Our Picks: Rosés from around the world
Whether the sun is shining or not, summer is here so we have compiled an eclectic selection of rosés from around the world.
The line-up includes wine from as far afield as South Africa’s Bot River, a classic Sancerre rosé and a Provençal pink, along with other delicious rosés from the garden of England, the Veneto, the high reaches of Rioja and the slopes of the Douro Valley.
These are all perfect summer drinks. Rosé is especially food friendly and can be the ideal accompaniment to picnics and barbecues, or simply for sipping on its own over the long, light summer evenings.
Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to produce a range of modern, fruit-driven wines from vineyards in the hills outside Verona. Leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, works closely with growers and encourages them to reduce yields and pick later to obtain perfectly ripe grapes. His expertise and modern winemaking techniques ensure that the bright fruit aromas are preserved in the finished wines. The ‘R’ Rosato is a deliciously quaffable rosé made from a blend of Corvina, Merlot and Rondinella. Bursting with aromas of cherries and raspberries, this is a crisp and refreshing dry wine.
Owned and run by the Antón family, who have a background in restaurants, Izadi produces modern wines which have a great affinity with food. The ‘Larrosa’ is a 100% Garnacha produced from 50-year-old, low-yielding vines planted on chalky-clay soils at 790 metres above sea level in Rioja Alavesa. These vines yield fruit with great concentration of flavour and aromatics balanced by a lively acidity. The hand-picked bunches are handled very gently, only the free-run juice is vinified, and oak and malolactic fermentation are both avoided in order to retain the bright red fruit flavours of the Garnacha. This light and delicate rosado has a vibrancy that few can rival at this price point.
Kent-based Balfour - Hush Heath Estate has a reputation for producing top quality English sparkling and still wines. The estate has a long history dating back to 1503 and boasts a majestic Tudor manor house, apple orchards, oak forests and 25 hectares of sustainably-farmed vineyards. The winemaking team is led by Victoria Ash and Owen Elias, who is a four-time winner of the UK Vineyards Association ‘Winemaker Of The Year’ Award. ‘Nannette’s English Rose’, named after founder Richard Balfour-Lynn’s daughter, is a delicate pale pink rosé made in the Provençal style. A blend of Regent, Reichensteiner, Pinot Noir and Dornfelder grapes, it is crisp and dry on the palate and marries summer berry flavours with a subtle herbaceous character.
The Château Beaulieu estate is steeped in history. It’s vineyards have been farmed since Roman times and the Château was built in 1576 as a stronghold for King Henry III of France. The sunny, dry climate here ensures fully ripe grapes, while Mediterranean sea breezes moderate the hot, drying influence of the Mistral wind and lend the wines a delicate freshness. The ‘Cuvée Alexandre’ is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is vinified in the same way as a white wine (rather than by the 'saignée' method of drawing off part of a red wine early in its fermentation) to minimise the extraction of harsh phenolics. It is very pale in colour with fresh wild strawberry and redcurrant aromas and notes of juicy white peach and pear. Rounded on the mid-palate, it has great levels of natural acidity that give the wine a crisp and refreshing finish.
Casa Ferreirinha was the first producer in the Douro Valley dedicated to making still wines rather than Port and their range includes the Portuguese icon ‘Barca Velha’. Winemaker Luís Sottomayor restrains the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a vibrant freshness allied to a lovely depth and texture. This elegant, strawberry-scented rosé is made from 100% Touriga Nacional grown on the Quinta do Sairrão estate, which sits at 600m above sea level in the Cima Corgo sub-region. The vineyards here benefit from the cooling influence of altitude with hot days counteracted by cool nights, and the grapes undergo a slow ripening process, accumulating great flavour intensity whilst retaining acidity – ideal for the production of crisp and refreshing rosé. Precise aromas of strawberry and cherry on the nose are coupled with subtle hints of violet, while a vibrant acidity on the palate carries the flavours onto the fresh, clean finish.
The Sautereau family has been producing Sancerre for nine generations. Their 22 hectares of vineyard are situated mainly in the village of Crézancy, along with small plots located in Bué and the village of Sancerre itself. The range of soils, many of which are predominantly calcareous, allows a good range of different blending components for the wines, giving more complex and varied flavours. David Sautereau’s careful and orderly approach in his small, immaculate cellar is reflected in the purity of his wines. His Sancerre Rosé, made solely from Pinot Noir, is pale salmon in colour, with bright strawberry and raspberry fruit aromas and a touch of citrus fruit on the nose and a beautiful minerality on the palate.
Gabriëlskloof is a beautiful wine estate located near Bot River in the Overberg region east of Cape Town. The 68 hectares of vineyard are farmed sustainably with the aim to move to organic farming in the future and winemaking is overseen by the talented Peter-Allan Finlayson. The ‘Rosebud’ is a blend of Syrah and Viognier, co-fermented in the classic Provençal style in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. Beautifully aromatic, the wine balances delicate floral notes with fruity aromas of papaya, strawberry and watermelon carried by a mouth-watering acidity on the palate.