Rosé riding the new wave
What will replace the tsunami of sauvignon blanc swelling around the world like a drunk hanging around a lamppost? Peter Nixon, business manager fine wine at Dan Murphy’s, reckons rosé wines will.
He could be right, as it’s a growing category, and what’s more has a swathe of interesting styles, more so than sauvignon blanc. It’s not that sauvignon blanc is all poor quality or simple, it’s the overriding dominance of the New Zealand style gaining popularity in recent years that has turned me against the cultivar. It’s a style I haven’t come to love, but give me a good sancerre and I’m happy.
In an article earlier this year Nixon said sales of rosé had increased between 200 and 300 per cent in the over-$10 category.
It’s not just Australia that is turning to rosé wines. They are climbing up the ladder in the US and UK too. The wines have done away with the insipid and cheap reputation they held for decades. Exports of Provence rosé are at record levels.
On the next visit to a bottle shop look closer at the rosé section. You could be pleasantly surprised.
La Vie en Rose Cotes de Provence 2015: Another wine from the girls at Wine Unplugged, this is ethereal one moment, zesty and zinging the next. Though light, the flavours last forever. 94 points and a little expensive at $30, but it really is worth it.
Jacob’s Creek ‘Barosé’ Barossa Rosé 2016: Oh me, oh my, the mighty Pernod Ricard, a company driven by brand identification and value of brand, has come to realise that brand may not have the overall dominance they thought it had. True, it works with beer and spirits, but less so with wine. This latest edition to the range has a new and, in my opinion, smart look.
It does state very clearly “Jacob’s Creek” but centre stage in large print is “Barosé”. It also states “Dry & Crisp” and it is exactly that. Good on its own, it works at the table as well, which is fortunate as it’s for on-premise only. As on-premise prices can range widely it’s hard to give a value-for-money rating, but it’s a 93-point wine.
Jacob’s Creek ‘Le Petit Rosé’ 2016: A South Eastern Australian blend made from pinot noir, grenache and mataro. The colour is too garish for me. It may be unfair but I distrust that fluorescent pink in rosé. The taste is better than the colour but it didn’t stand out as anything special. 90 points. The price is confusing, as $17 is high, but I notice it’s only $12.75 for members of the Jacob’s Creek wine club, which is closer to the mark.
Oliver’s Taranga Vineyard ‘Chica Mencia’ Rosé 2016: Spanish in origin, mencia has not in the past been noted as a producer of fine wine, but times are changing, as this extract from an article in The Daily Telegraph (UK) by Susy Atkins in August 2015 shows:
“It’s mencia, a grape that creates wonderfully scented, deeply fruity red wines alive with strawberry, blackcurrant and mulberry juiciness. Mencia has something of the character of good Beaujolais, or Loire Valley cabernet franc, yet also a character of its own.”
It also makes a fine rosé, as this wine demonstrates. It’s an attractive, pale salmon in colour but far from pale on the palate. Nor is it aggressive, simply impressive from start to finish. 93 points and worth the $25 asked.
Domaine Chandon Victoria Pinot Noir Rosé 2016: (At the time of tasting the 2015 was still on website.) This hit every pleasure point there is across the palate. True, it was on the youthful side when tasted (August 2016), but it’s not going to take years to develop. It should be gorgeous drinking by December. 93 points now and I think one more to come. It’s a top-end price at $32 but it is quality all the way.
Mad Fish Western Australian Shiraz Rosé 2016: Hint of savoury on the nose, and easy across the palate with outcrops of flavour here and there. 90 points and an OK price at $18, but there’s a lot of competition around that price point.
Mad Fish Moscato 2016: This was swept into the tasting on colour alone, though technically it shouldn’t be here. Nonetheless, it’s a smart wine. With just 5.5 per cent alcohol and a sweetness that is balanced with its acidity, it’s what I think off as a pre-lunch wine to drink with ripe peach or mango on a sunny Sunday. 91 points and worth its $20.
Gapsted ‘Ballerina Canopy’ King Valley Sangiovese Rosé 2016: I note on the website this wine is sold out, but I believe it is available via Vinomofo. I hope so, because it’s a beautiful expression of savoury, slightly bitter (good) edge wine that is not only a pleasure to savour but to take to the table. 93 points and $26 is fair value.