Bill's Rosé Wine Blog

Bill has a passion for wine and “discovered” Rosé wine thirty or so years ago in the South of France, at a time when the wines were very good there, but often failed to travel well.  This had to be overcome before his idea of specialising in offering top quality Rosé wines within the UK could be realised.  Happily, this has now been been achieved by adding modern production methods to the traditional skill of the winemakers resulting in wines that are superb anywhere!
Bill had forecast the expanding market for good Rosés long before it happened.  He registered, established a reputation, and negotiated some of the best, most characteristic wines, at an early stage. The rest, as they say, is the stuff of legend!

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Bill's Blog


Back from a Wonderful European Tour

Once again your intrepid buying team have ventured out in order to find the very best wines possible for our customers!  This time we travelled in Europe.  It was also a superb opportunity to catch up with many of our existing producers before the busy harvest time which will likely be early September this year.  So far, all the indications are very promising.  We had so many interesting experiences on our 5000 miles of travel that I'll likely do a number of blog pieces highlighting different vineyards, meetings and events.  Watch out for new wine introductions too.  

It was a great tour from our first visit to Costa Lazaridi in Greece all the way to Williams Chase, Chateau Constantin in the Luberon and I have to say most enjoyable for Eveline  and myself in our roles as Commercial Manager and Buyer.  Certainly business was done, but meeting owners and winemakers many of whom who have become friends over the years just doesn't feel like work!  Here's a few photos to give a flavour of the trip. Best wishes, as always, Bill


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5 Top Rose Wines for Summer 2016

Todays Guest Blog is via Marion Edwards from Affinity Holidays France. Read her views on the Top Rose Wines in 2016.

The popularity of rose wine continually grows throughout the world and the creation of new, refreshing and innovative flavours makes this area of the wine industry perhaps the most exciting for summer 2016. The variety of tastes, subtlety and accompaniments makes rose wine one of the most versatile tipples available. France is leading the way in producing, creating and marketing some of the finest rose wine that the world has to offer. With exceptional vineyards, ideal climates and an inherent knowledge and passion for production, the French are at the forefront of passion for this continually championed drink.

Below are 5 of the best rose wines to consume this summer.

Chateau Gassier. For wine lovers who are intrigued about the contents of their glass, this highly flavoured, light and invigorating wine makes for an excellent accompaniment to seafood dishes. The Chateau Gassier is a marriage of exquisite flavours, with hints of florals and herbs, making it an interesting yet uncomplicated choice. The soul of the wine is grenache and this welcome taste is unmistakable but complemented by the innovative and light additions. Chateau Grande Cassagne 2015. For those who enjoy a fruity wine, this rose is sure to please. Packed with the flavours of rich summer fruits, this is a drink that oozes summer in its taste, scent and appearance. At 60% grenache and 40% syrah, this is an uncomplicated and reliable rose that works splendidly alone or alongside a host of edible companions, namely chicken, fish and sweets.

Chateau La Noblesse 2015. The Chateau La Noblesse 2015 is an exquisite wine that commands attention and demonstrates the skill of Provincial winemaking with every sip. The intense flavours that are packed into the wine make it a complex yet understated drink. With the tang, refreshment and variety of fruits, this wine can readily be enjoyed with a host of accompaniments.

Mas Carlot Rose Tradition 2015. This inexpensive and dark rose is vibrant, memorable and deep. This is a hearty wine that verges closer to a red than white and is entirely suitable for red meat dishes. Easy to drink, magnificent to compliment a meal and produced with an abundance of flavour, the Mas Carlot Rose Tradition is a wine that is sure to satisfy and impress.

Chateau Saint-Maur L’Excellence 2015 is an excitingly elegant wine that is popular with wide range of appreciative drinkers. The delicious wine is sumptuous, hearty and strong. The tastes of the Mediterranean are unmistakable and the depth of flavours make is bold enough to be an excellent companion to the most flavoursome of dishes. 

With nearly 30 years of experience in villa rentals, owners Marion and Godfrey Edwards are dedicated to keeping Affinity Holidays France at the forefront of providing a good and reliable service to their clients.  "Holidays are a major expense to everyone's budget each year and we work hard to deliver a service which will match our clients' expectations and provide a relaxing holiday".

Pleased to say do stock some of wine mention above.


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Announcing Chateau Miraval Rosé

Great News!   We have now added lovely Chateau Miraval Rosé to our range.  This is a fairly big, but exceptional, estate near the ancient village of Correns in the heart of Provence.  

Favoured by a superb location, the terraced vineyards, at about 350 metres above sea level, date back to Roman times.  I had always particularly enjoyed their "Pink Floyd" Rosé, named after the band who had once recorded there (The Wall) at Le Studio de Miraval.

Now, the estate is better known because of celebrity owners, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and this has led to a lot of publicity for the wine.  People sometimes question whether estates owned by wealthy individuals, who personally may not have a wine industry background, actually produce good wines.  My own experience and knowledge of several vineyards in this situation is that they do often produce truly outstanding results.  The owners are already successful in other fields and bring their own business acumen with them. They are committed to the vineyard.  Frequently, they appoint excellent winemakers and also invest in the winery and in conserving the best features of the location whilst carrying out new planting for the future. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have appointed renowned, top quality wine makers, Famille Perrin of Chateau de Beaucastel and the results are outstanding.

The Chateau Miraval Rosé is presented in a distinctive and attractive bottle which looks tempting in the wine cooler or at the table.  The colour is fashionably pale and the wine itself is an attractive array of summer Provencal fruit flavours combined with a nice minerality representative of this fabulous terroir.  Match it with good weather, good food, good friends and conversation for a really enjoyable occasion.  

Highly recommended!  Bill   




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Excellent Website from Provence - Have a Look

The "Vins de Provence" website is packed with really interesting facts and information about Rosé. You can click through to it here   

There are sections about "The Region" including the appellations, grape varieties and terroir and general information.  Under the "Winery Directory" you'll find a map showing locations of many of the producers and you can click through to find a lot more details about most of them, some great photographs and general information about the area.

