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    Is it wine o’clock yet? Yes way, Rosé!


    If you were looking to purchase a bottle of Rosé here 30 years ago, chances are the pickings were slim.

    The Portuguese dominated the market, and what was available was average at best. Since then, winemaking techniques have developed and the consumer’s palate has broadened.

    With these advancements, the popularity of Rosé in Australia has experienced considerable growth in recent years.

    The Rosé wines of Provence in the South of France are among the finest in the world. The wines produced in this region are generally pale pink in colour and bone dry.

    Yet vinification methods are open to interpretation depending on the many varying factors of winemaking.

    The modern style of Rosé can cover a broad spectrum of flavour profiles. Drier styles will be quite citrusy on the palate with a crunchy rhubarb finish. They will be lean and edgy and sometimes smack you in the mouth.

    Alternatively, the wine could be a deeper colour, showing riper fruit flavours of strawberry and cherry. Some of these wines have an almost confectionary quality with varying degrees of sweetness.

    Rosé is made from red wine grapes normally indicative of what is grown in the region.

    The main methods employed in the production of Rosé are maceration and Saignée.

    During the maceration process, de-stemmed grapes are crushed with the juice left to sit on the skins for a short period of time. This is at the discretion of the winemaker depending on the style they are going for. Longer skin contact will produce are darker, fuller flavoured wine.

    The Saignée method bleeds the juice from the initial crush of a wine destined to be a red wine.

    In both instances the juice is fermented in stainless steel and then bottled.

    Rosé should be vibrant, zesty and drunk in its youth and it is best enjoyed at the earlier stage of your meal or gathering. Perhaps best of all, it is a drink well suited to tropical climates.


    2016 BLUE PYRENEES – BONE DRY ROSÉ

    Grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
    Region: Pyrenees, Victoria
    ABV: 11

    The cool-climate Pinots lend themselves well to this wine, bringing a certain delicacy and restraint.

    There’s a lovely whiff of creamy red berries on the nose and the palate is balanced and quite subtle without exhibiting some of the overt aggression that some dryer roses can show.

    This is a good wine to try if you’re looking to venture away from the deeper pink style of wine.

    It would make a fantastic aperitif or stand up nicely with some Brie and crackers.


    2015 GERARD BERTRAND – COTE DES ROSES AOC

    Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah
    Region: Languedoc, France
    ABV: 12.

    Don’t let the paleness of this wine disguise the pack that it can punch.

    I can smell hints of summer fruits and orange peel. Upon tasting the wine, it really enlivened the tastebuds with a citrusy jolt of grapefruit. There’s a lovely core of a little fruit sweetness that balances the wines nicely.

    Crack a bottle of this with freshly shucked oysters and steamed mussels.


    2014 LOVERS NOT TORREADORS ROSÉ

    Grapes: Rare Rosé Blend
    Region: Ribera del Duero, Spain
    ABV: 13.5

    This wine captures the goodtime vibe, and ticks all the right boxes. Vibrant and juicy, it’s a wine hard not to like.

    I had difficulty pinpointing a definite grape variety, though I suspect there is Tempranillo plus a few others.

    The extended skin contact gives this wine good texture and mouth feel. There’s noticeably more concentration of fruit on the palate compared to the drier styles, which is complemented nicely by a zippy finish.

    I see this wine as a proper crowd-pleaser and would pair beautifully with some spicy Thai food.


    2016 CHARLES MELTON – “ROSÉ OF VIRGINIA”

    Grapes: Grenache
    Region: Barossa Valley
    ABV: 12.5

    This wine grabs your attention the moment it hits the glass, exhibiting a brilliant hue of cerise. A subtle nose of spice and Turkish delight follow and draw you in further.

    Strawberries and cherries burst through on the palate, only this time the flavours are more complex: the bone-dry zing to finish adds another dimension to what I found to be such a fun wine.

    There’s so much to like about this wine. It’s generous without being over the top and displays a degree of finesse not commonly associated with Rosés on the darker end of the spectrum.

    Yes, it is more expensive than some other Rosés, but I believe the price is justified in comparison to the other wines I tasted.

    This would be perfect with a salad of roast duck and cherries.