I often struggle to find a Rosé I like; too sweet and candied (confected) or too dry and acidic or just too damn insipid. This is the best supermarket one I’ve tasted this year and, excitingly, it’s from Sancerre. That does drive up the price, but on the plus side, it’s made with the sexy Pinot Noir grape.
Sancerre is famous for its racy Sauvignon Blancs but before phylloxera struck in the 19th century, it was a mainly red wine area. Pouilly Fume – over the other side of the Loire river – was the main place for Sauvignon back then. In the UK, often anything with “Sancerre” on the label can sometimes be a good excuse to overprice it and take advantage of a classic, well known wine area even when the quality may not be there. So you need to be selective and not presume that every bottle of Sancerre is going to be top notch!
This wine is from a decent co-operative in Sancerre. There’s not much going on with the first sniff – but that’s not unusual for a rosé. In the mouth, however, there’s lots of crunchy red fruit – red currants, delicate wild strawberries (not the plump, sweeter variety), watermelon and maybe a bit of rhubarb. There’s a kind of floral peachiness which rounds out the wine; it’s actually quite savoury – gamey, almost – which is probably not unsurprising given its Pinot Noir. There’s also a whisper of that minerality prevalent in the traditional Sancerre Sauvignon Blancs – Caillottes refers to the limestone soils. This rosé is perfectly sup-able on its own but better with food; we had it with Potato Salad with Pistachio Mayonnaise, Carrot Salad with Rosewater Dressing and Cucumber & Fennel Salad.
At a glance
- Style? Medium bodied Rosé
- Where is it from? Sancerre, Loire Valley, France
- What’s the grape? 100% Pinot Noir
- Tastes of? Wild strawberries, rhubarb and a bit savoury: mushrooms/game
- What food would complement it? Light bites, but with a good bit of flavour – try with Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables & Lemon Cashew Sauce
Other wines to try