With the heat of summer approaching there is nothing quite like the versatility of a pink wine. As refreshing as a white with a long line of lively acid with more body and deeper berried flavours.
There has been a recent movement towards the Provencal style of rosé. A style which is a pale salmon in colour, with little residual sugar or sweetness and a silkiness that comes from some time on lees. The best of these wines are made with fruit specifically chosen for that wineand have a savoury edge of cream, spice and maybe some gentle dried herbs such as lavender to the ripe berry fruit.
Of course, sometimes the sweeter styles can be just the ticket when it is very hot. They are also a good match for Asian flavours making it a easy choice to take to your local BYO. We are lucky in Australia to have a range of choices available even though sometimes it does not feel that way when you are staring at a fridge stocked with little choice other than Sauvignon Blanc, and a rosé shelf full of bright pink wines that are usually sweet, simple and fruity.
Here are five to look for this summer:-
Shingleback Salmon Rosé 2014 ($16) – Exclusive to Vintage Cellars. Strawberries and cream with cinnamon and some floral spice. Soft fleshed, medium bodied with balance and poise and a long and silky texture. A good pale dry rosé.
Kalleske Rosina 2014 ($19) – Made from Barossa grown grenache, shiraz and a touch of Viognier. A deeper pink with a sweet floral, berry and spice. There is a whiff of stonefruit in the glass as well adding to the perfume. Just off dry with a soft fleshy middle that dries on the finish to leave palate clean and fresh. Medium in length but pretty and there is some pleasing complexity and texture. And Kalleske are a biodynamic producer. I have a few of these stashed away for when friends drop in.
Domain Chandon Pinot Noir Rose 2014 ($19) – There is a bronze stain to this pink. Fresh strawberries topped with cream on a pastry base of spice topped with some dried mint and lavender. With that bronze hue, there is a rich silk and the wine takes you on a intense ride as the flavour builds and swirls. Long and juicy, it finishes with a more delicate touch of exotic spice and cream on the finish. It is just as good with food or without, particularly for $19.
Charles Melton Rose of Virginia 2014 ($21) – One of Australia’s most famous pink coloured wines and it is almost in a class of its own. It is a big rosé with deep rose colour, almost a light red. Made from grenache, it is ripe with redolent strawberries and raspberries, perfume and some light herbs. The residual sugar (around 7 g/L) is not really noticeable and gives balance to the wine while adding some extra weight. On the palate it boldly displays a full body for a roséwine, a plush mid palate and a long finish with some savoury allspice to add complexity. An excellent food wine as well as a refreshing alternative to a red wine in summer.
Bird in Hand Pinot Noir Rose 2014 ($25) – Rose petals and strawberry jam come to mind with the first whiff of this wine, then comes the caramel spice and dried lavender as you take a deeper breathe. Just off dry, with a solid block of fruit on the finish. This rosé is styled as with a fuller body and intense flavours.