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From Britain to Chile via France

Philip Hamer looks for something rather different as he chooses some impressive wines for summer drinking�

Published on January 14th 2010.

From Britain to Chile via France

Optimism at a time of bleak feelings nationally has inspired me to look this summer for wines that lift your mood and are a little bit different. On this occasion they’ve been obtained from outlets almost within spitting distance - not that you would do that to these wines - of each other in Manchester city centre.

Chapel Down Vintage Reserve Brut (£14 99 from Selfridges).
This is a sparkling wine which EU rules prevent us from calling champagne. It comes from Tenterden in the heart of the Kent countryside. Sharing the same geological fault lines with the French champagne vineyards combined with enhanced wine making skills has meant that this wine has surprised many champagne enthusiasts with its quality at recent tastings. It is well- structured sparkling wine with hawthorn and citrus flavours underpinned by a yeasty aftertaste. To imbibe this is not just an obligatory patriotic gesture but a real choice of a quality product.

En la Tradition Rose NV Cotes de St Mont (£6.70 though on special promotion for 8 weeks from end of June at £5.99 from Nicolas in the Barton Arcade).
In Provence the French produce arguably the greatest and most expensive rose wines in the world and Nicolas, which stocks almost entirely French wine, has some superb examples. This impressive off dry and yet fruity example comes from South West France, and though sufficiently vibrant to be drunk on its own, is also robust enough to accompany any food.

Secano Pinot Noir Rose 2007 (£7.49 at Marks and Spencer).
Chile doesn’t produce much rosé and this wine made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, close to the Pacific in the Leyda Valley is a truly fantastic wine. A distinctive crisp acidity gives a lovely edge to this taste. It’s one of those wines that should be snapped up now as it is something of a rarity and an eminently enjoyable one too.

Nostros Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 (£8.00 at Hanging Ditch).
It tells you much about the stunning wines Chile is currently producing that we return there and to the Pinot Noir grape variety for our summer red. When I first drunk this earlier in the year it was a revelation in both price and quality and is undoubtedly my wine of the year so far. This is a delicate and elegant wine from Chile’s Casablanca valley and if it rains this year as it has done perpetually for the last two summers this will be the perfect consolation.

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EditorialJune 2nd 2009.

Good point! This is what happens when we nick their stuff. We'll get the wine chap over this way next time. Better still, we feel a trip to Oddbins coming on, and Scatchardss and and Home Bargains....Goodbye

LiverpolitanJune 2nd 2009.

Nicolas stocks foie gras too - yum yum!

mariaJune 2nd 2009.

Hi. Im sommelier and love the chapel down ... this weekend Im going yo try the english rose ... ive tried before bacchus ..but I know that they are seling in Marks and Spencer , reat for summer days .... well hope will be good as bachus or pinot blanc... anyway happy to see some wine in this site !

genco17June 2nd 2009.

Hi,How come only one of these wines is available in Liverpool?? Is this Liverpool or Manchester Confidential???

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