Summer is here! Or is it? We’re not entirely sure, schools out but the sun needs to make up its mind. Despite that, it is August so we are compelled to bring you the best wines for summer quaffing. Whether it’s a beaming hot weekend, a quick one after work or an all singing all dancing summer knees up, our range has something to suit every occasion.
I tasked our wine experts once again to get back to me with 5 recommendations; after much consideration and some very difficult decisions, here we have it. Take a look and let us know what you think!
Freixenet Ice Cuvee Especial, Cava - Spain >
Whatever your opinion on dropping some ice into a glass of wine it’s hard to disagree with the wave of sparkling wines designed specifically for that purpose! Last summer it was judged to be one of the biggest trends of the year for the trade and this year the rise could well continue.
Made from a blend of the traditional Cava grapes, Macabeo and Xarel.lo, alongside Chardonnay grown in the Penedès region. This sparkler, designed to be served over ice, has fine bubbles, with peach, ripe pear and an enticing hint of wild flowers; the palate’s crispness leads on to a creamy and gently sweet finish. Refreshing!
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Collines aux Lavandes Rosé- France >
Rosé and summer go together brilliantly and this wine from Jean-Luc Colombo will show you exactly what we mean. And even better, it comes in Magnum as well – ideal for summer sharing.
A light, refreshing, dry rosé with abundant yet subtle red fruit characters, dominated by powerful aromas reminiscent of the Mediterranean scrubland (garrigue). On the palate, notes of black olives, herbs and fresh fruit evoke the terroir of the Mediterranean coast. Made from a blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre from vineyards nestled in the hills above Marseille; the beautiful and aptly named Blue Coast in a glass.
Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie, Château du Cléray - France >
We’re staying in France for this one. No list of summer wines would be complete without a dry and delicate, light white. This pick is from one of the oldest estates in the heart of the Nantes vineyard region, the vineyards are planted in clay and sandy soils over granite and schist bedrock.
The palate shows a good minerality and a touch of richness, with citrus and apple fruit and notes of lime blossom and mint. Due to the savoury and light character of this wine, it makes a great alternative to a cold pint of lager.
Sanford Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills - USA >
For all of you red wine lovers out there, this award winning Pinot Noir is perfect for those summer afternoons. Pinot Noir is generally lighter bodied, can be served ever so slightly chilled and will pair well with a lot of summery foods. Californian Pinot Noir does tend to be fuller bodied and more fruit-forward and Santa Rita pioneers Sanford are no exception. This Pinot Noir is a brilliant red in colour and bursting with bright red fruits, such as raspberry and cherry, with hints of pepper and dried flowers on the nose.
A blend of fruit from two estate vineyards: La Rinconada (65%) and the historic Sanford and Benedict Vineyard (35%). Both of these stellar vineyards are in the heart of the Santa Rita hills. A mix of vineyard blocks and several different clones gives this wine great complexity. Aged in French oak barrels (30% new) for 10 months where it gained concentration and picked up hints of vanilla and cinnamon. The palate delivers silky, berry flavours framed by supple tannins.
Lolo Albariño Rías Baixas - Spain >
With the ocean close by, Galicia in the northwest of Spain is home to a cool-climate capable of producing wines for hot days. Sauvignon Blanc fans will be charmed by this dry and delicate wine from young vines in the Val do Salnés sub-region of Rías Baixas which recently picked up a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge.
Cool-fermented, Lolo Albariño shows notes of green apple and lemon peel with a hint of stone-fruit, such as white-fleshed plum. The palate is fresh, with zippy fruit and a balancing bitter note on the finish. Very much on trend this summer, Albariño is a must stock variety on any list.
We would love to know what you think, let us know in the comments!