Coming up Rosé
Whether from emerging wineries or storied names, the blush-tinted variety is summer’s natural hero, writes Ute Junker.
Don’t let the bottle fool you. The wine may be protected by dark glass and the words “sparkling pinot noir” may be printed on the label, but pop the cork and you’ll discover that this sparkling wine from the freshly launched Adelaide Hills label Emmalene is actually a rosé. Once it’s in a glass you can admire its soft blush colour, delicate bubbles and big hit of aromatics that fades to a surprisingly crisp finish.
“It’s the sort of thing you might drink among friends when you’re catching up, not necessarily something you have to have with food,” says one of Emmalene’s founders, Tim Bartsch. The winemaker is Emmalene’s co-founder Mark Bulman, who knows his way around a rosé having spent 13 years making them for Turkey Flat Vineyards in the Barossa Valley. The fresh, fruit-driven flavours are typical of Emmalene’s range of vegan-friendly natural wines, made using grapes harvested from carbon-neutral vineyards. (And if you’re wondering about that distinctive label, it’s based on a 1941 art project by Tim’s grandmother.)
Just in time for summer, a fresh crop of South Australian rosés is showcasing how different varietals create distinctive drops. Another newcomer, Mirus Vineyards, from the Barossa, has launched a rosé inspired by the wineries of Provence’s Bandol region, including the celebrated Domaine Tempier. The Wonderground rosé is made with mataro (mourvèdre), lending it added complexity, a coppery colour and more savoury notes. “Mataro has a spicy edge, which gives a little more interest,” says Nick Radford. He and co-founder Luke Edwards launched Mirus almost by accident. Their wives, Renee de Saxe and Kirsty Kingsley, were looking for a property on which they could open an art gallery; when they found the right site, it came with its own vineyard, allowing the two viticulturists to realise their dream of creating their own wines. (The Wonderground range shares its name with the newly opened gallery in Seppeltsfield.)
It isn’t just newcomers making memorable rosés. At the Barossa’s Tomfoolery Wines, known for its handmade approach, Ben Chipman says the Trouble & Strife rosé, made with cabernet franc — which imparts a distinctive strawberry note to rosés — has turned out particularly well. “This year’s wine is a stunner,” says Chipman. “It has a little bit of Turkish delight aromatics, with a lovely herbaceous link on the finish, almost pushing towards a jalapeño tang. You can drink it by itself on a really hot day, but it also works beautifully with a chilli mud crab.”
This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our sixth edition, Page 96 of Winning Magazine with the headline: “Coming up Rosé”. Subscribe to Winning Magazine today.