If I awoke after 100 years’ slumber, feeling slightly disorientated on the time front, were I to sit in our shop for a spell, to readjust, I would certainly know it was June or July. While the rosé began to flow out of the shop in April, it’s is now in full flood – a tell-tale sign that it’s early Summer and it’s time to … drink pink.
In the UK we love our pretty pink palest of pale Provence style rosés, often dismissing anything darker through an irrational fear that it’s sweet. Conversely, many Iberian friends think that if it’s not dark magenta or electric raspberry colour it must be sweet and not proper rosé at all.
There are a number of ways of making rosé. The most common is not, as logic might suggest, making a red/white mix (which is generally not allowed unless you’re making rosé Champagne) but instead crushing the grapes and leaving them in contact with the skin until the requisite colour is attained. The juice is then separated from the skin and fermented. The colour will vary with the choice of grape and the length of skin contact, completely independent of whether or not the wine is fermented to dryness. So if you’re travelling to Spain or Portugal this Summer, do not be afraid to give the pinkest pink a try. You may find it actually seems dryer that your favourite pale salmon pink.
We have a range of dry rosés (including Provençal of course) from the palest, most crisp Sancerre rosé, through to the weightiest pink from the Roussillon. But we only have space here for four.
Percheron Rosé 2014 (£6.85 for the Summer)
Cheery South African pink based on Grenache from Swartland, abundant, pretty wild strawberry flavours and a balancing zesty finish. Great while waiting for the barbecue to get going.
Domaine de La Provenquière Rosé 2014 (£9.50)
A pale, coral coloured rosé from the Languedoc, deliciously mellow with subtle ripe fresh summer berries.
De Martino Gallardía del Itata Cinsault Rosé 2013 (£11.75)
Dry farmed old Cinsault bush vines from the second most southerly region of Chile. Fresh and crisp to start, finishing with a very gentle creaminess. Rose and strawberry flavours, followed by herbal subtle savoury notes and a flash of steely minerality.
Birichino Vin Gris 2013 (£20.15)
From Santa Cruz, California this is a great example of the most delicate style of rosé – vin gris (made in the same way as white wine but from more deeply pigmented grapes). Alpine Grenache, 128 year-old vine Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Vermentino whole-cluster pressed and fermented over several months with native yeast in stainless steel. Aromatic, gentle, slightly savoury, subtle, dry and very refreshing.
Prohibition Wines, 34 Fortis Green Road, London N10 3HN – 020 8444 4804