Top 10 Rosé 2021
Echoing NZ Rosé Day on 5th Feb, I've selected my Top 10 Rosé and put them in the spotlight and a couple of Rosé All Day tasting events* at The Winery Arrowtown and at Cahn's Wines & Spirits in Auckland. Join me and enjoy the ten shades of pink!
*Unfortunately both the events have been postponed. Stay tuned. Updated 2nd Feb.
Rosé is the fastest growing variety; it is no longer limited to 'summertime wine' or 'lady's choice'; it is all year round popular and loved by all. Comes in different styles and shades fit all occasions.
There are a few things you should know about Rosé before I introduce my Top 10 Rosé to you:
- Rosé is made from red grapes with a short maceration on skins to create a pink shade; the longer the maceration, the deeper the colour will get. (They can be blended with white grapes too.)
- Skin not only departs colour, but it also departs tannin and flavour, contributing to structure and complexity in the wine. Dark Rosé tastes more like a lighter red wine because the dark colour carries tannin, giving you more mouthfeel and richness.
- The lighter colour Rosé seems to be more favourable and have a drier style impression, but lighter colour doesn't mean drier; darker colour can be dry too.
- Serve Rosé chilled at around 10-12˚C in a white wine glass.
- Lighter Rosé is an excellent match to sushi and seafood, medium style Rosé match with smoked salmon and prosciutto-wrapped melon; darker Rosé can be matched with beef/ venison carpaccio and ragu pappardelle. Try them out.
- NZ Rosé is so popular; the smaller producers don't usually have stock to last for a whole year until the next vintage rollover; if you really like a Rosé, you should stock up fast before it sells out.
Let me share my Top 10 Rosé with you and I'll start with the lighter style.
Nockie's Palette purchased the Georgetown vineyard in 2017, the pale colour wine dressed in the most show-stopping mermaid bottle with a painting by John Peart on the label; the wine shows great purity and vibrancy and a lengthy, dry finish. It would be hard to find a lighter colour Rosé than Wooing Tree Blondie, minimal skin contact made from Pinot Noir, crisp and smooth on the palate. Te Kano from the Bannockburn was made from 100% Pinot Noir, fermented in stainless steel, fresh and fragrant with floral details, very moreish. Made from 100% Gibbston Pinot Noir clone 5, Coal Pit Rosé is generous and concentrated, reminiscent of blood orange and strawberries on a fine-textured palate.
Moving up the country to Hawke's Bay, you will find the only Provence style Rosé made from real Provence varieties and more; Indian Summer was made from a blend of Merlot, Cinsault, Grenache, as well as Pinot Gris and Viognier, silky and refined with subtleties. Another one from Hawke's Bay is Trinity Hill Molly's Block Rosé 2021, the first release of a premium single vineyard range, 100% Syrah from the Moteo Pa sub-region. Pale blush-pink, bone dry, immensely balanced and expressive, a serious wine, but winemaker Warren Gibbson made it effortlessly impressive.
Waiheke Island is an hour off the shore from Auckland, suitable for warmer climate varieties like Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec; Rosé here is darker because these varieties have higher pigmentation. Church Bay Estate Reserve Rosé is a blend of Merlot, Malbec and Syrah, a creamy and savoury Rosé with a red fruit core. The Cater Family Jeomara Vineyard in Onetangi grows Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Syrah; the neon pink shade Soho Westwood Rosé 2021 possesses ripe and succulent red fruit and a creamy palate.
Back in Central Otago, made from 100% Gibbston Pinot Noir Hawkshead Rosé 2021, taking an unusual direction, is the darkest colour of this lineup. Broody and savoury, herbaceous with vibrant acidity, an excellent match with rich flavour food.
I did not plan to include sparkling wine in this lineup. Still, I found it hard to resist this exceptional vintage 2016 Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle Rosé made by Rudi Bauer, aged 60 months on lees, estate riddled and disgorged by hand. Elegant and refined with beautiful subtleties, not to be missed, only 900 bottles were produced.
Purchase these wines directly on their websites and use the code "ROSEALLDAY" to apply a discount listed below, valid until 28th Feb.
Te Kano - 10%
Coal Pit - 15%
Trinity Hill - 10%
Church Bay Estate - 10%
Quartz Reef - 10% off all Rosé
Read my detailed reviews below. Enjoy #nzroseday !
