Wines to see out the summer in style '“Â Alistair Gibson
We may have had a wonderful summer but the bank holiday weekend usually signifies theÂ end of the season.Â
Hopefully the weather will play ball and let us see theÂ summer out in style, so whether it's family gatherings, a last break to the seaside or just aÂ simple barbecue in the garden, hereÂ are some wines to help you enjoy the last holidayÂ weekend before Christmas '“ now that's a sobering thought!
I've featured Mirabeau PureÂ RosÃ© 2017 CÃ´tes de Provence (Waitrose, Ocado Â£13.99) before butÂ it's still one of my favourite summer rosÃ©s and is now also available in magnumsÂ (Waitrose Â£27.99) which areÂ perfect for larger gatherings.
Its beautiful packaging almost says '˜drink me', and showsÂ off its classic Provence pretty pale colour toÂ the full.
A blend of grenache and syrah, the nose is wonderfully fragrant with strawberry,Â grapefruit and even a hint of blackberries followed by more red fruits and citrus on theÂ palate with a long, refreshing finish.
A perfect aperitif or match with a crab salad or someÂ sushi.
Earth's Essence Chenin Blanc 2017, Western Cape (Ocado Â£5.99 on offer from Â£9.99Â untilÂ September 4, Aldi Â£5.99) is made by the KWV using a process which utilises rooibosÂ and honeybush wood and is 100 per cent sulphur and preservative-free, so if you are someoneÂ who suffers from sulphur intolerance this is a great find.
There are notes of pear, appleÂ and a touch of honey on the nose, followed by a crispÂ apple and citrus palate and a gentleÂ finish.
This is a fresh, easy drinking wine for a summer salad or maybe some barbecuedÂ halloumi.
Viognier is a grape that almost smells of summer and ParcelÂ Series Limestone Coast Viognier 2017 (Majestic Â£11.99 but Â£7.99 if part of a mixed six) hitsÂ all the right notes.Â
The bouquet is full of ripe peach and apricot blossom and a hint ofÂ tropical fruits, followed by a nicely textured palate with enough acidity to stop itÂ becoming too ripe and overblown, which can often be the case with viogniers at this priceÂ level.
It works really well with coronation chickenÂ or maybe a Moroccan chicken tagine.
Nero Oro Appassimento Nero d'Avola 2017, Sicilia (Majestic Â£9.99 but Â£8.99 if partÂ of a mixed six) is made by a process more often associated with the much more expensive amarone wines of the Veneto region.
The Nero d'Avola grapes are left on the vine a littleÂ longer than usual, and once picked they are dried on racks giving them a higherÂ sugar content.
This results in a rich, riper style of wine, with lots of dark fruitsÂ and a touch of spice on the nose, followed by a warm, full bodied palate with layers ofÂ dark fruits and a rich, smooth finish.
Not a subtle wine, but good value which would workÂ well with some smoky, sticky ribs on the barbecue or a rich homemade lasagne.