Adgestone Vineyard, Owner's Reserve, Medium Dry, 2012
Do you eat ice cream on cold winter days? I do, and for some reason I fancy it more often when it is cold than during the few really hot days of summer which London allows me. Maybe for that reason I don't seem to be buying into seasonal wine reviews and I don't find that I crave heavy reds more often in winter than in spring. Therefore it is purely coincidental that I am reviewing this year's first rosé just in time for the official start of spring.
However, if you do enjoy strawberry goodness with sunshine I am sure this English rosé will deliver the goods for you this summer - almost too much, in fact.
Before we come to the "almost too much" part a few words about the background story to this wine. I bought it at the end of last summer during a short visit to the Isle of Wight. If you haven't been there let me recommend this lovely island off the south coast of England for a visit - beautiful landscape and good seafood. It also has a vineyard that comes with a bit of history. Adgestone has the claim to being one of the oldest vineyards in Britain, in fact its winegrowing history dates back to the Romans. Planted in 1968, the ten acres are set on chalky soil on a south facing slope. They grow the Germanic varieties of Müller-Thurgau, Rondo and Reichensteiner as well as Seyval-Blanc.
The Owner's Reserve is made from Rondo, in a medium dry style. And it does feature the most lovely strawberry aromas and flavours, amongst other fruit. In fact it is so full of strawberry goodness that it smells and feels almost like a concentrated strawberry drink - if served this blind I am not sure I would be able to tell it is wine from the way it smells. You do obviously realise it has alcohol when you drink it and it is definitely more serious on the tongue than the aromas would make you believe, but for me this registered as a strawberry explosion with some raspberries and a fresh aroma reminding me of radox or another cleaning product, also cherry and a touch of camomile in the finish. I had hoped for something a bit less one-dimensional, but if my description appeals to you - for a day when you want a rosé that's more refreshing than complex - the Adgestone rosé will give your plenty of English strawberry.