The Complete Rosé Round-Up


2016 Airlie Bank Gris On Skins Yarra Valley RRP $20 
Tim Shand’s blend comprises a 60% whole-bunch ferment, with the balance destemmed fruit that spent two weeks on skins. It spent three months in old oak and was bottled without fining or filtration. It’s a teasingly versatile number. Food friendly as well as super slurpable, especially served cool rather than cold. The chalky texture and twist of amaro herb offset a lovely core of sweet fruit – pear and stone fruits into pink berry territory. It moves with good velocity through the palate, with a clean and mouthwatering finish. Incidentally wine writer Jeni Port called it her surprise pick of CellarHand Trade Day 2016. “Out there! It’s a wow!” she tweeted.

2016 Shadowfax Minnow Rosé Werribee RRP $22
Spicy, sauvage rosé with a southern French accent. This second incarnation of Matt Harrop’s pink Minnow is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Syrah, Roussanne and Pinot Noir. The nose shows potpourri and fresh flowers, spice and a touch of licorice root. On the palate this is a richer, fuller expression of a fairly warm season. Strawberry and blackcurrant flavours, some spice and wild sage, a hint of white pepper. Time on lees has added texture to the palate. A very fine framework of tannin adds crunch and length. Goes down a treat with sunshine and salty, nibbly things.

2015 Villa Wolf Pinot Rosé Pfalz RRP $24
Vivaciously fresh and fruity, this Pinot Noir rosé offers concentrated, ripe cherry and berry flavors veiled in a sheen of dusty mineral complexities. It’s unapologetically quaffable but elegant as well. Drink now. 88 points. Anna Lee C. Iijima, Wine Enthusiast June 2016

2015 Pierre Amadieu Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé Rhône Valley RRP $24
Another rock-solid effort from this team is the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Roulepierre Rosé, which is 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 20% Syrah, all from a direct press. It gives up lots of cherry and garrigue nuances in a medium-bodied, rounded, textured and lengthy style. It will shine on the dinner table and keep for 6-12 months. Drink: 2016. 88 points. Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate June 2016

2015 Pittnauer Blaufränkisch Rosé Burgenland RRP $25
Year in, year out, this is one of the most popular wines we import. Gerhard Pittnauer sources the fruit from various sites with light sandy soils around the Neusiedlersee in Burgenland. Spontaneous fermentation, matured for six months in stainless steel. Residual sugar is low (about 2.5 g/L). It’s a dusty, savoury expression of the Blaufränkisch variety with a nutty and marginally confectionary bouquet of red cherries and flowers backed by a hint of cranberry and marzipan. It’s long, smooth and savoury, with juicy, almost sour-edged raspberry and red cherry fruit punctuated by refreshingly bright acids and underscored by a fine, dusty extract. 

2015 Domäne Wachau Zweigelt Rosé Terrassen Federspiel Wachau RRP $26 
Most of the fruit is Zweigelt from Weissenkirchen, Wösendorf and Joching. The sandy loess soils in some parts of these villages yield particularly fruit-driven and elegant wines. The Zweigelt vines are cultivated mainly on steep, terraced vineyards. The grapes were hand-picked at the end of September, then destemmed and crushed. After several hours of maceration, some of the must was separated and vinified like a white wine.  Bright, vibrant pink; open and playful on the nose, with delicate aromas of redcurrant, ripe bramble fruit, wild strawberries and a little spice. It’s fruity and medium-bodied on the palate, well balanced with refreshing acidity

2015 S.C. Pannell Árido Rosé Adelaide Hills RRP $26
44% Pinot Noir, 36% Syrah, 20% Pinot Meunier. The fruit is crushed and left on skins for 24 hours to achieve this wine’s colour and enhance flavours and texture. This rosé is a highly perfumed wine with aromas of cherries, red summer fruits and some florals. The palate is juicy with flavours of red berries and Turkish delight. The finish is dry, clean, and crisp. rose-renamed
2016 Chalmers Rosato 
Heathcote RRP $27
In 2016 the Chalmers family sourced the grapes for their rosato from the highest-altitude, most-prized block at their Heathcote site. A unique blend from two savoury and tannic varieties: Sagrantino (70%) and Aglianico (30%). Both parcels of fruit were hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed and vinified separately. The Sagrantino parcel was fermented in stainless steel tank and the Aglianico parcel in old French barriques. Both parcels were wild fermented with no acid additions, and blended together once dry. The 2016 Chalmers Rosato has a vibrant, pomegranate hue, with pretty aromas of red fruit. The palate is generous yet dry and textural with notes of spice and candied peel. The two blended parcels of Sagrantino and Aglianico make for a balanced and complete wine, and a perfect summer drink.

2014 Dominique Piron Rosé Beaujolais RRP $27
100% Gamay from vines in Corcelles with an average age of 40 years. The subsoil is a patchwork of granite, clay and limestone which gives the wine its nuances. Very crunchy, pure and fresh. Some hints of candy, but enough dryness to keep that in check. Quite chewy and supple at the same time, with nice density and a dry finish.

2016 Onannon Rosé Yarra Valley RRP $28
From Sam Middleton, Kaspar Hermann and Will Byron comes this 50:50 blend of Yarra Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit was pressed to tank, settled, then racked to barrel and tank for fermentation. The wine was kept cold to prevent malolactic fermentation and was then racked to tank, filtered and bottled in July with minimal SO2. It’s attractive, light salmon pink in colour. It shows floral perfume and sweet, pretty red fruits on the nose. The palate has a gentle, creamy mouthfeel and intense flavours of red berries, peppery spice and a suggestion of blackcurrants. Fine natural acidity draws out the palate to a pleasing, aromatic finish. This refreshing, satisfying and moreish wine offers easy-drinking pleasure, but also has the fruit weight to pair with relatively rich dishes. 

2015 Pittnauer Dogma Rosé Burgenland RRP $41
Rosé Dogma 2015 is a blend of biodynamic Blaufränkisch and St Laurent grapes grown on various light sandy sites around the Neusiedlersee in Burgenland. This undergoes spontaneous fermentation and nothing is added, including sulphur, throughout the entire process. Bottled unfiltered. This rosé has a light, raspberry hue with a slight yeast haze, and surprises with intense aromas of strawberries, rhubarb and orange zest. It has a fresh and delicate mouthfeel and is juicy, soft and harmonious on the palate. It has pleasant acidity and savoury tones on the finish.

2015 Scorpo Rosé Mornington Peninsula RRP $32
Pale garnet coloured, pretty to look at. Dive into watermelon and raspberry scents, whiffs of floral things, sniff of tobacco and spice. Light in red berry and spice flavour but has fullness of texture to back it up – indeed, delicacy is refreshing and an asset. Light chew of tannins seals the deal. Rosé lovers apply here. 93 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front July 2016

2016 S.C. Pannell Rosé Nebbiolo Adelaide Hills RRP $34
Stephen Pannell calls Nebbiolo “vinous heroin”, and indeed he primarily goes to the trouble of making it to score a fix of this poised, perfumed and textural rosé. The fruit comes from same Gumeracha vineyard as Steve’s much admired S.C. Pannell Nebbiolo. The rosé mostly comprises the highly perfumed 111 rosé clone of Nebbiolo grown on this biodynamic-certified site. The grapes are harvested by hand and crushed to tank, where they are given around eight hours’ skin contact. They’re then pressed and fermented, with the early press cut critical to keep in check Nebbiolo’s notorious tannins.