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 wines from as far afield as the coastal vineyards of Uruguay and 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.
Winner of the 2018 Wine Enthusiast ‘New World Winery of the Year’ award, Bodega Garzón is a family-owned winery in Maldonado on the Atlantic coast in southern Uruguay. They pioneered viticulture in this area over 10 years ago, and have since become the standard-bearer for premium wines from Uruguay. Their 700 hectares of vineyards are cooled by sea breezes and are a complex patchwork quilt of terroirs with over 1000 individual vineyard plots specially matched to different grape varieties. The Bodega Garzón Pinot Noir Rosé undergoes a cool fermentation in stainless steel to preserve the vibrant fruit character of the grapes. This wine boasts delicate aromas of red cherry, strawberry and raspberry coupled with a refreshing acidity and a marked minerality on the 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.