Aimé Roquesante Rosé ($9.99)
Côtes de Provence, France
From the producer (quite loosely translated by me!):
"Aimé Roquesante presents a pretty amber rose color and delicate notes of red fruits. In the mouth it reveals fruity and smooth flavors, authentic to the vineyards of Provence. It will awaken your palate as an aperitif, or as an accompaniment to white meat, grilled foods, or charcuterie."
From the beautiful traditional style of the curvy bottle, to the lovely salmon hue of the wine, to the balance of fruit and garrigue, this Rosé overdelivers for the price. It exemplifies the Provençal style, and is a versatile pairing wine for summer cuisines. Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah.
Place in the Sun Sauvignon Blanc ($10.99)
Stellenbosch, South Africa
From the producer:
"We grow our wines in the rich biodiversity of the Western Cape which benefits from the influence of two seas, ancient soils and a magnificent floral kingdom.
The grapes we source are from regions certified under the Fair Label Organisation (FLO) Standards which forms part of Fairtrade wine farm requirements.
Our vision is to empower farm workers to uplift their communities, making for happy people and wines that reflect this joyful character.
Colour: Bright with a lively green tint. Aroma: Upfront passion fruit and tropical notes. Palate: Crisp, well-balanced with ripe tropical flavours and hint of pineapple.
Serve with green salads, fish and pasta dishes made without cream."
South African wines are, on the whole, wildly underappreciated. This Sauvignon Blanc is a great alternative to ones from New Zealand, especially if you want a lighter wine that has a little less acidity. Tropical fruit notes, rather than grapefruit, are dominant, and it has a clean finish.
MAN Chenin Blanc ($10.99)
Paarl, South Africa
From the producer:
"The Agter-Paarl area is the ideal region for growing Chenin Blanc and our farmers have the largest collection of old vine Chenin Blanc in the country. To do justice to the excellent bush vine (un-trellised) grapes, we only use free-run juice – we don't press the grape skins – and we leave the Chenin Blanc on its lees for three to four months before bottling for a richer, fuller mouthfeel. We call this our 'sweet and sour' wine - the acidity and sweetness are perfectly balanced. We've been told many times that this is a wine you taste and immediately love - and who are we to disagree?
Ideal growing conditions, very special vines and of course our attention to detail in the winemaking create a mouth-watering Chenin Blanc with intense tropical fruit flavours offset by a vibrant acidity.
A versatile option for almost any dish - especially spicy Thai curries, Mediterranean tapas and rich seafood dishes. Great on its own too!"
Another gem from South Africa, this wine comes from a little farther north than Place in the Sun. Because of the lees aging, it has a little bit of body, but the acidity keeps it fresh and light. I've noticed that Chenin Blancs from South Africa are less fruit-driven than ones from northern France, and have a nice balance of tartness. This is a well-made and delicious wine that represents excellent value for money.