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Are You Tasting the Pith? - 27th June 04

Chateau de Sours Rosé, Majestic, 8 ish

An excellent option if you feel like spoiling yourself - it's about 8, which might seem like a lot for a rose, but probably worth it in my book. A great all-rounder, whether in front of Orbital's farewell Glastonbury performance, or because Tiny Tim Henman is through to the next round of Wimbledon (at the time of writing). Or perhaps a more suitable option might be for a lazy Sunday afternoon barbecue, because the well-structured red berry fruit in this example, while light and clean, is somehow robust enough to stand up to anything you fancy pairing it with.

Chateau de Guiot, Rosé, Majestic, 4 ish

So how about an almost-as-good rose for about half the price? Majestic have a multibuy on this cheeky little rose, off-dry and full of enough fruit to keep it flavoursome even when well-chilled. While it lacks the Bordeaux finesse of its cousin above, this has an authentic whiff of France about it - it really does transport you to a sunny terrace with thyme and lavender slowly baking in the sun. Oooh, I've come over all Nigel Slater...

Vin de Pays de Cotes de Gascogne, Marc Ducourneau, Majestic, 4 ish

I once recommended this to a friend who obediently went and bought a case, only to hate it. "Bleaurgh, tropical fruit", were his exact words, and this is what you get in abundance, the ripe citrus, kiwi and grassy flavours kept in check by a good dollop of fresh acidity, which again lends the wine body and structure when served very cold. If you like New Zealand (specifically Marlborough) sauvignon blanc, then chances are you'll enjoy this half-price glugger.




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