To select the best summer wines, we enlisted the help of the experts at east London wine bar Sager + Wilde. The following edit covers every type of wine – red, white, sparkling, skin contact (orange), and rosé – and offers a higher-end selection and a more affordable selection for each.
Sparkling summer wines
Higher: Domaine de Bichery Blanc de Noirs ‘Les Terres Meles’ 2019, Cotes des Bar, Champagne FR
This is a Pinot Noir champagne with no filtration, fining or dosage. The wine is allowed to go through a natural chilling during the winter, giving a complex, layer flavour.
Lower: Valdisole Arneis Pet Nat 2021 Roero, Piedmont IT
Tasting Notes for this Italian sparkling wine are a very aromatic fizz bursting with tropical notes of lychee, peach, mango and candid pineapple. Palate is clean and mouthwatering with well integrated fizz.
White summer wines
Higher: Alfredo Egia Hondarrabi Zerratia / Hondarrabi Zuri ‘Izaki’ 2020 Txakolina, Basque SP
Izaki is the latest addition to the range to Alfredo Egia, a small winery in the Basque Country. Its fermentations are always spontaneous and largely carried out in French oak barrels. Wines undergo a rather extensive lees ageing, and part of the production is intentionally not topped up.
Lower: Longarico Catarratto ‘Nostrale’ 2021 Alcamo, Sicily IT
Tasting notes for this wine from the small Italian vineyard Longarico Catarratto include chamomile, golden pineapple and a herbal lift. The wine is ripe and tropical with some bite and texture on the palate. Aromatic notes and sweet spices come through on the palate.
Sink contact (orange) summer wines
Higher: Do.t.e Trebbiano / Grechetto / Malvasia di Candia ‘Heaven & Hell’ 2020 Costona, Tuscany IT
This deep orange wine comes from do.t.e., which stands for ‘down to earth’, reflecting the founders’ mission to produce wine without the use of chemical substances in either the vineyard or cellar.
Lower: Freya’s Marani Tsolikouri / Krakhuna ‘Wind and Rain’ 2020 Persati, Imereti GE
This summer wine is from the vineyard of young winemaker Freya ÉnekIn, who relocated from her native Massachusetts to Georgia in 2014. All work is carried out by hand and farming is strictly organic without the use of any additives or chemical substances. In the cellar, the approach is as hands-off as it can be but with respect to the ancient ancestral methods.
Rosé summer wines
Higher: Amorotti Montepulciano ‘Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo’ 2020 Abruzzo IT
Gaetano Carboni is the man behind this incredible estate in Abruzzo, which dates back to 1521. Tasting notes are soft red cherry notes, quince, clementine and cream lend to dried herbs and a herbal lift. Amazing concentration and roundness on the palate that is refreshed by a mouthwatering acidity.
Lower: Meinklang Blaufränkisch / Zweigelt ‘Rose’ 2022, Burgenland AT
Meinklang is a family-run mixed farm situated at the heart of the World Heritage Site of the Neusiedlersee National Park. The farm is located on the eastern side of the famous Neusiedlersee Lake, bordering the Hungarian lowlands. The flavour profile for this rosé is fresh raspberry, wild raspberry and wet stones. A beautifully clean and crystal clear palate with fresh red fruit.
Red summer wines
Higher: Raj Parr Mencia 2020 Cambria, California USA
Rajat Parr is a famous sommelier, best known for various projects across California and Oregon, who has most recently taken on a new project in Cambria. The vineyards there are farmed according to a holistic approach, inspired by biodynamic, permaculture and regenerative agricultural practices. In the cellar, all wines are spontaneously fermented. The wines are raised in old oak barrels before being bottled without any fining, filtering nor SO2 addition.
Lower: Domaine des Moriers Gamay ‘Beaujolais Villages’ 2020 Beaujolais FR
Domaine des Moriers was born from the passion of Beaujolais terroir, where Gamay reveals itself like nowhere else. This red has an elegant and perfumed flavour. Redcurrants and red cherry meet violets and rose petal aromas. It has a long, lingering finish.
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Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.
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