Sunday, April 22, 2018


There is a bewildering choice of Rosés out there, as they have grown rapidly in popularity. They can come from many different countries, for example France, Italy, Australia, Spain. They are made from different grapes, such as Grenache, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Cabernet or even Pinot Gris. They can be made as a by-product to red wine production or as a focus. They spring up from many otherwise unknown wineries and often have unusual brand names.

When I look for a Rosé, I am after a dry summer wine, but with a good structure. I like the colour to be pale and have a preference for the Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo grape. Grenache can be attractive, too, but is often too sweet. Shiraz and Cabernet deliver a wine too big for my preferred profile in most cases.

At a recent tasting of 10 French and 10 Australian Rosés, I liked the 2016 Perle by Roseline for its dry finish, and the 2016 Verget Rosé de la Terre for its slightly fuller mouthfeel. Both wines are from Provence, Grenache based and not expensive.

From Australia, the 2017 By Farr Saignée sets a benchmark. This is a serious wine with penetrating citrus and orange peel flavours. Different, and contrary to the profile I described as desirable, is the 2017 Torbreck Woodcutter's Rosé. This is Barossa Valley and obviously Shiraz based. The colour is deeper, and the wine has more body. It has an attractive savoury finish, reminding me of some Spanish Rosés. In contrast, the 2017 Bird in Hand from the Adelaide Hills is more typical of the profile I usually try to seek out: pale, light and dry.

There are few (no) rules when it comes to Rosés. Its best to try a few out, almost randomly. I am sure you will find something you enjoy. Any favorites you can recommend?

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