Rose time again
Warm sunny weather, time to enjoy a glass of sunshine in the garden – try roses
Whether you like rose wines because you like the colour, the taste, just for a change from white or red or because it is a compromise between white and red wines there is bound to be one for you! Roses are taken seriously by winemakers who focus on their quality, flavour, and style there is a wide range around to try.
There are three main ways to make rosé wines. As the colour of a wine is contained in the grape skins the amount of contact that a fermenting wine has with the skins will determine the depth of colour in the finished wine. The greater the length of time the greater the colour and it is a delicate balancing act to ensure that there is sufficient colour without too much tannin. The small amount of tannin present in the rosé wine means the wine is soft and delicate in style and can be enjoyed chilled without the presence of dry grippy tannins.
Some rosés are made by draining off some of the fermenting must from tanks of fermenting red grapes during the early days of fermentation before much colour is extracted from the skins.
The third method, in Champagne, is the blending of red and white grapes as white Chardonnay grapes and red Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes are used in its production. Colour can be derived from skin contact with the juice or blending a small amount of red wine with the white wines from the permitted grape varieties.
Rose Champagnes can be made wholly or partly from Pinot Noir and in addition to their pretty delicate pink appearance have an elegant slightly drier fruity taste than other Champagnes where the softer roundness is derived from the white grapes in the base wine.
The rose wines made in the methode traditionelle from other parts of the world are delicious too – check out those from Franciacorta in Piemonte in Italy such as Ferghettina or Tasmanian from Jansz.
Whether still or sparkling the current trend seems to be towards paler pink wines such as the delicate light salmon pink rosés from Provence such as Rimauresq Rose Cru Classe Cotes de Provence for which the region has gained a high reputation, the softer fruity wines of Costières de Nimes, also the Sancerre roses from Loire Valley. Still in the south of France, the Languedoc Roussillon is home to delicious light fresh roses such as that from Calmel & Joseph.
Looking at Italian roses the Barone Ricasoli Albia Rosé from Tuscany is a fresh fragrant Sangiovese and Merlot blend with a nose of violets, blackberries and raspberries and on the palate is fresh and fragrant.
Moving further south there are delicious deeper pink wines such as Spanish roses made from the Garnacha grape with delicious creamy, refreshing vibrant strawberry fruit flavour enjoyed as a summery aperitif and with tapas & paellas. They are excellent value too.
Many New World roses such as those made from Malbec in New Zealand like Esk Valley, Merlot grapes in Chile e.g., Norte Chico and Painted Wolf The den Rose from Pinotage in South Africa are bursting with ripe fruit flavours.
Rosé wines widely in flavour and style and many popular ones are delicious when serve chilled whilst retaining fruity flavours. The most popular rosés have the crispness of a white with a little of the same fruity richness fruity flavours. They make great aperitifs and are good to serve with meze dishes, fish, cheese, and fruit – lets hope the sun comes out soon so we can sit in the garden and enjoy these light wines.
© Archant Community Media Limited used under limited licence