2020 will be remembered for the struggle caused by Covid 19. But for one Englishman it will also be remembered for a small miracle which took place in his vineyard, in the south of France. Tom Hills, of Gt Horkesley, Colchester, has these past years, been producing his own artisanal organic wines in France`s Saint Chinian region of Languedoc. It hasn`t been an easy road, but he has been brave, and inventive, facing many challenges on the way; Covid just one of them. Another of his challenges has been working within the Saint Chinian winemaking regulations, which he has done, diligently, all these years, in the making of his Rosé and three red wines. But this run of adherence finally came to an end during the making of his 2020 vintage Rosé wine, when Tom found he could not be restrained any longer and broke with the rules. As a result, he has been excluded from using both the domaine name, and the Saint Chinian appellation, on the 2020 vintage label, and it is (in his words) “plain old `Vin de France` this year”. Except it really isn`t. Because it`s by far the best Rosé he has made to date. In fact, it is a master class in Rosé wine production, and therein is the small miracle. Tom, loving all things organic, has always endeavoured to make wine using natural yeasts from his own vineyards and winery, but it`s a tricky business, and he has time and time again had to fall back on the use of cultured yeasts to complete the ferments. That is, until the making of the 2020 Rosé, when he successfully carried out a 100% indigenous fermentation. Ironically, in the year he was stripped of his appellation! The result, a beautifully- balanced pale pink wine with fresh, delicate white peach, both complex and thrilling. That the legislators of Saint Chinian won`t grant him either domaine status, or their appellation name, this year, is their loss, I suggest, not his. Well done, Tom. Domaine La Lauzeta Corteza Rosé, £18.99 per bottle, now in stock.