Wine & Food

    Wines of the week: try a pink crémant from Bordeaux

    11 October 2019

    2018 Botte de Conti Pecorino Terre di Chieti, 12%vol, (£5.75; Lidl)

    I normally wouldn’t even look at a wine this cheap, not because I’m an oenological snob but because the wine itself would usually be worth no more than 30p, thanks to duty, VAT, packaging, import costs &c. This, though, from Abruzzo, southern Italy, is utterly charming and a true bargain. Lemon fresh, with hints of creamy peaches, it makes a perfect aperitif or partner to fishy starters.

    2017 Calvet Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé, 12.5%vol, (£10.39 until 5/11/19; Ocado)

    Crémant is the term given to any champagne method fizz (you know, with the secondary fermentation in bottle) made in France but outside Champagne itself. This, from Bordeaux, is a delight. Made from handpicked, slow-fermented Cabernet Franc, it’s pale pink, invitingly aromatic, crisp, clean and fresh with plenty of fruity wild strawberries on nose and palate.

    2018 Artuke Rioja, 13.5%vol, (£10.75 if you mix 12; Lea & Sandeman)

    This hit the bullseye at the autumn tasting of The Bunch, of which august group of independent merchants L&S is a member. A blend of 95 per cent (red) Tempranillo and 5 per cent (white) Viura, it sees no oak at all and is as fresh and lively a red as you’ll find, far removed from the sweet, mellow Riojas of old and closer indeed to fine cru Beaujolais. It’s joyously quaffable.