The First Rosé Of Summer – Delicate, Delicious And On Special Offer Too

Wine editor MARY DOWEY selects an ELEGANT and DANGEROUSLY MOREISH rosé as her bottle of the week … 

L’Ostal Rosé, Pays d’Oc, Famille J-M Cazes 2017 

Although not all wine trends are welcome (have you hit peak Prosecco yet?), I’m all in favour of rosé. It feels like a breath of summer, looks pretty in the glass and goes with so many foods that, if you throw a lunch or supper party over the next few months, it may be the only wine you need. This southern French version is especially impressive – and it comes with a strong incentive to buy more than one bottle. 

Fashionably pale in colour (the lightest salmon pink), L’Ostal Rosé has subtle aromas of strawberry, rhubarb and pink grapefruit. Its flavours, although delicate, are fantastically refreshing and surprisingly persistent. Whereas some pinks are overblown and sickly, this one is put together with precision. It’s elegant and dangerously moreish.

We probably shouldn’t be surprised by this finesse because L’Ostal is the Languedoc outpost of the Cazes family, proprietors of highly regarded Bordeaux châteaux including Lynch-Bages in Pauillac. They know a thing or two about making top-drawer wines.

While L’Ostal Rosé makes a ravishing summer aperitif, it’s also a terrific partner for light food. Enjoy it with cold salmon, crab or prawns; ham of any kind (with a ripe cantaloupe melon if you can find one); or any number of salads, especially if they include tomatoes. Chicken, grilled or cold; beef carpaccio; chargrilled peppers or aubergines; creamy young goat’s cheeses… all of these will also make good matches. You might even try a glass of L’Ostal with a bowl of strawberries.

Just for the record, it’s 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache – two grapes that can make much bigger-boned pinks if they’re allowed to. Three cheers for grace and restraint.

Alcohol: 13% 

From O’Briens, €15.45; buy two and the second is half price throughout the summer.


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