Chill the rouge!
Tis the season to chill red wines, and what better time to reacquaint oneself with some pure juice that’s crying out to be chilled. Cool, calm and collected a suitably chilled red, served on a summer's day as an aperitif, with grilled meats, or charcuterie, can be one of life’s great pleasures.
That said, chilled reds are not just for summer. In summer, most reds should either spend an hour cooling their heels in the fridge, or be granted a swift bath in an ice bucket. This helps to damp down the alcohol, freshen the acidity and focus the fruit flavours. Certain wines, however, should always be served frais regardless of the season.
Those most suited for a brief bout in the fridge are thinner skinned grapes, with lighter glou glou examples of Pinot, Cab Franc and Gamay being sure-fire successes. Anything which has undergone (fairly) heavy extraction with an engrained tannic structure is a no-no.
Here are ten of the juiciest worth considering…
Chilling On The Continent
Chateau Plaisance Serr da Beg – Fronton, South West France
This pure, Negrette offers a lot of joy and sincerity - at once juicy, grainy and fresh, devoid of any austerity - it's a treat! What’s more it is as natty as can be with zero-added sulphur!
Domaine Les Terres Promises L’Antidote Rouge - Provence, France
We are no strangers to seeing Provençal rosé having a chill, so why not try its rouged neighbour after a dip in the ice bucket?! Here the fruit is strong and delightfully purple hued. The ripeness of the Med meets altitude, organic farming and semi-carbonic vinification. Keep calm (and cool) and Carignan!
Chene Boit Sans Soif - Loire, France
Legally not even wine because it falls beneath the abv threshold (coming in at 8%). This means that you can drain a bucket load of this fuzzy-hued Grolleau. As natural as the day is long, pinkish-red colour, aromas of cider apple and a yeasty quality on the finish. Bang the bangers on the barbie and guzzle with alacrity.
Bodegas Mengoba, Bierzo Mencia Tinto – Bierzo, Spain
Mencia is the grape some have called Spain’s answer to Pinot Noir. An unfair slightly lazy comparison we think, because it bristles with its own unique character! Here we have an exuberant nose with notes of black fruit, liquorice, herbs and citrus aromas. The palate is fresh with beautiful acidity and a juicy aftertaste.
2018 San Ferdinando Ciliegiolo - Tuscany, Italy
It’s in the name, right, chill-iegiolo! This is a Tuscan fruit bomb. Sour cherries, raspberries and subtle wild herbs are echoed both on nose and palate. Refreshing thirst quenching acidity and super-soft tannins ensure pure, juicy fruit is the order of the day here.
2017 Andert Zweigelt Tausend ML 1L - Burgenland, Austria
Why have a litre of milk in your fridge when you can have a litre of wine? 100% Zweigelt from Andert Wein, Burgenland. Pale bright incredibly fresh and drinkable, bracing acidity, with sour red cherry and cranberry on the palate. At 9.5% this is a tausend ml of sheer glou glou, a thriller for the chiller.
Zidarich Teran Rosso - Friuli, Italy
Truly paregoric potation, fabulously digestible as if iron-filings had been distilled into the wine and made into a blood-enriching medicine. At 12% it is as bracingly refreshing as a white wine. The fruit almost chews itself in your mouth, the acidity encourages a good roll-around and a ripe tartness engages and sooths the tongue simultaneously. Red fruits? You bet your sweet bippy. Fragolino, cherries, sloes, bitter raspberries gush effortlessly across the palate. The tannins are so fine they barely seem to exist.
A Cold New World
Mauricio Gonzalez « Pipeño » País – Region del Bio Bio, Chile
Pais planted on volcanic sand, from 200-year-old gnarly bush vines. No sulphur is added at all and bottled without fining or filtration. Light and refreshing, the nose has earthy tones and a lot of fresh red fruit, and a sharp and vertical texture. This rustic number is the ideal partner to a sunny afternoon in the garden.
Derain Las Nubes Pinot Noir - Casablanca Valle, Chile
A delightful light red, closer to a mid-rosé in colour, with lifted primary red fruit on the nose and on the palate. With its delicate extraction, we are reminded of a really cracking Beaujolais, a kind of Pinot-primeur.
El Abasto Malbec Bonarda - Mendoza, Argentina
Tempranillo from Spain; Sangiovese, Barbera and Bonarda from Italy; Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from South West France; Syrah from the Rhône, Argentina is a rich tapestry of borrowed varietals. Here the Malbec-Bonarda blend makes for a brilliant partnership, with lifted aromatics and stemmy freshness, the Malbec lending structure and the Bornarda whimsy. N.B. this wine also offers some serious bang for buck and was even voted the best value chillable red by The Independent.
Incidently, our online store is currently selling a Chillable Reds mixed case, which is available for free delivery! Details of this and other fab mixed cases can be found here.
Interested in any of the wines above? Contact us directly…
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