Reds for Summer
Creature of habit that we are, the wall-to-wall sunshine most enjoyed throughout May almost certainly had us reaching for a bottle of rosé on autopilot. Understandably so – as we subconsciously pretend we’re lying on a white sandy beach in the Mediterranean. However, instead of ditching all forms of red just because the temperature outside has reached 20 degrees, now is a great time to look for lighter and fresher variations of your favourites.
Turning down the bold tasting notes needn't mean sacrificing flavour. If you’re a habitual Malbec drinker then seeking out an unoaked style from the cooler Neuquén Terroir in the Patagonian region gives the fruity notes clarity without any jamminess.
When looking for less substantial red, the first thought is often Pinot Noir with its delicate soft tannins. The winemakers of the Languedoc are certainly matching their peers in Burgundy with stylishly presented, and stylishly made crisp reds packed full of ripe fruits. It has taken Australia, on the other hand, a while to get the hang of Pinot Noir; virtually every good example comes from a new cool-climate region close to the sea but there are some excellent young varieties to be discovered that bridge the divide between old and new world styles of Pinot Noir. More impressively, they can be astonishingly good value.
For sheer drinkability and value for money though, it’s hard to overlook Italy with its plethora of very exciting grape varieties, the majority of which are made to be enjoyed young. The Sangiovese grape is one of these; easily altering its genetics to fit the environment. There are many different mutations of the variety all over Italy, which results in very different tasting wines. From the delicate floral strawberry aromas of Montefalco Rosso to the intensely dark and tannic wines of Brunello di Montalcino, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied until the winter rolls around.
Why not start exploring our virtual shelves, right now? Happy sipping!
4 to buy and try now:
- Villa Elvina Rosso, Italy – £7.99 – A blend of Sangiovese, a grape much used in Chianti and Merlot. It's a light, fruity and a perfect quaffing wine.
- Bodegas del Fin del Mundo Postales Malbec, Patagonia, Argentina – £12.99 – The antithesis of stereotypical oaked Malbecs – vibrant, silky fresh fruit abounds.
- Harewood Estate Pinot Noir Denmark Vineyards, Western Australia – £21.99 – Made by a Brit who married and Aussie, in the Denmark Region of Great Southern in Western Australia. The cool influence of the Southern Ocean is perfect for Pinot Noir. A sublime wine.
- Domaine Peiriere Pinot Noir, Languedoc, France – £13.99 – A modern, fruity and perfectly balanced Pinot. Light to medium bodied, crisp and packed full of cherry fruit with delicate soft tannins.