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.

*New dates: Queenstoen 11h May https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/319237617307 , Auckland 20th May https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/319258680307

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 !


  • Nockie’s Palette Georgetown Pinot Rosé 2019, Central Otago
  • Wooing Tree Blondie 2021, Central Otago
  • Te Kano Rosé 2021, Central Otago
  • Coal Pit Pinot Noir Rosé 2021, Central Otago
  • Indian Summer Private Blend Rosé 2021, Hawke’s Bay
  • Trinity Hill Molly’s Block Rosé 2021, Hawke’s Bay
  • Church Bay Estate Wines Reserve Rosé 2021, Waiheke Island
  • Soho Westwood Rosé 2021, Waiheke
  • Hawkshead Rosé 2021, Central Otago
  • Quartz Reef Methode Tradtionelle Rosé 2016, Central Otago

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