Sure, this year may look a little different to the rosé seasons of old, but just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy all the grape has to give. From classic Provençal styles to fruit-forward blends bottled in Gateshead (yes, Gateshead), here are Living North’s top picks to stock up on this summer.
Seasoned rosé drinkers will be no stranger to Mirabeau’s ballet-slipper pink bottles. In fact, their range is extensive enough to see you right through summer, from their Pure blend (which enjoys sell-out success all season long) to their chic Prêt-à-Porter rosé cans, perfect for any garden picnics you’re planning. It’s a tough call, but our standout bottle has to be the Etoile, an expressive Provençal rosé with aromas of peach and pear on the nose and a crisp minerality worth savouring, thanks to its higher elevation terroir.
£16 at Sainsbury’s
Spanning 100 acres around the picturesque town of La Garde Freinet at the northern foot of Notre Dame des Anges, Ultimate Provence are producing some of the region’s most talked-about wines right now, and their 2018 vintage is certainly no exception. A powerfully fruity wine balanced with savoury notes of spicy white pepper, it’s one to savour if you’re not the one slaving over the BBQ. We’ll cheers to that.
£25 at Great Western Wine
Sitting on the more saline side of the spectrum, this is the rosé to try if you’ve been stung one too many times by sickly sweet blends. Savoury herbs and spices cut through a pronounced floral bouquet to produce a dry and crisp cuvée. Worthy of its many awards, this is the bottle to pop for aperitivo hour on the patio.
£15 at Dulwich Vintners
Grown on the volcanic soils of Mount Etna, this Sicilian rosé is crisp, citrus-forward and full of mineral character, thanks to its unique terroir. One to savour over long lunches al fresco and, quite possibly, the next best thing to being on the Italian isle itself.
£17.68, Armit Wines
Tyneside may not have the climate of Provence or the soft sea breeze of Sicily, but their rosé – blended at the UK’s most northerly winery, Laneberg – is just as quaffable. One sip of their aptly-named First Crush is sure to convince you of the merits of looking beyond the Mediterranean when it comes to choosing your summer stalwart. Light and crisp with pronounced cranberry notes, it makes for easy all-day drinking… not that we’re encouraging that kind of behaviour, of course.
£12.50 at Laneberg Wine