The kind of natural, skin-contact wine that’s a pleasure to drink – not always the case, alas – this is a four-way, pan-Romanian assemblage of Fetească Regală, Muscat Ottonel, Riesling and Pinot Grigio, showing admirable freshness for a wine that was made without added sulphites. Musk, brioche and white flower aromas are a scented introduction to a palate of orange zest, rose water, citrus and quince and a touch of tannic grip.
English fizzes have gained a lot of well-deserved coverage over the last decade or so, but the still wines are catching up fast, especially the ones from – believe it or not – Essex. This is a very tasty, spring-saluting pink from Crouch Valley, made with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Tangy, crunchy and bone dry with racy acidity and flavours of rosehip, cranberry and wild strawberry. Appealingly refreshing, it’s a great alternative to a Côtes de Provence rosé.
This is the first wine I’ve ever reviewed on this site from Romania, but it’s a gift to Pinot Noir lovers. Quite simply, this is the best cheap example of the grape in the world. There’s a hint of smoky oak (from a chip or a stave, no doubt), but it’s the fruit that really sings: cherry stone and raspberry with supple tannins and a core of sweetness. Not complex, but bright, cheerful and very drinkable.