Look under "Provence Rosé" for well written sections about the history of the wine, the wine itself and and the wine making process, (Maybe you shouldn't try to make the wine yourself though, as a couple of thousand years experience and the Provencal climate is a definite advantage to these lovely wines!).  You'll find recognition of many of the wines we sell at in the Awards section which lists the results from Concours General, Paris and makes impressive reading. We are lucky to have so many awarded wines in our range.

If it is a cool, not very good Summer's day here, then maybe the "Food and Lifestyle" pages may be too tempting, detailing as they do, the beautiful setting and enviable Mediterranean lifestye.  Just look under the "Food Pairings" section though for lots of good ideas including a video featuring former White House Chef Patrice Olivon pairing Pan Seared Cod & Provence Rosé.  Some sections of the site are more orientated towards the U.S. than the U.K., but you'll still find good ideas!

If you like this site you can find back issues of the Newsletter under the "News & Resources" header and can subscribe to the free English edition.  I really recommend this site to you and know that it just might tempt you to place an order with us! Best wishes, Bill


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Great News for the Glasgow Area!

Just in time for Summer, Glasgow’s eclectic and fun, “Kelvingrove Café” has added Chateau D’Esclans, world class “Whispering Angel Rosé” to their well-chosen list.  Situated at 1161 Argyle Street, Glasgow, and part of the buzzy Finnieston revival.  It’s wonderful to see premium Rosé of this quality, well served, in a great bar.  Served on its own or accompanied by a superb choice of freshly made and mouth-watering food.  Well worth visiting and highly recommended!  For full details click through to 

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Provence Harvest

 LATEST NEWS! I've been hearing great things about the, soon to be released, 2014 vintage from our various friends and producers in Provence and thought it would be good to share! This is information which is not always widely released, but helps predict what the new wines will be like. I've seldom had so much positive information from all over the region, so am really looking forward to the new wines. Here's an example of one of the more detailed harvest reports I've received. Bill 

And.... before you ask, the picture below is me and Sacha Lichine, taken at the vineyard where I saw for myself the superb location and facilities together with the care taken taken in making their world famous wines. Bill smile emoticon

Château d'Esclans - Domaines Sacha Lichine - Whispering Angel 2014 Harvest Report 

The 2014 vintage in Provence has been exceptional. One of the best in the last twenty years!

At Chateau d’Esclans Domaines Sacha Lichine, the harvest began 8 days earlier than the previous year and spanned between September 1st through October 3rd. All conditions made for an extraordinary year created by several factors.

Flowering was early due to a warm spring leading into a summer without excessive heat, and finishing with a mild late season. These particularly favourable weather conditions allowed for an ideal and consistent period of sunshine well suited to a slow ripening of the grapes giving them excellent aromatic potential.

The difference in temperature between day and night was far more pronounced than in previous years allowing for gradual and homogeneous maturation. Production management of the vines was well controlled, 
In all, the 2014 harvest was met with highly favourable conditions that subsequently have given way to nice freshness, lively aromas, and good acidity without excess; an almost perfect balance.
The 2014 vintage has an eye pleasing pastel colour palette that evokes flavours of grapefruit and citrus. It offers a nice nose, aromatic richness with both freshness, fat and body.

Experiencing this convergence of highly favourable conditions, among the best in years, the 2014 vintage will be extraordinary.

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Exciting News

 It was very good to see this, well deserved, appreciation of Chateau D'Esclans wines.  The click through links to the original article and the Chateau's own website are well worth a look!  Despite the good summer here, I'm pleased to say we still have availability of most products.  Bill

We are thrilled to announce that Chateau d’Esclans 2013 is the only wine to be awarded a Master (95 Points), the highest accolade given during the inaugural Drinks Business Rosé Masters (July 2014) in which 89 different Rosés were tasted. The distinguished panel of 4 MWs and 1 MS plus 3 professionals fromThe Drinks Business  focussed their assessment on two criteria that are essential to Rosé, balance and refreshment. In addition to this distinction the 2012 Vintage of Les Clans and Garrus received Silver Medals. Noted by The Drinks Business the three top releases from Sacha Lichine at Château d'Esclans all deserve a place on this list (top 10) representing different styles from the "intriguing , attractive and sleek" Château d'Esclans to the "slightly oaken, taught and youthful" Les Clans and finally the "refined, tight and almost white" Garrus. As a collective these wines represent "the peak of the category" as stated by The Drinks Business.

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Just released! Williams Chase Rosé

 Well known UK gin and vodka producer, Williams Chase, have released a tremendous high quality Rosé wine from the Luberon area of Provence.  The tasting panel, including myself, declared it one of the best new wines tasted for a long time and great value at its introductory price. If you are looking for a modern top end Rosé which captures the authenticity of Provence then this is for you! Highly recommended, Bill Williams Chase Rose

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By Popular Demand - Red & White Wines!!

Aha! "Sacrilege" you might say, to the news that we are adding a very select list of red and white wines. 

Don't worry though we will not be losing our key Rosé specialisation, simply responding to the frequent requests that we offer good reds and whites too!  They all have to be very good and will be chosen to be attractive to our discerning Rosé customers.  Hopefully, you will like the first two, wonderful Chateau de Pez from St Estephe and delicious Domaines Ott Chateau Mireille Blanc de Blancs

More will follow in the near future making it easy and convenient to add on a case of really good red or white to your next Rosé order.

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Beat the Budget! Buy before the duty increase!

Go on, beat the budget by ordering before duty on wine is increased again!  Did you know that the duty on a bottle of wine is around £2 per bottle, £12 for a case of six, and even more on sparkling wines? This is included in our pricing along with Vat and really does add up.  The Chancellor is expected to announce a further increase on 19th March to apply soon afterwards, so we'd suggest buying now before any price increase.  We have good stocks of your favourite wines and hope you might choose to order in the next few days.  It's been great to see the sunshine recently and surely must deserve a nice glass of Rosé!

