May Wines of the Month: a summery rosé & red
This week I’ve been at full tilt tasting several hundred Portuguese wines at Decanter World Wine Awards, which fills me with renewed admiration for Monte da Ravasqueira’s highly accomplished Premium Rosé. Dry but creamy, very textural yet delicate, it made a perfect match for asparagus. Earlier in the month, I had a chance to benchmark John Duval’s Plexus 2012 against two earlier vintages and the competition at a Wine Australia Grenache Masterclass I presented. Of the 15 wines, it’s the one that I kept coming back to. Here are my notes:
Monte da Ravasqueira Premium Rosé 2013 (Vinho Regional Alentejano)
Touriga Nacional seems to lend itself well to rosé wines and this is an unusual example, savoury yet fruity, round, yet fresh. I defy anyone not to find this pale rose gold rosé dangerously drinkable. It’s thoroughly delicious with savoury, creamy lees, delicate wild strawberries, strawberry shortbread and refreshing peach tea. Mineral acidity brings freshness and persistence to its lingering finish. Complex and very food friendly, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the winemaking process sounds so involved. Three of the five parcels of Touriga started fermenting in tank before being transferred to new barrels, while the other two were pressed directly to barrels and naturally fermented. The wines were aged on lees in barrel for 6 months with batonnage during the first 2 months. 13% UK RRP £24
John Duval Plexus 2012 (Barossa Valley)
All three vintages (2012, 2009, 2006) of Plexus, Duval’s old vine Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre blend, showed very well last month. In 2012 the fruit (predominantly red) is particularly bright, fresh, perfumed and persistent with enchanting spice and floral lift. Polish and precision is a Duval hallmark and this has lovely finesse, fluidity and line. A joyous, supple red which is also dangerously drinkable. 14.5% £20.95 at Roberson Wine, £20.50 at D&D Wine Shop.