Saturday, 12 May 2012
Six Rosés For Summer
But - at some point and perhaps only briefly - summer must arrive, and so I arranged to review half-a-dozen roses with colleagues.
In an attempt to try them in a vaguely sensible order, we started with the palest and lowest in alcohol and worked through to the darkest and highest in alcohol. Sort of.
Villa Maria Private Bin Rosé 2010, East Coast, New Zealand - £9.99, Tesco, Majestic
Made from mostly Sauvignon Blanc, with Riesling and Chardonnay in there as well, this has just 4% Malbec for colour.
It makes for a curious wine and, although it proves popular with colleagues, I'm really not sure what to make of it - the aromatic, herbaceous Marlborough Sauvignon dominates whilst the Malbec adds a touch of spice.
With 96% white wine grapes, I'm not sure this can really count as a rosé.
Les Pins Couches Rosé 2010, Vin de pays de Méditerranée - £9.25, Ocado
Made by Rhone superstar Jean-Luc Colombo, this is a proper rose, being a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre.
However, it's not all completely textbook, as the wine is aged for a year in mostly-new oak; almost unheard of for a rose.
On the nose, there is subtle red fruit and a hint of garrigue, whilst the palate feels full and rounded, with lovely acidity and good depth of flavour. The finish is persistent with toasty-yeasty aromas.
It feels very well-made and balanced and immediately proves popular with colleagues.
Vina Caliterra Reserva Shiraz Rosé 2011, Colchagua Valley - £8.49, Independents
Made from mostly Shiraz with a dash of Cab, this is the colour of cranberry juice which puts a lot of people off as they associate the colour with sweetness and expect not to like it.
Maybe it's this initial impression, but this one is not as well received as I'd hope, as it is very good indeed. The nose is aromatic and complex, with raspberry and cherry fruit.
The palate is rounded with good depth and a touch of flintsmoke, whilst the finish is persistent and savoury.
It improves with air and re-sampled at the end, has really opened up.
Lourensford River Garden Rosé 2011, Stellenbosch - £7.99, Independents
A blend of roughly equal quantities of Mourvedre and Shiraz, this has aromas of sweet watermelon on the nose.
The palate shows a pleasantly creamy texture, good crisp acidity and a persistent finish that is slightly hot.
Grant Burge gb11 Rosé 2011, South Australia - £8.50, Independents
In the last couple of years, Australia's white have gone all cool-climate and lean in an attempt to move away from the stereotype of ripe, tropical Chardie.
However, no-one seems to have told Grant Burge and this wine, the colour of cranberry juice, is aromatic on the nose, with aromas of toffee apple.
The palate shows simple forest berry fruit with a sherbet-ey spritz and a sweetness on the finish.
This proves to be the least well-liked of the evening with even our resident Aussie mumbling his disappointment.
CUNE Rosado 2011, Rioja - £9.49, Majestic, Independents
Made from 100% Tempranillo, this shows aromas of ripe red berries on the nose.
The palate is mouthfilling with crisp acidity and more red-berry fruit; there is some smokey-toastiness and a touch of minerality. Slightly hot on the finish.
Mostly, these were good to very good roses. Being from generally warmer regions, they are crowd-pleasing sippers with (mostly) balanced residual sugar more than crisp, linear picnic wines with some aromatic grapeskin aroma.
The popular favourite was the Colombo which was very good; for me personally, the Caliterra was also excellent.
Tesco - http://www.tescowine.com/
Majestic - http://www.majestic.co.uk/
Ocado - http://www.ocado.com/