The actual last of the summer wine | Alistair Gibson

Well that was summer, although if the truth be known it never felt like it truly arrived.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 5:00 pm
The Doctors Rose 2020

It does seem that autumn is just beginning to take hold but if we are blessed with a few more days of sunshine, that belated Indian summer, then here are a few wines to have on standby.

In general I think low and lower alcohol wines don’t work that well but here is an exception, The Doctors Rosé 2020, Marlborough (Waitrose £10.99). Produced by Forrest wines, who after many years of experimentation in the vineyard they have managed to develop a trellising and canopy system for the vines that help the grapes gain flavour but with less production of sugar and hence lower alcohol.

This is a blend of pinot noir and the white grape arneis, it is fashionably pale in colour and offers notes of red summer berries, some citrus peel and a little dried herb, the palate is very fresh with more red fruits and a crisp, dry finish.

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It comes in at only 9.5 per cent and works really well as a ‘simple sipper’ and would also make more than an acceptable lunch time companion with cold meats and tomato based salads.

There is also a sauvignon blanc in the range which is worth seeking out, The Doctors is a welcome addition to the lower alcohol category.

I absolutely love the label of Bees Knees Chenin Blanc Viognier 2021, Western Cape (Laithwaites £10.99 or £9.99 if part of a mixed 12 bottle case) it would look very much home at an al fresco garden lunch and luckily the wine inside works really well as well.

The viognier in the blend brings some lovely aromatics to the richer chenin blanc, the bouquet has some ripe tropical fruits, a touch of honey and orchard blossom, the palate is quite board with ripe orchard fruits with some well- judged zesty acidity leading to a very moreish finish. Try this with quiche or a summer vegetable tart or it would also work nicely with a creamy risotto.

Planeta L’Amistanza 2020, Sicila (Tesco £10) is produced by one of Sicily’s leading producers and is a blend of the indigenous Fiano and Grecanico varieties and almost feels like sunshine in a glass.

It is really fresh with lime, nectarine and pineapple on the nose, followed by a mouth-watering, crisp palate with a nice, zesty, clean finish.

It makes a delicious aperitif or try this with some fresh grilled fish or a simple seafood or tomato based pasta dish.