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Move over Prosecco, there's another sparkling
Italian wine in town. Franciacorta comes from
Lombardy and is made in the same way as
Champagne from a similar cocktail of grapes,
although Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc) appears
more often and there's no Pinot Meunier. As
in Champagne, the wines receive plenty of
ageing prior to release, which adds to their
complexity, but since the climate is slightly
warmer, they tend to be riper and less sharp.
Here are two to try, the rst by itself, the
second with salty snacks - or sh and chips!
Ferghettina Franciacorta Brut NV,
Lombardy, Italy (£19.99-£20.69,
Flagship Wines, Worth Brothers)
There's almost a creaminess to this friendly
young zz, with some biscuit notes adding
an extra layer to the tender lemon and
pineapple fruit avours.
This summer, Franciacorta is your �zz, Chablis is your
go-to white and pinks are staying pale and interesting
whether the sun comes out or not WORDS SIMON WOODS
Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Brut NV,
Lombardy, Italy (£35.44, amazon.co.uk)
Made from 100% Chardonnay, this is classy
fare, with dried apricot, crystallised pineapple
and citrus peel avours vying with toasty,
biscuity notes. There's a streak of ripe green
apple acidity to maintain freshness.
While you can't quite buy Chablis from UK
supermarkets with impunity, recent tastings
suggest there are some decent examples
on the shelves. Maybe it's because retailers
don't seem to be squeezing it out at an
unrealistic price point, or maybe it's because
many of the wines come from the Union des
Viticulteurs de Chablis (aka La Chablisienne), a
co-operative that generally delivers quality as
well as quantity. Whatever the reason, those
looking for sensibly priced, richly avoured,
yet precise unoaked Chardonnay won't nd
many better examples anywhere else in the
world. Try these two with a lobster salad, or
maybe some goats' cheese.
Taste the Dierence Petit Chablis 2014,
Burgundy, France (£9, Sainsbury's)
This young, pithy style is currently displaying
mineral-tinged citrus fruit, but already
suggesting that it's going to become
richer and creamier with time. From La
Chablisienne, as is the similarly commendable
Taste the Dierence Chablis (£10).
Extra Special Domaine de la Levée Chablis
2013, Burgundy, France (£11, Asda)
Made for Asda by Jean-Marc Brocard, this
oers the classic Chablis tension between
leanness and fatness, with the creamy, nutty
texture set against more bracing lemon and
greengage avours, and a hint of gunint
adding an extra nuance.
Provence is many people's rst and only point
of call for rosé wine. A shame, as high-quality
wines are made in many other parts of the
world. If you've never tried Greek and Italian
rosés, here are a couple to start you o.
Feliciana 'Feudo' Riviera del Garda
Bresciano Chiaretto 2014, Lombardy,
Italy (£12.50, Lea Sandeman)
Hailing from not that far away from
Franciacorta, this deserves attention - and
not just because it includes a dollop of the
wonderfully named grapes Groppello and
Marzemino. It's a crisp, perky style, refreshing
and zesty, with plump red berry avour
reined in by crunchy apple-like freshness.
Seafood friendly, but nice on its own too.
Kir-Yianni Twin Sails Rosé 2014, North West
Greece (£7.99, Waitrose)
This toothsome pink comes from Xinomavro
grapes grown in one of the coolest parts of
Greece, high up in the hills of Macedonia.
It combines peachy richness with juicy
raspberry avours, and there's also a spicy,
almost peppery edge to liven up the nish.
Sausage-friendly wine par excellence.
Ever since they started to ex their muscles
on the international stage, Chile's wine
producers have been feeding us familiar
grape varieties, with Cabernet Sauvignon
and Sauvignon Blanc to the fore, and only
Carmenère acting as a point of dierence
with other countries. Recently, however,
winemakers have been resuscitating longneglected
vines, many dating back to the
early 20th Century, with which they are now
making some of Chile's most interesting
wines. The Carignan grape has been the
focus for many, but this duo from even more
obscure varieties deserve attention. Neither
would object to light chilling and both are
perfect barbecue reds.
De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2014,
Secano Interior, Chile (£13.99-£14.50, The
Smiling Grape Company, Highbury Vintners)
Made in terracotta amphorae (tinajas), this is
just wonderfully gluggable wine, with gentle
wild strawberry and raspberry esh and a
whi of warm, herb-strewn earth to add
Miguel Torres Reserva de Pueblo País 2013,
Secano Interior, Chile (£8.95-£9.75, Noel
Young Wines , slurp.co.uk)
It's just 12.5% abv, but this wine still has a
heady, fragrant character - almost like a rustic
Pinot Noir - with juicy strawberry avours,
a lightly meaty edge and a vibrant nish.
O to any festivals this
summer? The beginning
of the season hasn't
been too encouraging
weather-wise, but never
mind - here are some
wines that should bring a touch of
sunshine wherever you are. There's a
new kid on the block in the form of
Italian sparkling wine Franciacorta and
there's an old kid too in the shape of
Chablis: arguably the best value white
Burgundy around at the present time.
On the pink front, there are a couple
of rosés that fall rmly into the pale
and interesting bracket. And if you're
looking for a red that's both refreshing
and tasty, I've recommended a pair that
might just change your opinions about
Chilean wine. Enjoy.
ILLUSTRATION: ANDREA D'AQUINO