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Decanter GOLD for Chateau Léoube

Great News!  Chateau Léoube's "Secret de Léoube 2012 Rosé" has won "Gold" from Decanter in the World Wine Awards! 

This is a well deserved recognition of the quality and excellence of this wonderful organic wine and is a genuinely prestigious award.

Congratulations to the team at Chateau Léoube!

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What happens when the wine runs out? - Alternatives to Whispering Angel Rosé

March 2014 - Delighted to say the excellent 2013 vintage of Whispering Angel has now arrived!  So.... the following article is now superceded except for perhaps introducing you to some wines you may not already know and are well worth adding to an order!  Great wines!  -  Bill

Whispering Angel Rosé from Chateau D’Esclans, has been very popular this year and regrettably we, like most UK importers, have run out of stock. It will be early next year before the new vintage will be available.

However, as Rosé specialists with a broad range of Provencal Rosés to choose from I’m happy to say we have a number of very good alternatives for you. Not only can you continue to enjoy superb quality Rosé, you’ll likely find a new wine in our suggested range that you may not have known about!
I’d like to go a little further than outlets which tell you that “customers who liked a particular wine also liked….”, so here goes!
If you are looking for a very high quality easy drinking wine, somewhat similar to Whispering Angel, I’d suggest the following three. They are all good and well worth trying in their own right. They are, of course, not the same, but are of a similar style. Later on, I also give details of Chateau D’Esclans other Rosé wines, Les Clans and Garrus for you to consider, but they, whilst wonderful, are quite different wines.
My suggestions…
Chateau Léoube Cotes de Provence Rosé” £13.95/Bottle - Stunning with an excellent elegant bottle presentation which shows off the pale colour.
S de Sarrins Rosé” £11.99/Bottle - Light and luscious
Chateau St Baillon Rosé £11.99/Bottle - Classic Provencal Rosé
You may also wish to consider the other Rosés made by Chateau D’Esclans, namely “Les Clans” and “Garrus”. We still have very limited stock of these excellent wines, but they are appreciably more costly than the “Whispering Angel”, which is really the Chateau’s introduction to the world of premium Rosés. Pricing is respectively; £41 and £83.17 per bottle compared to a more affordable £14.99 for Whispering Angel, but remember they are all produced to be different from each other, so one is not really a substitute for another in the range. They, like Whispering Angel, have their individual character and you’ll find details in our notes about each wine on the website. So, why would you want to try them? My suggestion would be not as a substitute, but for the pleasure of experiencing these refined, complex and delightful Rosé wines which are simply among the best in the World. A special treat for Rosé lovers!
I hope these suggestions help. They are all great wines and I am confident that you will enjoy them. You can click on their names above for full details or go to the “Our Rosé Wine Selection” on the website and select “France”.
Preparing this short article was a lot of fun, involving friends and myself on the terrace with a nice chilled bottle of Whispering Angel and a variety of other wines to compare. All in the name of research of course! Our findings produced the above suggestions. Do give them a try. Best wishes, Bill
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Lovely customer feedback

It's always pleasant to get good feedback from customers!  N.T. from West Sussex writes "Wine has arrived already - very impressive!"  R.W. from London, says "Best again for the excellent service".  Thanks for getting in touch - Much appreciated,  Bill

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Wine - Value for Money?

