It was last year whilst dining at Bellita on Bristol’s Cotham Hill, when I was first introduced to it’s effervescent co-owner Kate Hawkings who also runs the incredible Bells Diner down in Montpelier. We were being unusually indecisive about the wine b of her own recomendation. One of my beautiful dining companions Xanthe Clay asked us if we noticed anything unique about the wine list. Nothing leapt out at me so she had to spell it out: Every wine on there was made by a female winemaker. OK, I don’t think we was ever going to get that one unless Xanthe told us – But what I did notice was a Bristolian rosé on the list. What? “Do you think it’s any good?” I wondered. After a bottle of pink fizz and two delicious French reds, we didn’t give it a bleary-eyed sample at 11pm on a Friday night. I thought maybe we should wait for the next session!
Roll on lunch at Poco in Stokes Croft many months later, and there it was: Dunleavy Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé 2014. A wine made in the heart of the beautiful Wrington Vale in Somerset, just outside Bristol by Ingrid Bates and Stephen Dunleavy. The Vineyards were planted by owner and manager Ingrid in 2008 and are now producing this heavenly rosé. I then realised that this is the wine that Susie Barrie and Peter Richards were talking about when they said “Have you heard about the great rosé that’s being made just outside Bristol?” I have now!
So without hesitation I ordered a glass and immediately wished I’d ordered an entire bottle. This wine was one of the loveliest pinks that I’d tasted all year – Not just English pinks but pinks in general! Why order by the glass?! Vibrant cherry sherbert flavours and tangy strawberries leapt out of the glass and mesmerised me, making me wish it were a hot summers day!
With the 2014 vintage all but gone, the launch of the 2015 batch is imminent and I have managed to grab myself a bottle ahead of the launch! Woo-Hoo!… But it’s not for me. I intend to give it away at the demo I’m hosting at Bristol Food Connections tomorrow. I felt I couldn’t recommend a wine from anywhere else than Bristol on the first day of the festival, so here it is! And if you fancy seeing me, Xanthe, Pete Lawrence, Genevieve Taylor and Rob Wicks chat about putting food on the telly, come over to the Orangerie on College Green at 5pm on Saturday 30th April for an hour of fun and frolics and at least one glass of wine!:
Well someone’s in for a treat when they win this bottle as I hear it’s even better than the 2014 and with hopes of producing a sparkling rosé in the future, Ingrid and Stephen clearly know what they’re doing. If the bubbles are half as good as this – it’ll kick ass!
Dunleavy Vineyards Pinot Rosé will be on the shelves in independent wine shops soon.