There’s something irresistible about a wine that knows how to blush. From a pale tinge of salmon to vibrant hot pink, rosé has risen to become a much-loved member of the wine family… particularly in SA, where sales have trebled over recent years.
Made from any red grape (from Pinotage to Pinot Noir) rosé can be as varied in style, taste and colour as their red wine cousins. There are also three major ways to produce rosé wine: skin contact, saignée or blending. And what’s more, rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling, possessing a wide range of sweetness levels.
Wondering what to pair it with? From fresh goats cheese with chili relish and a crusty loaf, to a juicy steak, right through to Pavlova laden with freshly whipped cream and raspberries: rosé goes with just about anything - that’s the joy of it.
So in honour of the great pink drink and our steady saunter toward warmer weather, here are my top picks for the summer…
1. Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2017
These Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are managed specifically with rosé in mind. Alive and bright at first sight, confected cherry notes are followed by subtle rose petal aromatics and a mineral note that holds together the different components and vibrant acidity beautifully.
2. Groote Post Pinot Noir Rosé 2017
The dry summer season resulted in healthy bunches with smaller berries of concentrated juice. As the maiden vintage for this block of Pinot Noir, this limited-release certainly does not disappoint. Welcomed by abundant strawberry and raspberry on the nose that carries through to the palate, a beautifully elegant and soft finish remains.
3. Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rosé 2017
Made from 100% Cabernet Franc, grapes receive four hours of skin contact to acquire their perfect colour. Beneath the blush, you’ll find flavours of ripe strawberries on the nose, followed by cassis and candy floss with dark red berries on the palate that finally lead to a juicy, crisp and dry finish.
4. Warwick First Lady Rosé 2017
In Warwick’s esteemed opinion, Pinotage is the perfect grape for rosé. Effortlessly elegant, balanced and delicate, the First Lady possesses the most subtle shade of pinks. Watermelon and rose petal flavours give way to a bracingly dry palate that begs you to take another sip.
5. Ernie Els Big Easy Rosè 2017
This crystalline-pink rosé is a blend of 25% Shiraz and 75% Cinsaut, offering a classically dry and yet light-bodied wine. The nose abounds with delicate fruit and a savoury edge. The palate is fruity and vibrant, with a clean and lip-smacking fresh finish.
Rosé Rocks! is South Africa’s first dedicated rosé wine competition that seeks to recognise excellence in SA’s rosé winemaking. Visit www.roserocks.co.za to find out more.