Ridgeview South Ridge Blanc de Noirs, Sussex, England
A lovely glass of English fizz: the palest of apricot colours; rich apple and sweet apricot fruit; rounded, fleshy, yet beautifully tight and balanced. 12.5% abv.
2011 Innocent Bystander Moscato, Victoria, Australia
Deliciously grapey and fresh, peach-coloured, naturally effervescent and naturally low in alcohol (5.5% abv). Bring on the sunshine and drink with fresh fruit and fruit jellies. Crown cap.
£7.35 for 37.5cl, Philglas & Swiggot
2011 Yealands Estate Grüner Veltliner, Seaview Vineyard, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
This is a bit shy on the nose, with just a light smoky pear aroma and leafy freshness, but it makes up for it on the palate. Not that it’s a showy wine, but there’s real intensity and integrity to the fruit (citrus and pear), a rich texture and a tight backbone of acidity. Yet another string to New Zealand’s bow, and to Yealands, the largest privately owned vineyard holding in New Zealand. 13.5% abv.
£11.49-£12.99, Aitkens Wines and others.
2009 Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Rhône, France
Years ago this was one of my regular house wines but other wines came along and I felt that it had rather gone off the boil. The 2009 has put it straight back on the shopping list. It’s dark and full with succulent black cherry fruit and lots of savoury black pepper, black tapenade and liquorice flavours. Rich, precise, structured and very syrah (it’s 50% syrah). It will easily keep five years. 14% abv.£12.50, slurp.co.uk; £69.65 for 6, vintagemarque.com. Waitrose is still on the 2007, but the ‘09 will follow.