Not only is it Mothering Sunday tomorrow, but Tuesday is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic and cultural achievement of women.
Women have long been hugely influential in the world of wine, from Madame Clicquot and Lily Bollinger in the past to the enormous number of winemakers like Vanya Cullen and wine writers such as Jancis Robinson MW today.
So here are some wines all either made or influenced by women to celebrate both events.
Villa Maria Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Clifford Bay (Morrisons £15, Sainsbury’s £14) is quintessential Marlborough sauvignon blanc made by Helen Morrison, who is Villa Maria’s chief winemaker in Marlborough.
From a sub-region of Marlborough, called the Awatere Valley, which tends to be a little cooler, this shows fresh lime, blackcurrant and some tropical fruits on the nose, followed by concentrated fruit and lime acidity before a long, zesty finish. Try with some griddled asparagus or lemon chicken.
Vasse Felix was one of the first wineries established in Western Australia’s Margaret River region and Virginia Willcock, who was named Australian winemaker of the year in 2012, currently makes the wines.
Vasse Felix Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014, Margaret River (Waitrose on offer at £10.49 from £13.99 until March 29) is one of my favourite wines styles, especially with food.
Twenty per cent of the wine was aged in new French oak which adds some complexity to the wine but never overpowers. There are citrus, green pea shoots and blackcurrant notes on the nose. The palate is bright with citrus and green herbs with a lovely textured finish. Try this with roasted scallops and a pea risotto.
Les Collines de Laure Syrah 2014, Jean-Luc Colombo, Mediterranee IGP (wineon-lion.co.uk £13.45, eynshamcellars.co.uk £11.99) is made from young vines which are too young to go into Jean-Luc Colombo’s Cornas in the northern Rhone Valley. It is named after Laure, the daughter of Jean-Luc Colombo, who also works within the family business. This is very accessible wine with bramble fruits, violets and some new oak.
The palate is quite plush with rich fruit, ripe tannins and has a generous finish. This would work very well with sausage and fennel pasta or some grilled lamb chump chops.
CVNE Imperial Reserva 2009, Rioja (Majestic £22 or part of a mix six £19; The Wine Society £20) is constantly one of the great wines of Rioja and is made by chief winemaker Maria Larrea.
This is 85 per cent tempranillo with 10 per cent graciano and five per cent mazuelo. It’s aged in a mixture of French and American oak and there is cherry, tobacco, leather, cloves and some vanilla on the nose followed by more spices and a touch of smoke on the palate with dusty tannins, and a lovely, long finish.
This is world-class wine for a Sunday lunch rib of beef or roast leg of lamb and worth decanting an hour before serving.
However, it is not just women who either make or write about wine who influence the wine industry.Eighty per cent of the wines consumed at home in the UK are bought by women. And that’s quite a major influence!