James Robertson shares his top wines for summer drinking. 

In the middle of June I recall a friend suggesting that it was too hot and that we needed a break in the weather. Well they got more than they bargained for with the awful July that we then had to deal with which seems to have carried on into August.


Summer though is still with us and to keep us all in that mood here are some wines that are perfect summer drinking.

 Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2022 – I first met Gordon Russell the Esk Valley winemaker in the late 1990’s when he visited Scotland, he has been a friend ever since. He has been a passionate winemaker for decades at Esk Valley, so it was sad to hear that he is due to leave the winery. He makes amazing reds but this Sauvignon Blanc is outstanding. I had not had it for a few years but when I opened this bottle it was not only classically New Zealand but it had Gordon’s signature all over it. Aromatic, intense with ripe stone fruit and tropical flavours on the nose but incredible pungent gooseberry and citrus notes combining the tropical fruit notes on the finish. Look out for his red wines too! £14.95 Vino Wines

 Series Sauvignon Blanc 2022 – A well-structured wine from Yalumba in Southern Australia, with a lovely balance of freshness and complexity. Hints of lemon peel, passionfruit, granny smith apples, grapefruit and white peaches. Great on its own but also a very versatile food wine. £9.49 Majestic

Senorio de Beade Blanco 2021 – A combination of local grape varieties Treixadura, Godello and Torrontes this wine has a fabulous array of aromas including white peaches, limes, floral notes and hints of honey. Galicia is an underrated region in Spain and this is a great example of why it should be taken more seriously. £9.99 Naked Wines


Argento Artesano Organic Malbec Rosé 2022 – With the addition of 15% Syrah from the same vineyards in Mendoza this is a delightful rosé with aromas of summer fruits, citrus and a floral note to it. Wonderfully fresh with balanced acidity and a combination of summer fruit pudding and a hint of lemon zest. Great value too. £10 Sainsbury


Carmen Frida Kahlo Rosé 2022 – This wine from the other side of the Andes is from one of Chile’s oldest wineries Viña Carmen, which was founded in 1850. This rosé is a combination of 8 different grapes including Sangiovese and even the local Pais. Raspberries and red currents abound on both the nose and on the taste, it is light and fruity. £8 Sainsbury


Rogers & Rufus Barossa Rosé 2022 – This wine is the result of a meeting between Rufus and Rogers an Aussie winemaker in an old London Pub which was being renovated. The suggestion was that Aussie rosé was misunderstood and they decided to create a wine more akin to one from Provence. Now in its 13th vintage this is a lovely example of how old vine grenache from the Barossa valley should be taken seriously. A wonderful light pale pink colour with flavours of red cherries, melon and white peaches which follow through on the taste with a touch of strawberries on the finish. £15.99 Simply Wines Direct, Drinks Direct


Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot 2021 – A very good example of why Hawkes Bay in the north island of New Zealand is the perfect place for growing and making wine from Merlot. This particular example comes from Gimblett Gravels made by senior winemaker Alastair Maling MW. Incredible black plum and bramble fruit notes abound on the nose and also on the taste with a hint of vanilla with soft balanced tannins. £12.49 Waitrose


Domaine de la Madone Fleurie 2021 – There is nothing like the soft red cherry, strawberry like flavours of Gamay from the Beaujolais. This is a fine example from the beautiful village of Fleurie. This wine is produced by Arnaud Despres, the 6th generation of his family to work the vineyard that takes its name from the chapel that looks down on Fleurie. This is a wine that can be enjoyed either at room temperature or even at this time of year slightly chilled. It is excellent. £12.49 de Burgh Wines

Cune Mencia 2022 – Founded in 1879 in Rioja by two brothers CVNE is still controlled by their descendants. This is a new wine from vines some of which are 20 years old, the Mencia grape in Galicia is becoming very fashionable and is proving to be Spain’s answer to the Beaujolais. This is unoaked and thus allows the aromas of raspberries and ripe red fruit come to the fore. It is soft with good tannins, well balanced with a lovely finish. £11 Morrisons


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