Two superb wines to enjoy before the end of summer

Peter Morrell discovers the perfect pairings for light seafood salads and hearty barbecues

Coume del Mas (left) and Kleine Zalze

Summer is still with us and people are nervously emerging from lockdown by having social distanced lunches with friends. These rare occasions deserve to be celeb­rated with a glass quality wine. Here are a couple of suggestions that will make these events extra special.

A collection of prestigious winemaking families from France’s key appellation areas make up Le Club des Grands Domaines Vignobles & Signatures, covering 1,600 hectares of vines, 11,100,000 bottles with 365 employees and a turnover of €84,000,000. The members of the Vignobles & Signatures Club are renown for the production of fine wines.

My recommendation as the ideal partner to steak comes from one of the members, Coume del Mas in Côtes du Roussillon, south-west France. The beautiful old buildings where this wine is made looks down to the shores of the Mediterranean. Vines were first planted here around 1810, and the property today has magnificent holdings of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Roussanne, Marsanne and Muscat.

The grape varieties provide scope for making excellent wines full of character and the area where this wine originates has rapidly gained a reputation for producing high-quality vintages.

The wine is the Mas Cristine 2018, a red made with 50% Syrah, 43% Grenache noir and 7% Carignan noir. It has strong black cherry and blackberries aromas in the bouquet. On the palate, it is bright and lively with good spicy notes and delicious fruit flavours. Well-structured supple tannins make this wine smooth and easy to drink. The finish is long and persistent.

Available from Hedonism Wines, Amathus (still selling the 2017) with an RRP of £24.10. Look out for deals in stores or online for £17.85.

If ever there was a match made in heaven it has to be the terroir of the Western Cape province and the Chenin Blanc grape. This juicy, aromatic grape positively excels in South Africa. One of the best examples of this wine is from the Kleine Zalze estate, a century-old producer using selected grapes from the Stellenbosch and Paarl areas. Kleine Zalze’s Cellar Selection Bush Vines Chenin Blanc 2019 is my suggestion as the perfect pairing for seafood salads and other light summer meals.

This is a dry, zesty white with strong aromas of pineapple, lime and other citrus fruits on the nose. It has a succulent palate of tropical fruits with a prominent flavour of guava combined with herbaceous notes and hints of fennel Balanced acidity and good minerality make it a very refreshing wine which leaves a fruity uplifting finish.

Available from Cheers Wine Merchants, Luvians Bottleshop, Shenfield Wines and Drinkshop.com with an RRP of £11.20

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