6 great rosés for International Rosé Day!

13 Aug 2015

It’s International Rosé Day on Friday, there’s a new word for our dictionaries – Brosé for men who like pink but only butch versions of it - and there’s a brand new competition here in SA, the first one ever exclusively for Rosés. Rosé Rocks! is chaired by industry-legend Allan Mullins CWM and is looking for the finest pink wines in the country. Results will be out mid-September but in the meantime, here are some lovely pinks which have come my way recently.

Fleur du Cap Natural Light Rosé 2015    R44 cellar door
This is a really pretty, girly-little wine – a lovely colour, pretty packaging and lower alcohol (9.7%) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t thoroughly enjoyable. It’s off-dry but has a brisk acidity running through it and is a very pleasant, fruity little number. The low alcohol means that it’s a bit healthier and certainly better for you if you’re driving after a glass of it. Made from Chenin Blanc with a tweak of Pinotage to add the colour and some red berry fruit, it’s a Proudly South African wine for all to enjoy.

Allée Bleue Starlette Shiraz Rosé 2015    R45 cellar door
This wine cleaned up at the recent Terroir Awards, winning Top Rosé – and I for one wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised. I taste their wines for the Platter Guide so I don’t want to jump that gun other than to say that if you want summer in a glass, this should be VERY high on your list!

Durbanville Hills Merlot Dry Rosé 2015    R45 cellar door
Unlike many of the other rosés in this article, this one is very definitely bone-dry. It uses ripe, sweet soft Merlot berries from which just a hint of colour is extracted before it gets treated as a white wine and fermented till there is very little sugar remaining. Full of summer berries with an appetising, lipsmacking quality to it, it’s a great match for summer salads or light chicken dishes.

Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 2015 and Culinaria Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2015 (R47 and R75 respectively)
I actually received 2 versions of this combination so this is a ‘2 recommends for the price of 1’ kind of review! This is the more familiar version – a straightforward, slightly off-dry pink with plenty of berries and cherries and a cheerful acidity to freshen it up. The other wine comes from the Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Collection and is a Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Actually, this one isn’t that much of a rosé at all and it’s a much more serious proposition. The fruit is concentrated enough to handle some time in oak and the result is a great wine for food – depth, freshness, creamy red & yellow stone fruit making a delicious wine.

Delheim Pinotage Rosé 2015    R57 cellar door
I took this wine along to one of my WSET wine courses (www.thewinecentre.co.za) because it does such a wonderful job of being a pink wine! It’s made from mainly Pinotage – obviously – but they add just a hint of Muscat which gives it a wonderful perfume and really enhances the red fruit flavours. It’s only just off-dry but is so fresh and appetising, you can enjoy it with any food but slightly-spicy Thai food should be the best match.

Pierre Jourdan Tranquille 2015 and Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot Noir 2015 (R50 and R85 respectively)
Another dual recommend here and actually, neither of these wines is strictly-speaking a rosé! So why am I including them? Well, the Tranquille always has a touch of richness to the colour coming from the Pinot Noir grapes. It’s a fresh, lively blend with Chardonnay and is actually the still wine from which they would make their lovely MCC’s.

The Unwooded Pinot Noir, on the other hand, is classed as a RED wine but I always treat it as a rosé because that’s how it works best. My husband does some work for Haute Cabriere and I was lucky enough to be invited to a private family celebration the other day at which copious amounts of the Unwooded Pinot Noir were the perfect match for seared tuna. So there you go – 1 too pale to be pink & 1 too dark, but both of them fitting into the general category with aplomb!

- Cathy Marston


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