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Nockie’s Palette Georgetown Pinot Rosé 2019, Central OtagoRosé from New Zealand - Central Otago & WaitakiReview Date : 12-May-2021Bright, pale peach-pink, even colour throughout. The nose is soft and harmonious, nuances of strawberries, white peaches and watermelon melded with a little positive confectionary and white floral. Medium-light bodied, the aromas of strawberries, peach and watermelon have an elegant core, pretty floral unveiled, adorned by a dusting of white spice. The wine has a refreshing flow and subtle powdery phenolic, supported by lively acidity with great energy. The purity and vibrancy of fruit lend a lengthy, dry finish. Match with cured salmon and prosciutto-wrapped melon over the next 3 years. Handpicked, 85% fermented in stainless steel, 15% fermented in older French oak barriques, 13.5% alc, 3.75 g/l RS. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) May 2021 RRP $39
Wooing Tree Blondie 2021, Central OtagoRosé from New Zealand - Central Otago & WaitakiReview Date : 01-Oct-2021Bright, even, very pale peach-pink colour. The nose is elegantly full, packed with aromas of stonefruit, red berries interweave intense white blossoms and white pepper dusting. Light-bodied, dry to taste, concentrated aromas of cherry, cranberry and peach adorned by white pepper layer and white floral. The fruit is vibrant and concentrated; flavours have great balance. Mouthwatering acidity drives a smooth flow lingering with spice. This is a crisp rosé with vibrant red fruit and a smooth, thirst-quenching drive. Match with seafood over the next 2-3 years. 100% Pinot Noir, minimal skin contact, gentle whole bunch pressed, fermented in stainless steel tank to 13% alc, 4.6g/l RS. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Oct 2021 RRP $30
Te Kano Rosé 2021, Central OtagoRosé from New Zealand - Central Otago & WaitakiReview Date : 22-Oct-2021Bright, even, pale blush pink. The nose is soft, fragrant and full, packed with aromas of white and red blossom, strawberries and pomegranate. The aromas are fresh and fragrant. Medium-light bodied, dry to taste, elegantly presented on the palate with concentrated nuances of field berries and pomegranate, enriched by black pepper, rich rose petals, and white floral. The fruit is bright and light on the palate, enhanced by rich floral aromas, and spice elevates the finish. Lively acidity is balanced and crisp, very moreish. Serve as an aperitif or match with prawn salad over the next 2-3 years. 100% Pinot Noir, whole bunch pressed, fermented in stainless steel to 13.5% alc, left on light lees for a short time. Vegan friendly. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Oct 2021 RRP $28
Coal Pit Pinot Noir Rosé 2021, Central OtagoRosé from New Zealand - Central Otago & WaitakiReview Date : 01-Dec-2021Bright, even, pale neon pink colour with some depth. The nose is generous and vibrantly full, with zesty aromas of blood orange entwined with strawberries, spice and cherry blossom. Medium-bodied, expressive aromas of strawberries, blood orange with a suggestion of stonefruit, followed by black pepper, closing with a blossom note. The fruit has good concentration and intensity, emphasised by spice. Bright acidity carries fine-textured phenolics and leaves a moreish finish. This is a generous, fruit-forward Pinot Noir Rosé with spice, fine-textured and a dry finish. Match with charcuteries over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from Gibbston, 100% Pinot Noir clone 5 (young vines), handpicked, cool-fermented in stainless steel tank to 13.5% alc, 2.8 g/l RS. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $34
Indian Summer Private Blend Rosé 2021, Hawke’s BayRosé from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 01-Dec-2021Bright, even pale peach-pink. The nose is elegantly expressive, led by spice lifting, red blossom and rose petal, interweave red berries, stonefruit, apple and pear aromas. Medium-light bodied, elegantly presented on the palate, dry to taste, rose water entwined with red berries, pear and a hint of stonefruit, unfolding red blossom and refined spice. There is a good concentration of fruit with intensity presented with refinement and subtleties. The mouthfeel is silky, contributed by fine-textured phenolics, linger with a pristine, lively acid line, persisting to a sustained finish. This is a refined, elegant dry rosé with lovely intensity and fine-textured. Serve as an aperitif or match with cured salmon with horseradish cream over the next 3 years. A blend of 55% Merlot, 17% Cinsault, 13.5% Pinot Gris, 10.5% Viognier and 4% Grenache, the Cinsault and Grenache were fermented separately in large format older barrels, left on lees for 6 months, 12.5% alc, 3 g/l RS. 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $26.99
