I think we can all safely say that summer has arrived and, although we dislike being told that we should be breaking out the barbecue and bathing in rosé, we will freely admit that a fair number of our wines are not really tempting us in this weather. So for the next few weeks we will happily move on to some of our lighter offerings - it may surprise some of you to know that we do have them albeit not quite in the same style as most merchants. But let us try and surprise you.
First up is definitely something we don't have much of but is well worth having on a summer's evening - a light, floral and young(ish) German Pinot Noir. This is definitely one to drink at cellar temperature or possibly even cooler.
We have a fairly major soft spot for Anne Gros - her wines are exceptionally well made and even those on the simpler side leave you in no doubt of the care taken in producing them. This Cote de Nuits is a great example of that accolade. It's a simple, soft Chardonnay that has those wonderful hints of lemon to cut through any sweet notes.
Grand Cru Chablis isn't as light as some of the others here but at its current age this 2012 Droin is good for summer. It's rich and smokey but with plenty of fruit and citrus notes to lift it. Drunk now the citrus notes will still be fairly powerful, left for another few years and the dense, smokey elements will become richer.
Apart from Christmas, summer is the most popular time for sparkling wines and I (unlike my other half who doesn’t appreciate bubbles in his wine) can understand why; there is something wonderfully frivolous in drinking a glass of fizz on a sunny afternoon.
Pol Roger is a safe bet but always a crowd pleaser. The 2002 is better value and offers a little more complexity but the 2004 does have a good clean finish.
Blancs de Blancs is the Champagne of the moment and whilst we’re not one for trends this is a particularly good bottle at a good price. 100% chardonnay hand selected from 40 year old vines – nutty and rich whist remaining clean with a good level of acidity.
With any luck, if we didn't manage to surprise you, we have at least provided you with some inspiration. Summer has a tendency to throw up the usual suspects so we thought a little break from the obvious would be a welcome relief for those of us who like a bit of variation in our diets.