This is an unusual bottle – a Bordeaux Rosé, made predominantly from the Merlot grape. Most Rosé is consumed outdoors in the summer, but this has the structure and depth to be enjoyable all year round. Unlike most Rosé, which is fermented in stainless steel to maintain its perkiness, this has also gone through some barrel fermentation, so actually has some mid level depth and charming aftertaste. Good either as a Champagne substitute or with seafood.
This sparkling wine was an instant hit with my friends as a worthy Champagne alternative. Made from an ancient grape variety from Greece, it comes from Puglia in southern Italy. It is rather gentle but unlike some of the more popular substitutes, has no sharp edges and a pleasant slightly floral aftertaste with a hint of pear. With its low alcohol level, it is the perfect drink to start Christmas festivities leaving plenty of room for stronger drinks as the day goes on.
Don’t be fooled by this simple appellation of “Bourgogne” – this is a superb wine created from their younger vines in the village of Meursault, where the Matrot family make two of the greatest examples – Meursault Les Charmes and Les Perrières. It has a lovely slightly honeyed flavour with a beautiful citric back note. There are very few New World Chardonnays, no matter what the price, that match this simple white Burgundy in understated style and satisfaction – also helped by being from a great vintage.