Sunday, September 18, 2016

100 Rosés

Rosés are probably the flavour of the month, but to attend a tasting of 100 odd Rosés is a seriously bewildering affair for a number of reasons. You would never have heard of most producers. Rosé can be based on pretty much any red grape variety (I encountered Black Muscat), although Grenache, Sangiovese and Pinot Noir are most prominent. There are a number of quite different production methods, and maturation can be in tank or oak. All the major wine countries, like France, Spain and Italy produce Rosé, but I will simply highlight three Australian wines which impressed me.

The 2015 Farr Rising Saignée is a 'serious' wine. Based on Pinot Noir, it has quite a dark colour, as the juice had considerable skin contact. Maturation in oak gives this wine a solid tannin structure.

The 2015 Chalmers Rosato from Heathcote is quite a different wine. The family is committed to Italian varieties and different ones go into the Rosato, depending on the vintage. Aglianico, Sagrantino and Negroamaro have been used. The colour of this wine is salmon pink. The wine is bone dry, with chalky notes.

The 2016 Schmölzer & Brown Prêt-a-Rosé from Beechworth has quite a big mouthfeel. This is an up and coming winery and the Rosé is a good example. It is made from Pinot Noir and Sangiovese. The wine is certainly bigger than the Chalmers, with more obvious fruit, but it finishes dry - a happy compromise.

Overall, the fruity wines were in the minority, and the future seems bright. The three wines above should satisfy serious wine drinkers.

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