Cantine Bregante vineyards up in the hills overlooking the sea
The wine region of Liguria is beautiful, with rocky hillside vineyards, overlooking the sea as well as higher up in the valleys.
What makes it so attractive to the casual visitor, does make it more difficult to explore – and interesting – for the wine lover. Small narrow roads meander up amongst the vineyards, the length of the region from the French border to Tuscany, discouraging access for the faint-hearted.
The large number of grape varieties unique to Liguria can be confusing, but research, visiting and tasting in such a picturesque region is worthwhile.
At Ligurian food & wine festival Mare&Mosto in Sestri Levante, I was able to try a large number of wines and talk to producers, and discover more about the growing number of rosé wines (rosati) produced in response to growing popularity.
Many of the rosati are more akin to a light red wine, with a touch of dry tannins on the structure and finish, making them more suitable to accompany a meal than for light easy drinking. The best examples had good ripe fruit which balanced this slightly tannic finish.
For the 3rd year running, Richard Bampfield MW and Jean Christophe Mau of Chateau Brown from Bordeaux, have held a tasting of premium rosés (£15 and over) in London. My tasting results of my top 18 will appear in the September 2015 edition of Decanter’s Expert Choice (out 5 August 2015).
Most tastings have a national or regional focus and it is rare to have the chance to see how a wine style compares to the international competition.These tastings have caught the UK wine trade’s imagination with a growing number of journalists covering the event. The UK trade magazine Drinks Business published their own tasting results for the 2013 and 2014 tastings.
This year, the tasting was held at The Atlas pub in Fulham, there was a line up of 36 premium rosés from around the world ranging £12 to £100 per bottle. The growing importance of this tasting was maybe reflected by those who came (by invitation only). While I was there the other MWs were: Jancis Robinson MW, Mark Bingley MW, Nancy Gilchrist MW, Rosemary George MW and Matthew Stubbs MW. Journalists included Victoria Moore (The Telegraph), Joanna Simon, Joe Wadsack and Will Lyons. There were also a large number of MW students desperately keen to understand something about rosé.