUT ROSE NV
This topped our charts for the best supermarket Champagne rose, scoring highly for its pretty pink colour, toasty aromas, silky, creamy palate with crisp crunchy summer fruits and a hint of nutty undertone. A very good fizz made by Champagne Duval Leroy.
France: LE MESNIL SUBLIME GRAND CRU ROSE NV
(£21.55-£34 Berry Bros & Rudd www.bbr.com; www.uncorked.co.uk; Woodwinters, Edinburgh & Bridge of Allan www.woodwinters.com)
Le Mesnil is an excellent small co-operative based in the village of the same name in Champagne’s Cotes de Blanc. They offer reasonably affordable cuvees in comparison to the big name brands. Based on the 2005 harvest with 27% mature reserve wines in the blend this has a lovely elegant finesse, racy acidity gentle mousse and lingering length.
France: MARGUET GRAND CRU BRUT ROSE NV
(£26.50 The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com)
Champagne Marguet is still my current favourite small grower, for its fabulous value-for-money rose. A touch of oak used gives it depth and richness – hard to beat this if you want Champagne on the rose fizz label (and not a supermarket cuvee). Organic to boot too. Alcohol 12.5%
England: BALFOUR BRUT ROSE VINTAGE 2011
(£35.99 Waitrose www.waitrose.com; www.hushheath.com)
Hush Heath first created this pink fizz to satisfy the owner's wife’s penchant for rose sparkling, not realizing quite how popular it would be with everyone else. This particular cuvee from 2011 was a very good year for Chardonnay in England, which makes up 45% of the blend (alongside Pinor Noir and Pinot Meunier). Very pale, clean fresh with good depth of fruit, dry, long finish.
England: WISTON BRUT ROSE VINTAGE 2011
(£35.95 Corney & Barrow www.corneyandbarrow.com; Swig www.swig.co.uk; Noel Young Wines; www.wistonestate.com)
The finest pink made on our shores. Wiston’s talented winemaker, Dermot Surgue, has crafted a deliciously creamy soft textured fizz with toasty undertones and a slick smooth mousse. A great quality fizz from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier vines planted on the Goring’s 16 hectare vineyard near Pulborough in Sussex.
Chocolate & Wine Masterclass at 28 Queen Street, Edinburgh on Friday 20 May £40 www.rosemurraybrown.com
The perfect gift for the wine enthusiast in the family. Rose does In-person tastings too.
Rose does cellar valuations for private clients, valuations for insurers & bespoke portfolio management.
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