I’m often asked,

 “Is a more expensive wine good value for money?” 
 “What exactly determines the cost of a wine?”
These are straightforward questions, but how best to simply explain them and to give guidance as to which criteria to consider when buying. Maybe I could fall back on the old adage “that you get what you pay for”, but does this hold true for wine?   
Let’s start with the basic costs like the bottle, label, cork or other closure and transport. Add on UK excise duty and 20% Vat on these, and we are up to around £3.00 per bottle before taking account of the cost of the wine and the Vat on the wine. There also has to be a margin for the producer and for the retailer. This is the origin of the commonly expressed view that you have to pay more than, these days, £6 a bottle to actually be paying more for the actual wine than the packaging, shipping and taxes.
Basic costs are understandable, but what makes the difference to the cost of the actual wine. After all, it’s all about the, hopefully wonderful, liquid in the bottle. The wine cost is worth looking at in some detail as it helps us make informed decisions and get best value. There are huge differences in cost, can they be justified?
As a guide, our Rosé wine prices vary from around £6 to over £80 per bottle with a lot of well-made Provencal Rosés selling for between £10 and £20. As a company policy we have a lower margin on higher cost wines so as to ensure maximum value and not to inhibit their sale.
With wine, one analogy might relate to cars. Most cars at any price will get you there, but more expensive cars will do so in style and luxury as well as creating a good impression on arrival. In comparison, our low cost wines perhaps compare to a small car for convenience around town – practical and satisfactory in lots of situations. Our medium priced range would compare to good quality marques known for performance and comfort whilst our most costly wines would be the equivalent of the absolute top of the range. The Ferrari’s or Aston Martin’s of wines!
With cars, it’s easy to understand that better engineering, materials and interiors cost more to design and manufacture. What about wine though, what makes the difference?  Whereas car pricing is probably quite easy to understand, wine may not be so obvious.
Firstly, the vineyard location determines the cost of land and labour with ideal sites with perfect topography, climate and conditions often fetching a substantial premium over less ideal ones. The owners have to achieve a return on their investment so this has to be factored into costs. Fortunately, ideal conditions can often result in better fruit for the winemaker so this is not unreasonable as top quality grapes grown in ideal conditions very often make for a better wine.
Transport is not as big a consideration as you might at first think in terms of costs. You’d imagine that vineyards closer to the UK might benefit from lesser transport costs. Oddly enough this is not a big factor as further away producers can often ship wine in bulk either already bottled or in large containers to bottling plants in Europe without a huge premium on cost. Bulk shipping requires a large scale of production and tends mainly to be used for mass produced wines, not usually at the expensive end. 
I’d always recommend bottling at the vineyard as this allows the winemaker to oversee the conditions and carefully monitor the bottling and gives better control of the finished product. Distance can be a disadvantage for smaller producers though, who are unable to ship large quantities, and can add to the cost of their wine should they decide to send it here. These, often quite individual and good wines, can therefore be a lot more expensive than ones from the bulk suppliers for this reason. 
The winery and the manner in which the wine is made are important factors contributing to the cost of wine along with the scale of production. A well designed modern winery often provides the winemaker finer control over all the important factors, but the best tanks, refrigeration, pumps, barrels and ideally, onsite bottling facilities can be very expensive indeed. That’s not to say that an old fashioned winery cannot make good wine, but the process is, like anything else, often made easier by investment. It even allows existing boundaries to be challenged and quality improved still further. 
Science has provided answers to many of the problems faced by winemakers, but usually at a cost. The prevention of oxidisation using inert atmospheres or other techniques and the use of precision refrigeration at all stages must surely rank as some of the greatest Rosé wine related innovations of the last 40 years. The wine is far better for it, more stable, and capable of travelling without loss of quality to mention just a few of the benefits. This is one of the reasons Rosé has become so popular! Naturally, all of this costs money and the more that is spent, within reason, coupled with an expert winemaker, the better the end result.
When every single possible step is taken that can optimise a harvest, wine production, storage and bottling, this accounts for the higher price of the very top end wines. Often it leads to scarcity of product which can also escalate price. Organic certification and other increasingly popular, but demanding practices also generally increase costs.
You can, of course make do without some of the expense by leaving out some processes or choosing not to mature the wine for quite as long and this to a large extent accounts for all the differing price points.   As an example some wines, made to be drunk locally, not intended to be kept for any length of time, or meant for shipping, can still be surprisingly good. These are often the ones you can buy by taking your own container to a winery and having it filled from a tank and can be great value. Another route to inexpensive, but good wine is where a wine merchant or large shop outlet manages to buy an end of line or job lot at a wholesale bargain price and passes on the saving to attract customers who will hopefully buy other items too.
Just when you think the pricing of wine is becoming clear there is one complication worth mentioning. Sometimes instead of taking a reasonable margin, unscrupulous suppliers will charge far more for a wine than it is worth. Buyers are understandably very disappointed when it seems no better than much cheaper choices. This is a really bad practice which artificially breaks the link between price and quality and does a lot of harm to the industry. A bit like an unethical used car dealer! There is an answer to it though and that is to only buy from a reputable trusted supplier. Also, avoid firms offering massive discounts, as the pre-discount price indicates that a very high margin was applied which serves to dilute the relationship between price and quality. Likewise, if an offer seems too good to be true, then tempting as it may be, it probably doesn’t reflect good value.
At our pricing is all related to our bought in cost. Our margin reduces for the more expensive wines so they remain attractively priced. We have good relations with our suppliers and visit many of the European vineyards to meet with them and see the processes being applied. Besides being a great reassurance of quality, this confirms that their pricing to us reflects the investment they have made and the production processes used. From time to time we obtain a “bargain”, but only where no corners have been cut.  When we “discount” (usually to move stock in preparation for new stock coming in), it is not a large amount as otherwise our normal pricing would be excessive.
I hope this short article will have helped remove some of the mysteries surrounding wine pricing. And, yes!  A more expensive wine should be good value for money – provided it is carefully chosen and sourced from a good supplier!
As always, I’ll be pleased to have your views!   
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Great Reviews for Chateau D'Esclans Rosés

Great reviews for Chateau D'Esclans wines, including "Whispering Angel", from Matthew Jukes.  These really made a big impression and have attracted high scores.  You can find Matthew's reviews on his website at  I very much go along with his description of "Garrus" too.  These are both available from

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Whispering Angel Rosé 2012 - Superb!


Great News!

Initial stocks of the wonderful 2012 vintage of Whispering Angel Rosé have now come in.  We've had a chance to try it and can simply say that every year just seems to get better!  Bring on the sunshine!

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Festive Greetings

All best wishes to our customers, winemakers and suppliers from all of us at!  Many thanks for your orders and support which is very much appreciated.  

All best wishes for the New Year!  Why not celebrate with a good bottle of Rosé?  When in doubt open something sparkling! 

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Top Decanter Award for Chateau Routas Rosé


Congratulations are in order for Chateau Routas and winemaker Jean Louis Bavay who have won an outstanding five stars, best in show, at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.  A marvellous result for a very affordable Rosé - here's what was said,

"Appetizing style singing of Mediterranean France. Clean, fresh herbal aromas with invigorating aniseed over a ripe peach and tropical fruit palate with pretty, floral notes, plum skins and stony, mineral acidity.” Decanter Magazine. 

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Age & Rosé - Does it Improve?

An obvious question you may say, going by the old adage that Rosés are best drunk young.  However, you may well be surprised by some modern Rosés and I’d like to be among the first to break the good news!

Certainly, if you’d asked me ten or fifteen years ago I would have sided with the “Choose it well and drink it young” view, for most Rosés, but what a lot has changed since then.  Oddly enough, these changes are still not common knowledge.  Whilst many Rosés are still best drunk young there are others which benefit from being a little older. How has this come about?
Firstly, the use of refrigeration in Rosé production has increased immensely.  Refrigeration allows much more control and refinement of the various stages the wine goes through.  Effective measures to prevent oxidisation have also been introduced.  Not only do these provide a better product, but they also seems to impart stability to the wine meaning that it travels better too.  This has helped banish the “It tasted great when I was there”, but isn’t nearly as good when I bought it here”, syndrome.  This may still apply to some cheaply produced mass market wines, but not to good quality Rosé from caring producers.
Secondly, the demand for better, premium Rosés, has allowed the best winemakers to invest in a whole variety of improvements to the winemaking process.  Other producers have likewise had to improve their offer, in a demanding market, to keep up.  Science based organisations such as the Rosé Wine Research Centre  have carried out research, unravelled some of the processes involved, and have been able to advise growers on improved methods.
So how does this affect the wine?  The increase in quality and extra stability imparted allows these wines to keep far longer than before. It has opened up the opportunity to see how Rosé develops with age and some provide startlingly good results.  A great example of this is can be found in Chateau D’Esclans “Garrus” Rosé where we have recently finished the 2007 and have moved on to the 2008.  It is silky smooth, yet complex with rich creamy notes and perhaps a hint of biscuit, remaining beautifully bright and a delight on the palate. If I wrote this about a White Burgundy or similar it would perhaps come as no surprise, but for a Rosé it is outstanding.  Yes, it takes a while to make and is aged in temperature controlled barrels for ten months, but here is a Rosé that truly benefits from its age. It is quite expensive, but conjures up another old adage, “That you get what you pay for”, and with this wine you certainly do!
Other notable wines where wonderful subtleties emerge with a little age are those from Domaines Ott and I am also finding Chateau Léoube and several of our other producer’s wines proving very interesting this way.  How do you know whether a wine will age well?  I’d suggest price as a good guide as these have to be very well made wines. They will use carefully selected fruit, coupled with expert winemaking applying costly, gentle, slow, natural, and non-invasive processes.  All Good! 
Next time someone discusses the merits of Rosé with you, I hope this subject might just make for an interesting talking point.  Of course, even more interesting is trying the wines to see for yourself!   Please do let me know your experiences.
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How to Taste Rosé Wine?

OK, so you’ve bought some lovely Rosé wines – how do you get the best tasting experience? Here’s some general guidance put together by which might help. 

Remember, that tasting tends to be quite subjective with people often having surprisingly different opinions. There are no set rules. Where wine is paired with food this can have a marked effect too. Not only does the wine often heighten appreciation of the food, the food can have an effect on the perception of the wine. Experimentation is often the best course and can be good fun!

There are various other factors that can influence your enjoyment of wine besides the wine itself. Serving temperature is one, with Rosés often being best served cool, perhaps around 8 to 12 C. When the Rosé is cold it will be quite sharp and clear and very refreshing. As it warms up to room temperature, well-made Rosé can become fruitier and slightly softer. Ideally, try the wines cool to start with, which would be most people’s preference, but if you find you enjoy it warmer then that’s best for you. Also, good ice in Rosé can be very pleasant and only has the effect of diluting the wine, not spoiling it. 

Glasses make a difference mainly because a bulky glass will quickly warm up a cool wine whereas a finer glass will keep the wine cool. The size of the rim opening matters in that too narrow an opening causes you to have to tilt back your head when drinking. This fails to deliver the Rosé to the best part of the mouth for full enjoyment.  A good fairly wide rimmed white wine style glass is ideal for Rosé.

Where possible it is good to let wine settle down after transit. Good Rosé is a natural product and is best stored in a cool dark place. A refrigerator will be fine, ideally a few days before drinking. The difference is small but, may just be noticeable.

There’s a great selection of Rosés available, all different to the taste, everyone’s perception of them will vary, but hopefully the above notes will help!  Just add good company. Have fun!  Bill

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Wine Diamonds - What are they?

Buy wine from us and, who knows, you might just get some "wine diamonds" absolutely free! Nice mature grapes - CIVP image

A customer contacted me recently wondering about a little sugary looking deposit she'd noticed in a couple of bottles of Rosé.  I was able to reassure that these are natural and, in fact, are an indication of a particularly well made wine.  They tend to form only in wines that are slowly fermented, a process which adds to flavour and aroma and are sometimes more noticeable when the wine has been kept cool for a while.  Sometimes you may also see them on the bottom of the cork.  They are completely harmless and are not a fault, quite the opposite.

For the technically minded the little crystals are a potassium tartrate which is generally used to make cream of tartar for baking.  The wine industry is a great source of this natural material.  Thinking among winemakers varies.  Some are concerned that customers may not know what they are, and perhaps wrongly, perceive them as a fault.  Bolder winemakers won't compromise on quality, and do not put the wine through unnecessary additional processing involving temperature changes to remove them. 

The tartrates essentially come from good mature grapes and choosing not to remove them is a good example of the commendable "putting the grape first" school of thought, to provide absolutely top quality wine. 


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Rosé Weddings

VenuestomenusI attended a large wedding show recently and had a great time chatting about wines.  I was reminded of how appropriate Rosé wines can be for this, very, very, important, occasion.

The correct choice of good wines can make such a difference to everyone's enjoyment, as most guests will have at least a glass or two, or in my case, maybe more!  Our Rosés with their vibrant colour and great bottle presentation, very much Lia Koletsou and Bill  look the part, but have other great advantages too.  Not least is their almost universal acceptability - almost everyone enjoys a Rosé. 

A sparkling Rosé or Rosé Champagne is a marvellous welcome for guests and super for the toasts.  They look so good in the glass too.  Likewise, the still Rosés go so well with most food and with their characteristic lightness, they are very suitable for drinking throughout the meal no matter what time of day it is served.  They are equally good during the later reception. 

Currently, we have stock of some fabulously exclusive, romantic and elegant Rosés from the St Tropez area, just right for Spring or Summer weddings.  Please drop me an email to if you need any help or advice.  I'm happy to advise on quantity too, and we can take back any stock not used. 

I'd probably get married again, just for the fun of it, if I wasn't married already!  Happy planning!  

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Nice Customer Feedback

I received this super feedback from friends at artificial tree specialists Trees R Green, who I met recently at an exhibition.  I obtained their permission to reproduce it here as it summarises our wines so well.  "Just a small note to thank you for the bottle of Cuvee Domaine de La Rouillere Rose you gave me to try.  We are really not rose drinkers and never really bother to try any because of past experience with UK standard bottles!!!! As you suggested we started with the bottle really chilled and had some nice white fish with it.  We were surprised and pleased that it tasted dry and fresh like the whites we drink, not sweet and sickly like other rose we have had.  Again as suggested we let the wine warm and drank it slowly allowing the flavour to become stronger.  We really enjoyed both tastes".  Trees R Green have great products too, we have one of their super trees in reception.  Bill

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Temperature & Rosé

I'm quite often asked, "What is the best serving temperature for our wines?"  The broad answer is to serve at whatever temperature you prefer, but I can give you some guidelines to help. 

