It’s still August, I can still drink pink wine with pride. I’ll drink pink wine in January, but I’ll be a bit discrete about it. Pink wine is my one weakness. There’s plenty of roses out there, and lots of them are good, just so long as you steer away from things called “blush” or wines that are advertised with a group of women giggling or laughing whilst eating salad.
France and Spain tend to do well in the making of pink wines, it’s one of those areas where Europe excels and the new world has rather missed the point.
This Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Cinsault Syrah from Waitrose was a beautiful salmon pink colour. It sat at that Goldilocks point of being pink enough to give the notion of some real flavour, without tripping over into the candy pink that tends to indicate sweetshop tastes.
It smells of red fruits, something in the raspberry and redcurrant register. It’s dry, a definite boost to a rose, with a medium acidity that felt refreshing. There is just a gentle hint of tannin, smooth and ripe. The flavour is quite intense, and it does benefit from being cold, but not icily so, so take it out of its ice jacket if it’s too cold, you need to be able to taste it rather than numb your taste buds with the cold.
Those red fruit flavours do carry through, but they’re joined by a delicate spiciness, an oddity in a rose that I imagine comes from the syrah (shiraz). The alcohol level is squarely medium, and the overall package adds up to a medium bodied wine that really does hold its own.
The grapes for this wine are harvested at night, a process which is designed to capture the maximum amount of flavour. It does seem to work well. Th wine maker himself gave up an engineering career twenty years ago to start making wine in Languedoc. I don’t know how well that decision has worked out for him financially, but it turned out well for me. He trained as an engineer in England, becoming a Leeds United fan along the way, a less good decision and one that I’m sure has brought him little joy, but perhaps some of the odd pleasure that fan of crap teams get from sharing in their club’s failures.
This is a grown up rose for people who enjoy drinking wine, rather than the alcopop versions you’ll see at the 3 for £10 price point, but I think it’s a bargain at £6.50.