Rosé in Australia can be made from any grape variety, and is usually based on red grapes for obvious reasons of colour. Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir and grenache are prime candidates because they're the most widely available. My preference is for varieties that can be harvested early (to minimise alcohol) without the wine tasting unripe. Varieties naturally light in colour and tannin are also preferable, especially if they also have attractive aroma and distinctive character. Grenache and pinot noir fit the bill perfectly. Adventurous winemakers are also finding fringe varieties such as nebbiolo and nero d'avola work well. Here are three interesting variations to keep you in the pink.
Catlin GB's Rosé 2017, Adelaide Hills $20
Made from tempranillo, barrel fermented and aged five months in oak. Light salmon-pink, it has barrel-influenced complexity as well as nutty, strawberry and quince-paste nuances. It's dry but not austere, with multi-faceted flavour that never bores. Utterly delicious. Screw-cap, 13 per cent alcohol.
Ageing Best now to two years.
Stockists include Eastern Road Bar & Larder, South Melbourne (Vic); catlinwines.com.au
Eldorado Road Luminoso Rosé 2017, North-East Victoria $25
Made from nero d'avola and shiraz, this has a light salmon-pink hue, the bouquet confirming some development and suggesting a little barrel involvement. It's complex, with nutty and savoury fruit overtones. In the mouth it has richness and generosity together with refinement and subtlety. Screw-cap, 13 per cent alcohol.
Ageing Drink now to three years.
Stockists include Valley Cellar Door, Moonee Ponds (Vic); eldoradoroad.com.au
Ferngrove Independence Rosé 2017, Great Southern $23
Made from pinot noir, this has a bright, light purple-pink colour, and cherry-like aromas and flavours that speak clearly of pinot noir. A subtle dash of sweetness is countered by a light tannin grip. Lovely balance and fullness in the mouth. A highly gluggable wine. Screw-cap, 12 per cent alcohol.
Ageing Best drunk within two years.
Stockists include ferngrove.com.au