You could be thinking that it’s been a bad week for British sport. The footballers are out, the cricketers are appalling, and even the tennis players are history, but there is something to celebrate.
You may not have noticed but Nicole Cooke won the women’s Tour de France this weekend. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to track down a Welsh wine locally. I opted instead for making a meal with Pasta Zara, Nicole’s old sponsor, and matching it with a Spanish Rioja Rosada. I cycled through Rioja in 2003, somewhat slower than Nicole might, although she doesn’t have to carry all her own kit.
Muga’s Rosada 2005 from Majestic is made from a blend on red and white grapes – 60% Garnacha 30% Viura and 10% Tempranillo.
It’s clear and bright with a pale and interesting salmon colour. It smells fresh and clean with plenty of fruit, balanced with some warm vanilla.
It’s off dry with wonderfully crisp acidity. There’s a touch of tannin, which adds a bit of beef which is often lacking in roses. It has quite a bit of body with warm spicy fruit and vanilla. There’s apples and lemons and, well, a bit of Del Monte fruit salad pots, which is a surprisingly good thing.
At 13.5% it’s perhaps a bit stronger than you’d expect for such perfect summer picnic wine, but Nicole Cooke is clearly a lot stronger than you’d expect too.
If Bradley or David win the men’s race I’m willing to take suggestions for what I should drink.