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What our expert thought of Brightwell, Oxford Rose




the tasting

The Tasting


This is not a pale, Provence-style rose that has seen just a couple of hours on the skins.  The French would call this a “vin d’une nuit”, and that overnight skin contact has produced a wine that’s a vibrant coral pink.
 
There’s nothing reticent about the nose either!  It smells delightfully summery, with floral scents of rose and camomile backed up by small red summer berries (some strawberry, but mostly cranberry and redcurrant) and a streak of orangey citrus.  Hints of cut grass and briny sea air add interest and imply that the wine will be dry.
 
And so it is, with fresh acidity that builds through the palate, nicely balanced by the sweet-fruited flavours of red cherry and pink grapefruit that build with it.  For a rosé this is decidedly full-bodied.
 
The mouthwatering acidity comes through on the long and textured, slightly saline finish, where the red fruits develop a leafy quality before ending on a lasting impression of grapefruit pith.


Assessment


This is no delicate, pretty pink!  It’s decidedly full and structured, and will really suit food.  I very much like its rare combination of ripeness and minerality.  Most rosés need to be drunk in their first year or two, but at three years old this one is just hitting its stride.
 
We have the fine acidity to thank for that longevity, which has allowed more complexity to build up, especially on the multi-faceted nose.  Despite the rather un-British ripeness of the palate, this is still identifiably English: that distinctive grapefruit-pith finish is pretty much the hallmark of English still whites.  And rosés too, it would seem!



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear medium+ coral pink
Nose

Intensity medium, medium+ with air

Aromas floral (rose, daisy/camomile), grass cuttings, red berries (cranberry, redcurrant, some strawberry), citrus (orange), mineral (sea air)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness dry, but sweet-fruited

Acidity medium+, backloaded

Body medium(+?), decidedly full for a rosé

Intensity medium+, backloaded again

Flavours ripe red fruit (cherry), citrus (pink grapefruit), mineral (stony)
Finish

Length long

Flavours mouthwatering, textured and mineral (saline), leafy, grapefruit pith (esp. at end)
Other notes
Unoaked. Complex, summer-scented nose. Acid & fruit intensity both build & balance nicely. Ripeness and minerality. Grapefruit-pith finish very English.


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