Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Wine Club 5 August

Having just finished researching a book on champagne and sparkling wine (out in October since you ask), I’ve been awash with fizz. There must have been 150 bottles cluttering my office at one point — I couldn’t even reach the telly to watch the cricket. I began to get the sweats whenever I heard a cork pop and for a nasty moment thought I’d never be able to stare a bottle of bubbles in the face again.

Happily, thanks in part to the scrumptious Le Colture Rosé Vino Spumante Brut NV (1) which arrived from Corney & Barrow just as I was about to panic, I’m now firmly on the mend. It’s irresistible.

A deliciously pale pink blend of 70 per cent Chardonnay and 30 per cent Merlot, it’s produced by the Ruggeri family, makers of fine wines in Valdobbiadene — Prosecco country — since 1500. It’s created in exactly the same manner as Prosecco (although not with the Prosecco/Glera grape) and is utterly delightful, being crisp, clean and refreshing, with a touch of wild strawberry fruit on the finish. £11.80 with the Brett-Smith Indulgence (whereby you get £6 off a case when buying two dozen bottles or more), £12.30 without, down from a Corney’s list price of £12.95.

The 2016 Marqués de la Musa Viura/Chardonnay (2) is simplicity itself. A blend of 90 per cent Viura and 10 per cent Chardonnay, it’s from Cariñena in Aragon, north eastern Spain. Here, high in the Pyrenees foothills, hot days are followed by cold nights, leading to ripe fruit backed by an exhilarating freshness. Light, fresh and citrusy with a long clean finish, it’s a perfect poolside accompaniment. £6.63 with the B-SI, £7.13 without, down from £7.50.

The 2015 Soave Terre di Brognoligo Classico Cecilia Beretta (3) is first rate.

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