A very well-known South African wine expert, who will remain nameless, once said to me “Nobody takes rosé wines seriously, dear,” which I found a sweeping statement to say the least.
People should take this category seriously as it is the fastest growing one worldwide. In France, for instance, which has the largest per capita wine consumption in the world, it forms more than 30% of the market, with 9 out of 10 consumers saying they drink rosé. In French the colour is called rosé because they can’t really say pienk and sound as if they really mean it, and anyway it’s a whole lot more romantic.
The flavour profile of fresh fruit flavours in an easy to drink style indicates a crowd pleaser, if ever there was one. Then there is the added pleasure of rosé being able to play from dry and fragrant to sweet and pleasurable, with the added bonus of being used in bubblies of various styles.
It is a must with certain dishes, like smoked salmon, which will overpower almost any white. Then there are strawberries and other berries, the natural acidity of which is beautifully supported by a rosé wine, especially one with a slightly sweet and fragrant edge.
Just remember that there are as many styles of rosé as there are of the red grapes from which they are derived. Not all of them will suit all dishes but with fish they are superb, and with pasta dishes, even those with tomatoes as an ingredient, great.
One must bear in mind that rosé is not a pink version of a red wine or even less a rosé version of a white wine, some of which are used in rosé blends. It has characteristics of its own, one of them, that it should be drunk nice and young, a plus for those of us who probably don’t have ten years to let a wine get used to itself. We aren’t really interested in a decade ahead—what about tonight?
South Africa’s Top Rosé Wines were announced on Thursday 10th November 2016 at The Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront Cape Town.
Here are the results of the Rosé Rocks Wine Competition 2016:
- Overall winner: Antebellum Saffronne Pinotage Rosé 2015
Top 10 rosé wines in South Africa 2016:
- Allée Bleue Starlette Shiraz Rosé 2016
- Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2016
- Bellingham Strawberry Rosé 2016
- Cavalli Pink Pony Grenache Rosé 2015
- Excelsior Caitlyn Rosé 2016
- Fable Mountain Vineyards Belle Flower 2014
- Fish Hoek Cinsault Rosé 2016
- Lace by Almenkerk Dry Rosé 2016
- Painted Wolf The Den Rosé 2016
- Thokozani Rosé 2015
Top MCC Rosé wines in South Africa 2016:
- Kleine Zalze Brut Rosé
The three runner up Rosé MCCs were:
- Boschendal Brut Rosé
- Lord’s Wines Brut Rosé
- Le Lude Brut Rosé
Words: Greg Landman