Somewhere along the line, I fell in love with rose. There’s so much more to rose than just pink. For instance, there are so many different shades of pink in which it can come. And so many different flavours, from strawberries and cream right though to cherries, earth and spice. This makes rose not only deliciously refreshing as a stand-alone drink, but also versatile and perfectly suited as an accompaniment to food.
Some people still think of rose as being the sweet, girly drink that was produced in copious amounts in the south of France 10 years ago. This is definitely not the kind of rose that I’m talking about. I’m talking rose with texture and flavour, with that wonderful sweet/savoury balance, which is precisely what makes it such a great all-rounder. And, as you will see below, it may still be seen as a girly drink, but I think that embracing all of rose’s charms can be emasculating more than anything.
Here’s a couple of my favourites to get you started dreaming of balmy Autumn afternoons with a chilled bottle of rose.
Alfredo Maestro ‘Amanda’ Garnacha Tontorera – Castilla y Leon 2014
This must be one of our favourite discoveries of last year. Having always worked the vineyards organically, Alfredo came to the realization by himself that he needed to do little in the winery when working with such beautiful fruit. He now makes singular, expressive, character-laden wines that push the boundaries in many ways, and made wine in a natural style way before it was trendy.
From a vineyard of 60 year-old vines, at 850m above sea level on clay-limestone soils, this is 100% Garnacha Tintorera. This is a teinturier variety, meaning that it has red flesh, hence the deep colour. With bright red fruits- think raspberries and pomegranate- there is no doubt that you’ll enjoy this to the very last drop.
Gut Oggau ‘Winifred’ Blaufrankish & Zwiegelt – Burgenland 2014
From a biodynamically-cultivated estate in Austria’s Burgenland, and named (as all of Eduard and Stepahnie Tscheppe’s wines are) for a former owner of the vineyard from whence the fruit comes.
This is a rose that marries perfectly that sense of rose’s frivolous fun and the wild energy of the vineyard. Aromas of strawberries and herbs entice on the nose; the palate is layered and complex, with precision, fine detail and beautiful acidity to make the finish long and clean.
Philip Lobley ‘Temptation’ Pinot Noir rose – Yarra Valley 2015
Philip Lobley’s wines excite us because he’s always got something new and exciting tucked away in the shed ready to bottle under his Temptation label, which is all about pushing the boundaries. This wine is made for his wife Lyn, who we love equally for her warm hospitality and the bread from her wood-fired oven that’s always pushed under our noses when we visit.
From clay-loam soils, this is pretty raspberries and strawberries balanced by savoury cherry and earthy spice. Phil served this straight from barrel at his winery open day, which we felt was entirely appropriate. After all, who wouldn’t want a whole barrel of rose?