I HAVE recently returned from two weeks' holiday on the Isles of
Scilly. With a view to doing some work whilst I was there, I asked
a local wine merchant to send me six wines - three red, two white,
and one rosé - that he considered suitable for summer drinking.
These are the wines that were chosen for me.
The first white wine was a Vinho Verde from Portugal, Quinta da
Aveleda 2013 (£8.49). This is an estate of 160 hectares, which
belongs to one of the country's leading wine families, the Guedes.
This is their "estate" wine (they produce a number of others), and
is a blend of mainly Loureiro grapes, together with two other local
specialities: the Trajadura, and Alvarinho.
There is scarcely any wine that is better suited to hot-weather
drinking, as it is, by today's standards, comparatively low in
alcohol at 11.5%, and has a fresh lemony flavour and a light
sparkle. This is a wonderful estate to visit, with beautiful
gardens, and is easily accessible.
The second white wine was a Sauvignon Blanc, Vin de Pays d'Oc,
from the south of France: the Domaine de Valensac 2013 (£7.14). I
must admit that this was my least favourite wine of the six,
largely because my palate currently appears to dislike this style
of wine. It was, however, greatly appreciated by a guest, who
joyfully consumed the best part of a bottle by himself. What he
appreciated was the lack of aggressive flavours of gooseberries so
common to this grape-variety.
The rosé wine Domaine Pique-Roque, Vin de Pays des Maures, 2012
(£8.04) is a delightful pale salmon pink in colour, the classic
shade of rosé wines from Provence. Indeed, this estate is perhaps
better-known for its Côtes de Provence wine, which has a high
reputation; and for the fact that its owners have their origins in
the vineyards of Burgundy. On first taste, the wine seemed dull,
but it opened out into great grapey mouthfuls - an ideal partner,
my wife said, for the local fish and chips.
A newcomer to me was the first of the red wines, Faunus,
Primitivo di Manduria 2012 (£8.59). The grape I knew to be the same
as the Zinfandel of California, but I had to consult my reference
books to find that it comes from the instep of Italy, close to the
city of Taranto. The flavour was of ripe black cherries, infused
with smoke. A good accompaniment to picnic cold-cuts.
With more finesse of flavour was the Viña Herminia Preferido
Rioja Crianza Viñas Viejas 2010 (£8.34). This wine is the result of
the coming together of the sherry producer Caballero and a group of
local growers. It has the classic juicy red fruit flavours of the
Tempranillo grape married to the harmony achieved by barrel-ageing.
This could be served lightly chilled.
The final wine was a blockbuster that might be better in the
bleak midwinter: the full-bodied Ch. La Courançonne Plan de Dieu
Côtes du Rhône Villages 2011. A great wine that I am holding
If you are taking a holiday in Cornwall this summer, see what wineincornwall.co.uk can