Once upon a time Yapp Brothers in Mere were pioneers in the Rhone and Loire Valleys, but these days they have greatly extended their expertise to cover the whole of the south of France, not just the Languedoc. A couple of weeks ago they hosted a tasting of rosés and other summer wines, held very bravely outside, in a restaurant courtyard, fortunately on a much sunnier day than today. There were several delicious highlights, which illustrated the diversity of good rosés. .
2013 Les Filles de Septembre, Côtes de Thongue rosé, - £9.75
A blend of Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsaut. Pretty pale orange pink. Quite ripe and rounded on the nose. Nicely mouth filling. Elegant with some vinosity. Understated. A food wine.
2013 Domaine Pieretti, Coteaux du Cap Corse - £15.50
From Nielluccio, Alicante and Grenache Noir. Delicate colour, pale orange pink, with light fruit on the nose. Fresh and fragrant, but with a firm backbone. More of a food rosé, with a good balance of acidity.
2013 Domaine Saparale, Vin de Corse Sartène Rosé - £14.95
From one of the leading estates of Sartène. A blend of Sciacarello, Nielluccio and Vermentino. A very pretty pale pink. Light dry nose. Delicate and fresh on the palate. Lightly salty and sappy, with an elegant concentration of fruit.
2013 Clos Sainte Magdeleine, Cassis Rosé - £19.95
Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsaut. Cassis may be better known for its white wines, but if this is anything to go by, the rosés are good too. Pale orange pink colour. A light nose, with delicate fruit on the palate, with a certain concentration and weight. Fresh and fragrant, with an elegant finish.
2011 Domaine de la Source, Bellet Rosé - £25.50
I have a soft spot for Bellet. The vineyards are part of the commune of Nice, up in the hills behind the city centre. The wines are expensive, as the wine growers are fighting a battle with urban developers. The grape variety is Braquet. Orange pink colour. Ripe herbal fruit and on the palate, with some firm acidity. Quite rich and textured. A food rosé.
2013 Château la Canorgue, Côtes du Luberon Rosé, - £13.95
Grenache and Syrah. Quite a vivid pink. Ripe rounded strawberry fruit on both nose and palate, with firm acidity. Quite ripe and vinous, with a rounded finish.
2013 Château Roubaud, Costières de Nimes - £11.50
Syrah and Grenache. Quite a vivid bright pink. A rounded nose. Raspberry fruit on both nose and palate, with a dry rounded vinous finish. Not as elegant as some.
2013 Mas de la Rouvière, Bandol Rosé – £18.50
Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and Grenache. A very palate pretty colour. A delicate nose. Quite a rounded palate, and quite powerful and ripe. A good balance, with some body.
There were also a couple of whites:
2012 Domaine Camp Galhan, Cuvée Amalie, Duché d’Uzès - £12.25
A blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne. Light colour. A delicate nose, with some perfumed peachy Viognier, making a rounded textured palate, with a touch of bitterness on the finish.
2012 Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Blanc, - £19.50
A blend of Marsanne, Clairette, Ugni Blanc. Light colour. Quite a rich leesy nose. Characterful palate, with good acidity, with herbal notes and a salty tang. Nicely intriguing. Cassis is not cheap either, for the same reason as for Bellet. Land is valuable around this pretty sailing village.
As for red wines, there was a Corbières estate that I have not come across before:
2012 Domaine Py, Cuvée Mondière, in the village of Douzens. - £10.25
A blend of Carignan, Syrah and Grenache. Medium colour. A rounded nose. Dry spice on the palate, with some fresh fruit. And quite a gutsy characterful finish, that makes you think of the wild Corbières hills.
And a sweet note with which to finish:
2012 Domaine Pieretti, Muscat du Cap Corse.
Pure Muscat à petits grains, and lightly fortified to 15.5⁰. Light golden. Very perfumed Muscat nose. Rounded grapey Muscat fruit on the palate, with well integrated alcohol and a slightly bitter finish.