Our Rosés are very well made so they should be enjoyable at up to room temperature without showing any faults.  I suggest serving quite cool, somewhere between 8 and 12 C. as this suits most tastes.  However, the aroma of the wine may not be as full and fruity as it becomes when the wine warms up.  Likewise the taste can move towards being somewhat less dry and more fruity as the wine warms, a nice effect, quite pronounced in Rosés.  Stemmed glasses will prevent the wine warming quickly as will chilling the glasses first. 

And what about ice?  Controversial for some, I have no problem with it, especially if serving Rosé on a warm day.  A nice touch can be to make up the ice in advance from bottled water, perhaps selecting a French still water to make ice for French wines.  (The same applies to ice with good Scotch Whisky - best use Scottish water for a soft taste).  Ordinary tap water ice is fine for the ice bucket to keep the wine cool, but not too cold.  

Hope this helps!  

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We're on Facebook

Post this link to Facebook   I'm pleased to say that now has a Facebook page.  This can be a great and convenient way to leave comments and maybe post a few pictures of your fun Rosé wine occasions.  Find us on  Thanks, Bill

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Cannes Party - Photos, Links & Notes

By popular demand, here are a few photos from the Cannes Film Festival Beach Party.  The party was organised by Creative Scotland and was a superb and successful networking event for film industry professionals. combined with rising star film distribution company Distrify to serve fabulous Bellini's on the Beach.  The sorbets used fresh French peaches and were hand cranked under a parasol on the beach.  You can find full description and the scrumptious recipe at  So many people visit Cannes and the South of France each year, but don't realise that the pick of the wonderful wines they try there are now available here in the UK.  The object of our participation was to convey this rather good news (to a willing audience) and to have a good time!  Hope you enjoy the pictures - if you are in them, or would simply like a higher resolution copy of any of them sent to you by email, please just contact me at

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Silver Medal for Chateau Léoube

The Jury of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles have awarded Chateau Léoube's "Le Secret de Léoube 2010 Rosé" a silver medal!

This is a well deserved recognition of the quality and excellence of this wine and is a genuinely prestigious award.  Concours Mondial bring together some of the World's leading experts to make very well informed decisions which can be a real help to consumers looking for an exceptional product.  I have included a link to Concours Mondial above.  Their website is in several languages and you might find it interesting to take a look.

Congratulations to the team at Chateau Léoube! 

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Back from France - Lots of News

    The Cannes Film Festival events were very successful. was involved with film distribution specialist Distrify,  who participated in the Creative  Beach Party on Long Beach.  Hundreds of film industry professionals attended this great fun, and superb networking, event.  Peter and Andy from Distrify provided a tremendous performance preparing and serving freshly made peach "Bellini's on the Beach".  The wine used was Domaine de La Rouillere's amazing Methode Traditionnelle Sparkling Brut Rosé and this was very well received.  I received so many favourable comments about the wine and the fact that we can supply this and other wonderful Rosés in the UK, that I lost count. "A lovely wine, way beyond any expectations" was a typical comment.  Watch this space for more news from Cannes and for a selection of the many photo's taken!  Will you be in them? 

   I was lucky to be able to fit in a few vineyard visits during this trip and would like to share the news about these.  In particular, I had a very informative and interesting visit at Chateau Léoube.  Romain Ott, the winemaker, gave Eveline and I, an excellent tour of this impeccable and well situated vineyard.  I learned a great deal and was very impressed by the visionary and inspired policies that have resulted in such remarkable wines.  I'll post some more details and photo's about this visit soon.  Good news too, we now have the two Chateau Léoube Rosés in stock for immediate shipment.  I thoroughly recommend that you try these wines! 

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Cannes Film Festival

Latest News! Delighted to say that are part sponsors of a couple of events including a reception on the beach at the Cannes Film Festival.  This is always an exciting event attracting visitors from all over the world and it's good fun to be part of it.  I will be there for the next week or so and hope to meet many of's friends and associates. 

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Great News - Chateau Léoube

    I'm delighted to say that we shall be adding Chateau Léoube's two fine Rosé wines to our range very soon.  We are simply waiting for the 2010 vintage to come in whereupon it will be immediately added to our list.

   Chateau Léoube is beautifully situated on the Mediterranean coast at Bormes-les-Mimosas and has all the benefits of the maritime climate and coastal breezes which contribute so much to the good health of the vines. These are ideal conditions, for Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cabernet Sauvignon which allow the wine maker immense scope to perfect his art.  The resulting pale Rosés are outstanding.

   One of the highlights of my visit to the Vinisud wine exhibition in Montpellier last year was trying the "Le Secret de Léoube" Rosé.  The blend includes Cabernet Sauvignon, a master touch, which adds to the fullness and flavour of this marvellous wine.

   Chateau Léoube's wines are a perfect example of top quality Rosés. As you can imagine, we are looking forward to stocking them and I certainly recommend that you give them a try! 


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Bordeaux and New World Wines

I've mentioned before that we would be increasing our range of Rosé wines and am delighted that four more are on offer as from today with more coming soon.  Nearly all of these are in response to your feedback and wish lists. 

A frequent request was for a good, typical Bordeaux Rosé  which would be an all rounder with food.  Baron Philippe de Rothschild's Mouton Cadet, is I hope, a good response to this.  Commended by Decanter in their World Wine Awards for 2010, this wine is matured for four months in a state of the art facility.  Even the empty bottles awaiting filling are kept in a controlled atmosphere!

Next, you noticed that nearly all our wines were dry to medium and requested we add popular medium, to medium sweet wines.  These, particularly Californian, have always been a big sellers here in the U.K.  We are now offering the Gallo Family Vineyards, Winemaker's Seal Rosé along with their White Grenache and White Zinfandel.  Gallo are one of the largest exporters of Californian Rosé and are still a family run company.  They do produce these wines in sufficient volume to achieve appreciable savings from their scale of operation making them exceptional value for money.  Please have a look at our low prices for these well known wines.

