The best rosé wine in the world is considered to come from France but the Canberra District is producing some excellent wines to check out this spring.
Sales of rosé increased more than 40 per cent over the past 12 months and local winemaker Brian Sinclair puts it down to its overall appeal.
"Rosé is a wine that appeals to everybody," he says. "From a red wine drinker's perspective there's that texture and mouthfeel that is somewhat like a red wine but for a white wine drinker it doesn't have all the tannin and it's easy to drink," said Sinclair, who has been making wine in the district for more than 20 years, primarily with Brindabella Hills but also on contract for other growers. He has just released his own label, Ironcutter.
He said the Canberra District is producing some beautiful rosés, the cooler climate produces a more refined, delicate wine which is the style consumers are looking for.
"We've gone from the typical roses of the past where they've been sweet, to drier wines, more like those you'd find in Provence, the home of rosé. Rosés these days tend to start in the vineyard, not in the tank, they're purpose made, designed right from the start to be a rosé."
Many local winemakers are recognising the popularity of rosé, with several vineyards releasing new wines for spring. We asked several about their rosé, and suggested food matches. As if we need an excuse to drink rose, as Sinclair says, sometimes all you need is a good book and a shady tree.
Sapling Yard 2019 Pinot Noir/Gamay Rosé, $27
Our rosé is a blend of gamay sourced from the Sapling Yard Braidwood vineyard and pinot noir from Murrumbateman. A dry savoury rosé with aromatics of dried strawberry with a lovely touch of sherbet on the palate. It was 50 per cent fermented in stainless steel tanks and 50 per cent barrel fermented to create fresh acidity balanced with great body. The wine has a textural quality, marvelous length and is a vibrant salmon colour, perfect for food and drinks with friends. .
Murrumbateman 2018 Old Block Shiraz Rosé, $30
The name "Old Block" refers to our shiraz vines planted next to the Barton Highway. This block was planted in 1973 and is home to some of the oldest shiraz in the Canberra region. The rosé offers notes of chilled strawberries and blackcurrants, cherries and characteristic cool climate pepper. Pair it with Asian style duck pancakes and a fresh Vietnamese salad.
Ironcutter 2018 Rosé, $22
Pale salmon pink in colour, this cabernet franc rosé begins with a lovely perfumed nose dominated by strawberry flavours flowing through to a creamy texture on the palate. The finish is long, dry and very moreish.
Lake George Winery 2019 Rosé, $25
Delicate aromas of raspberry, cherry and rose hip are supported by a refreshing palate of red currant and strawberry. A mouth watering wine with a crisp, dry finish. Drinking well now and for the next 12 months, if there is any left! Best matched with chicken or a Thai beef salad.
Four Winds Vineyard 2019 Sangiovese Rosé, $27
We made this wine when we moved into the Sydney market. We had been told the market was after dry rosé wines made from alternative varieties with a pale, salmon colour. This wine was the result. The sangiovese fruit lends itself to a rosé with white peach, musk and red berry tang. This wine is elegant, well balanced and has a delicate light pink colour. Candied apples, raspberry, peach and bright cherry come through seamlessly in this wine. Perfect for a summer afternoon picnic or with spicy Asian food.
Collector 2018 Shoreline Rosé, $24
Our sangiovese is grown at Tumblong, near Gundagai, and Murrumbateman. There is some mammolo, a lightly coloured, fragrant, musk-like grape, in this wine as well. The wine is fresh on the nose with aromas of mandarin, cherry, rose-water and spice. The palate is dry, with moreish mid-palate texture and mouth-watering acidity. Great for seasonal drinking with antipasti.