2008 Château Pontet Bagatelle, La Rosée de Bagatelle
I thought the quality of the first vintage from this winery in Coteaux d’Aix en Provence might be beginner’s luck, but this second Rosée (rosée = dew) is just as dazzling, although dazzling is a bit of a misnoma. Far from being bright pink and bumptiously fruity, it’s very pale and beautifully, but delicately, perfumed with touches of peach and redcurrant, spice and orange. It’s fresh, dry and elegant and yet has a mouthfilling silkiness. Just so you know: it’s 90% grenache and 10% syrah and the alcohol is 13.5%.
£9.99, Great Northern Wine
2008 Domaine Félines Jourdan, Picpoul de Pinet
Picpoul is the grape variety here, valued for producing crisp, bone-dry, modestly herby whites in the hot climate of Languedoc – wines which famously go with oysters. But there’s always more to the picpouls made by Claude Jourdan (a female Claude, incidentally) and they have a wider food application than seafood. This 2008 is as breezily fresh, crisp and dry as you could want, but there is a real intensity of fruit, with snatches of citrus and fresh grapes (have you noticed how few wines actually taste of grapes?), white peach and herbs. 13%.
£7.25, The Wine Society (you need to be a member, which means buying a £40 life share, but the range is very good and competitively priced); £8.45, Weavers of Nottingham
2007 Valpolicella Ripasso, Cantina de Merlara
A convincing Valpolicella Ripasso at an old-fashioned price - I’m not sure how Aldi does it. It has a smoky-nutty nose with spicy, cherryish fruit and there’s a hint of rich dark fruitcake. It’s fairly full and properly dry. Ideal barbecue wine, but it could easily handle some game in the autumn or something with a bit of sweetness like rabbit with prunes. 13.5%.