I haven't forgotten the many requests for additional sparkling wines and Champagne's and we will be featuring them soon. 


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International Orders

I'm pleased to say that now ranks very highly in most internet search engines worldwide.  This has been a great achievement and many thanks to our internet crew and to our loyal customers who have kept coming back to us.  It has also resulted in a number of enquiries as to whether we can supply our wines internationally.  We are looking into this, and I'd be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to be able to order from us in the future.  Either use the comments button below or email me direct using  Many thanks!                                   Map provided by:

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New Wines

Early in the year is a good time for selecting new or additional wines for our range.  Many thanks to everyone who has emailed me with their "wish lists", please keep them coming.  We will be adding some interesting new wines soon! 

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Festive Fun Made Easy!

This time of year gives a welcome opportunity to indulge in some festive fare accompanied by good wines, hopefully with enough time to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate them.
Fortunately for all of us at, Rosé is increasingly accepted as an “all year” wine, but even so, I’m often asked about its ability to pair with, and to complement, traditional Christmas Dinner and seasonal dishes. I’m delighted to say that Rosé can provide a super festive experience, not only does it look beautifully festive in the glass, it is stunningly good with most traditional meals.

Certainly, this it is a time of year when some red wines come in to their own, especially with the heavier meat dishes such as roast beef or peppered steaks, and I will always have a Chateauneuf, a Hermitage or a delicious Shiraz available to compliment these, along with a good Rivesaltes or an old Maury to go with desert. However, for everything else, such as turkey or chicken, light meats and many other dishes, for me, everything comes up Rosé! 
I generally choose either a Sparkling Rosé or a fairly light Rosé as an aperitif to welcome guests on arrival. I’d suggest our Method Traditionnelle Sparkling Rosé and, either Cuvée Domaine de La Rouillère Rosé or Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel as non-sparkling alternatives. These could, of course, also accompany the starters and main course, but I’d be tempted to offer a different wine not just for variety, but because changing to a new wine often adds to the sense of occasion whilst allowing you to match exactly to the food.

All of our Rosés are good with food. Poultry and white meats work tremendously well with them. You and your guests will notice that it has the effect of refreshing the palate with every sip. In my experience this brings out every nuance of taste from poultry, white meats and sauces. It can make a wonderful meal even better and is also a fitting accompaniment to fish dishes such as a smoked salmon starter and to most vegetarian dishes, sharpening the taste. Between courses it can provide a welcome pause and helps prepare and refresh for each new tasting experience.

The wines I would suggest with the meal are Chateau Routas Wild Boar and the Vignerons de St Tropez Carte Noire as being great crowd pleasing all rounder’s. Those preferring a more French country food style find that our single grape Cinsault Rosé from Domaine de La Roque works well. If I'm entertaining friends with an in depth wine knowledge I'll have an odd bottle of Rouillère Grand Reserve, Domaines Ott or Garrus on hand to make it an extra special occasion.

Opinions are divided regarding desert wines, some finding the traditional ones a bit too sweet and syrupy. These certainly have their place, but Rosé can be useful here as well having such a clean fresh taste that is lovely with ices or sorbets. Where possible though, I would avoid apple dishes with most non desert wines.

Finally, I cannot speak too highly of our Methode Traditionnelle Sparkling Rosé. It is suitable for the New Year, for Weddings or for any celebration. In terms of value it would be difficult to match except perhaps by very good Champagne costing four or five times more. The superbly presented frosted bottle allows the colour to be appreciated and looks wonderful when serving.

Everyone's taste differs though, so if you are unsure, I would suggest trying one of our mixed cases to experience the variety in our wines and discover what will suit you best for any occasion. The mixed case includes the sparkling wine. Often, we see a pattern to orders where a mixed case is ordered and then, later on, orders follow for individual wines.

I hope this helps and very best wishes from us all for the festive season!

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Gold Medal for Whispering Angel!

Congratulations are in order for Chateau D'Esclans who have received a Gold Medal at the prestigious Hong Kong Wine & Spirit Competition for their wonderful Whispering Angel Rosé. Against stiff competition and judged by a top class panel from China, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong this is a super commendation and shows the popularity of good wine in an international context.  We still have some of the 2009 vintage available and thoroughly recommend it! 

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A Great Birthday Party!


One of the crew had his birthday recently. These things creep up on us all, not that any of your esteemed team at are old! Our startling good health and longevity is perhaps a result of the business we are in! A new private room at the Crabshakk was chosen for the party. The Crabshakk is a really buzzy establishment with a well deserved reputation for superb fish and seafood. You can see from the photo’s that a really good time was had by all! It was also an excellent occasion to look at wine pairings with some of the freshest and best seafood available and to gather notes and impressions from a great party crowd.

The wine served on arrival was the Domaine de La Rouillère “Sparkling Rosé Brut”. It was served deliciously cool, immediately frosting the glasses, with its vibrant pale colour accentuated by the halogen lights. Timing was excellent in that it merged into being the accompaniment to the beautifully presented trays of Loch Fyne Oysters heaped high on a bed of ice. The dry wine with its vivacious sparkle freshened the palate ready for each sumptuous bite. The first very favourable impression of the Rosé Brut with the seafood meant that many preferred to stay with it right through the evening, trying it with each of the many courses which followed. It was especially good with the fabulous Langoustines and with Seared Scottish Scallops (prepared with an anchovy and sage butter).

The other wines chosen for the event were Rouillère’s “Grand Reserve” and Chateau D’Esclans “Whispering Angel”. They very much came into their own coupled with the Lobster Bisque and Shellfish Chowder which were presented as tasty little amuse-bouche, in espresso cups! The Grand Reserve was stunning with one of the house specialities, nicely textured small Crab Cakes, and also with the wonderful newspaper wrapped, Breaded Haddock Goujons. Later on, we feasted on an array of Scottish Cheeses served on a huge reclaimed wooden board. Many remarked on how well the Whispering Angel stood up to this test as well as with the spicier dishes.

The food was wonderful, the company was excellent, and the wines a tremendous addition to the occasion. Many thanks to our host and to Crabshakk staff, Claire, Mel and Julie (chef)!    





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Your Favourite Rosé?

Choosing a great selection of Rosés is an interesting and challenging task which I very much enjoy doing.  However, I'd like to enlist your help!  Do you have a favourite Rosé that you would like to see on our site?  Perhaps you've particularly enjoyed an amazingly good Rosé whilst travelling or on holiday?  I'd be delighted to have your suggestions and to see if they would be a good addition to our range. You can use the comments section below so the information can be shared and perhaps also commented on by other readers.  Many thanks! Bill

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Introducing cases of 6 with no minimum order!

In response to popular demand, I'm delighted to advise that we now feature all our wines in cases of six and that we do not have a minimum order!  You can simply order one case of six!  As always, our pricing includes VAT. Why not try one of the wines you have been tempted by, in this new affordable format? Obviously, you can still order 12 simply by ordering two cases of six, but this new format is versatile in that you could choose two different wines. I think this is a good innovation and will be very interested in having your feedback. 

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Welcome to the NEW website. I am delighted that we have wines in stock again and are able to offer you what I believe is a selection of the very best Rosé wines available. Our speciality is Rosé from the South of France, the centre of quality dry Rosé production. These wines are produced using the traditional method, but with all the advantages of modern technology. The result is a world class product, second to none!

We also have a selection of other good wines, both dry and sweet, from around the world.

Some are only available in limited quantity, but we shall be constantly sourcing additional wines to maintain an excellent selection. Many thanks to all our customers who made a success in the past. I hope you will like the improvements we have made. If you are new to Rosé wines or simply new to, welcome!

I have every confidence you will find wines here that far exceed your expectations.

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Victory for Traditional Rosé Production Methods

Summer 2009. There were celebrations in Provence and throughout Europe among quality winemakers in response to the news that the EU has dropped plans to permit production of Rosé by simBill & Bertrand at Rouillereply mixing white and red wine together. This ensures the future of the much more labour intensive traditional method where the grape juice is left in contact with the skins for a period. This gives the natural colour to the wine, but does not involve use of possibly incompatible blends. The traditional method results in top quality Rosés made from the juice of red grapes.

Simply mixing white and red wines is not unusual in some parts of the world and is usually done to reduce production costs. Whilst there are quite a few examples of good wines made this way it is very easy for many to be uninteresting in that they do not have much differentiation (except for their colour) from the white wine which forms their base. It is a technique too often used by winemakers to make what I call an "as well" wine. For example a producer who makes white and red wines, thinks it would be good to have a Rosé "as well". You can be certain that should we offer any new world wines made this way it will be because the blend has been very expertly achieved to make a quality wine that stands out from the crowd.

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Glasses, What a Difference They Make

Up until just a few years ago, I tended to choose glassware used for entertaining based simply on its appearance on a well set table. I generally chose good quality cut crystal in two sizes to accommodate red or white wines. When presenting a good Rosé I followed the convention of using the white wine glass or a good decorated crystal Champagne flute for our best Sparkling Rosés.

Then, I discovered master Austrian glassmakers Riedel, and everything changed! The Riedel concept is that the shape of the glass makes a huge difference to enjoyment of different types of wine.

The glass shape is optimised to bring out the best in the wine. Riedel propose that different types of wine require different shaped glasses in order to be fully enjoyed at their absolute best. I swiftly discovered that there was no question that our wines tasted better from the Riedel glass. The effect was startling, bringing out every nuance of fruit from even our most delicate dry Rosés.

The ‘Riedel Crystal’ Rosé glass is uncut and thin walled resulting in such a low thermal mass that it frosts beautifully the instant the wine is poured. Gone forever, was the need to refrigerate my chunky cut crystal glasses!

The Riedel glasses are available not just for Rosé, but optimised for each red or white wine variety to provide the ultimate tasting experience. The Riedel concept that form follows function holds throughout the range with its variety of shapes. They are unadorned (barring the discreet Riedel brand on the base) and are generously sized to allow enough room for the wine’s bouquet to be fully appreciated.

The lead crystal has a wonderful clarity which catches all the light and makes for a most elegant table. Given all the above it probably comes as no surprise that prefers to use Riedel glasses at our tastings.

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Cork vs. Other Closures

At risk of controversy (why change the habit of a lifetime), my view is that ideally, there really should be no contest.  Cork rules!  I particularly like the best Portuguese cork used on most of our wines, although we do cautiously accept the full length plastic substitute where it has been adopted by a grower and are beginning to see some scewcap closures too.

The position in Europe regarding closures is, dare I say, fluid, but despite the occasional ‘corked’ wine I do believe Cork is best.  Continuing research into cork processing will likely eradicate the cause of problems - there are promising results already. We are always happy to replace or credit a ‘corked’ bottle'.

The plastic substitutes can be very tight in the bottle neck allowing the possibility of glass breakage around the bottle rim. The screw-top has been associated with convenience wines for immediate consumption, but regrettably, versions thus far, do not impart a feeling of quality and can have some sharp edges too.  I accept they are becoming quite popular and we already are seeing some good wines closed this way.  There is a lot of demand from restaurants for this closure.

Technically, cork is probably not an absolute necessity for our Rosés as they are unlikely to be stored for an extended period, but it has proved its compatibility with wine over a very long time and is a natural material.  The cork oak trees are ecologically sound and will likely remain as long as there is commercial need for them.  Cork harvesting also helps a lot of rural communities and is vital for their economy. See  for more information.

Oh, and while I’m on this sort of subject, I especially like the foil pull tab used on our wines Cuvée du Cep D’Or and Carte Noire.   This is elegant to use and eliminates the need for a foil cutter. A deft flick of the wrist removing it, adds to the flair of presenting the wine at the table as does the proficient removal of the cork.  Yes, I accept different closures have their merits and that we'll be seeing more of them in the future, but ideally I’d prefer a cork!  Happy drinking!

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