Trinity Hill Molly’s Block Rosé 2021, Hawke’s BayRosé from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 17-Nov-2021Bright, even, pale blush-pink. The bouquet is elegantly presented, fresh red berries, strawberries, stonefruit aromas melded with lifted floral notes. Medium-bodied, good palate weight carrying strawberries, plum and stonefruit aromas, adorned by flower petals, black pepper and a hint of minerals. The wine is bone dry, fruit aromatics and floral are well-proportioned. The mouthfeel is smooth with a touch of fine-textured phenolics, hauling spice and brilliant, balanced acidity to a refreshing, long finish. This is a poise structured, dry rosé with an immense balance of fruit and acid on a fine-textured, expressive palate. Serve as an aperitif or match with beef carpaccio over the next 3 years. Fruit from Moteo Pa sub-region, 100% Syrah, fermented cool to 13% alc, 0.3g/l RS. 19/20 pts (95 pts) Nov 2021 RRP $39
Church Bay Estate Wines Reserve Rosé 2021, Waiheke IslandRosé from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 16-Dec-2021Bright, pale blush pink, even colour throughout. The nose is softly full, slowly opening with deep red floral aromas, spice interweaving vibrant raspberries, red currants, red berries, and a hint of savoury note. Medium-light-bodied with an elegant weight, red berries, red currants, and raspberries have a juicy, bright core, rounded out by a touch of creaminess, unfolding maple glazed bacon and deep red floral. The silky mouthfeel of phenolics added an exquisite texture, along with lively acidity brings a long finish filled with depth of floral and savouriness. This is an elegant and moreish Rosé with vibrant acidity, red fruit aromas, deep floral and savoury complexity. Match with venison tartare and ragu pasta over the next 2 years. A blend of Merlot, Malbec and Syrah, fermented to 12% alc, 3.5 g/l RS. 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $24.99
Soho Westwood Rosé 2021, WaihekeRosé from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 17-Aug-2021Bright, pale neon pink, even colour throughout. The nose is expressive, packed with aromas of field berries, blood orange, interweave petals and spice. Medium-bodied, dry to taste, nuances of field berries, blood orange intermix with pomegranate, petals underlay, and a hint of spice and cream linger on the finish. The fruit is ripe and succulent, compliment by orange zest. Mouthwatering acidity flows on a fine-textured drive and creaminess to a refreshing finish. This is a flavoursome rosé with generous fruit and a creamy texture. Match with beef carpaccio and cured salmon over the next 3 years. The fruit was sourced from Carter Family Vineyard, fermented to 12.5% alc. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Aug 2021 RRP $33
Hawkshead Rosé 2021, Central OtagoRosé from New Zealand - Central Otago & WaitakiReview Date : 01-Dec-2021Bright, berry red colour with depth, even colour throughout. The nose is full and savoury, greeted with pine, thyme flower, a pepper dusting, underlying redcurrant, cherry and blood orange. Medium-bodied, the wine has a broody, mealy tone, dry to taste; aromas of red cherry, red currant, blood orange melded with a fine dusting of black pepper, unveiling pine, thyme flower and rose. Vibrant acidity provides good energy and freshness. Savoury phenolics contribute to a light grip, add a mealy desire. This is a savoury Rosé with vibrant acidity, succulent fruit and a herbaceous, mealy palate. Match with beef carpaccio and lamb's fry with red wine sauce over the next 3-4 years. 100% Pinot Noir fruit from Gibbston, handpicked, destemmed, 3 days on skins, indigenous yeast fermentation, 13% alc, 2 g/l RS, rested on lees for 4 months in 15% older French oak barriques and 85% stainless steel. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $31.75
Quartz Reef Methode Tradtionelle Rosé 2016, Central OtagoSparkling Wine from New Zealand - Central Otago & WaitakiReview Date : 20-Dec-2021Bright, pale salmon, lighter on the rim. The bubbles are very fine and persistent. The nose is lifted and fragrant; aromas of red berries, macerated cherries interweave rose petal, red apple and creamy autolysis complexity. Medium-full bodied, dry to taste, richness and elegant aromas filled the glass, subtle red berries, macerated cherries entwined with preserved orange peels, an amalgam of spice and rose petal, red blossom. Layers of flavour unveil, well-proportioned creamy autolysis followed, then subtle almond tart and toast linger to a very long, lasting finish. The wine is superbly refined and harmonious, supported by acid precision; youthful development added richness and depth with subtleties and elegance. This is one of the best examples of NZ Rosé Methode Traditionelle, refined and elegant with depth and a long-lasting finish. Match with beetroot cured salmon and glazed ham over the next 5 years. 100% Pinot Noir, handpicked from their Bendigo vineyard, aged on lees for 60 months, riddled and disgorged by hand on-site. 12.5% alc, 2 g/l RS. Demeter biodynamic certified. 900 bottles produced. 19.5-/20 pts (97 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $110