£14.25–£15.95, Grape & Grind, Carruthers & Kent, Wild & Lees
If an electric orange colour sounds alarming and likely to indicate a wine at the extreme end of the orange wine spectrum, nothing could be further from the truth. Colour excepted, this is one of the most gentle and charming introductions to the category, yet one that still has the characteristic food-pairing flair – probably the attribute that most unites this diverse category.
The 2022 is the second vintage of Pomone, which is part of the Amstramgram range, the more daring and unusual wines from Calmel & Joseph, a creative, quality-focused micro-négociant and estate-owner in Languedoc.
It’s a blend of organic Roussanne, Marsanne and Terret Gris (40:30:30), the Roussanne and Marsanne destemmed and vinified together for about a month, the later-ripening, later-picked Terret fermented in whole bunches with stems, also for a month. The wines were then blended, cold settled naturally and bottled. No sulphites were added at any point.
It has a perfume of apricot, white peach, spice (cardamom, coriander) and orange peel, additional notes of apple and green tea on the palate and a luxuriously silky texture with the lightest brush stroke of tannin, bitterness and acidity.
The label says serve it at 10–12ºC, but I like it less cold – more like 14–15º. It can be drunk without food, unlike the more tannic orange wines, but has plenty of food matching potential: pasta e fagiolo, pasta with pork ragù (capers, fennel, white wine), prawns with chorizo, miso-roast veg and aubergine dishes, stuffed vine leaves, multiple-ingredient salads, garlicky roast chicken, roast pork spiked with fennel, coriander and cumin, or an expansive meze. 13%. Empty bottle weight: 419g.
Calmel & Joseph Amstramgram Pomone Vin Orange 2022, Vin de France