NV Ayala Brut Ros, Champagne, France (£26.99, Marks & Spencer).
It's the time of year when your thoughts should be turning to romance and how to toast St Valentine on February 14th and I am sure that you are all champing at the bit to hose down your loved one with a bottle of smart ros Champagne.
This is a good plan, and I would usually recommend NV Billecart-Salmon Ros (£42.00, Oddbins, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Lea & Sandeman) because it is downright delicious. But this year I think that forty quid is a little bit of a stretch, so I have nestled into the loving arms of Ayala Ros and its far more manageable price tag.
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Ayala, based in the brilliant village of A (hence the name), is a brand going through nothing short of a ballistic improvement in quality, thanks to the new owners, Bollinger also residents of this stellar village. Ayala is home to the finest Pinot Noir grapes in Champagne, so it is perhaps no surprise that these wines have structure and presence in the glass. Such impressive raw materials give you an awful lot more to hang onto, and add to this considerable breeding and elegance on the aroma and finish.
You really have a desperately sexy wine to wallow in and something that will no doubt allow you to perform at your highest level of wooing.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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