Matawhero ‘First Sun’ Gisborne Rosé 2018


Rosé wines are ‘hot’ if you are a retailer or ‘cool’ if you are a consumer, but the labels on all counts can be interchanged. The Rosé category has seen an incredible growth, and along with it are an increasing number of rosé wines made specifically, rather than as leftover wine from red table wine production. This usually involves varieties that are deemed to give the desirable fruit flavour profiles, from selected parts of a vineyard, picked early and cool-fermented to retain freshness. There are producers who take alternative paths, some with success. Very good rosé can be made from the bled-off juice from fermenting red wine – saignee – but the purist method is the have the grapes go direct to press. A limited amount of skin contact gives colour, flavour and phenolics, and the degree of extraction is subject to many variables.

Here, I review the Matawhero ‘First Sun’ Gisborne Rosé 2018 which employs both saignee and direct crushing and destemming. It is named after the phenomenon of Gisborne being the first place in New Zealand to see the sunrise, and that the country is the first in the world to greet the new day. The bottle I have reviewed is in a 1.5 Litre magnum size, deemed ideal by many rosé drinkers wishing to share the joy. www.matawhero.co.nz


  • Matawhero ‘First Sun’ ‘Single Vineyard’ Gisborne Rosé 2018

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