Wine of the Week: Rose
They are great for BBQ’s but let’s be honest, Spanish rosés are a tad boring. Taste them blind and it’s difficult to tell whether it’s glass of rosé or a cheap white. When they do taste ‘rosé’ then it’s often confected cherry and strawberry flavours that are simple at best. To be fair this isn’t exclusive to Spain. Italian, Californian, Bordeaux, Burgundian, Australian rosés are the same. The only exceptions really are from Champagne and the South of France, where they reach much greater levels and higher prices accordingly.
To better understand the quality, it might be helpful to rewind a little to understand how and why rosé is made in the first place. There are four main methods of production:
The most common method is by removing some juice shortly after crushing red grapes to concentrate the ratio of skin to pulp so the remaining red wine can become deeper and ideally have more structure.
By leaving the juice in contact with the skins for only a short while, just enough time to take on some rosé colour before pressing.
By mixing red and white wine together to make a rosé. This is the technique most often used in the production of Champagne.
The last is the least common and really only used for cheap wines, whereby white wine is passed over the skins of red wine that has already been crushed.
So, why write a review of a wine style that is boring? Because if you want to drink juicy, refreshing, uncomplicated wine, then rosé can’t be beaten. And as August heat goes, a bottle or two of rosé should always be in the fridge.
5 Rosés to Look Out For:
Whispering Angel, Provence- taking the world by storm and made by the previous winemaker at Mouton Rothschild.
Dom Pérignon Rosé- despite the massive quantity produced, this always remains luxurious.
Macia Batlé - good value and the bottle will be finished every time.
Gramona mustillant - some of the best cavas in Spain come from this bodega. Their biodynamic merlot/Syrah rosé is interesting and great value.
Txomin Etxaniz - more famous for their excellent petillant white, this northern Spanish rosé is light fresh and perfumed.