It’s halfway through spring. Already. That escalated quickly…
As the name suggests, these are the best pink/blush/salmon orange/reddish coloured Australian rosé to pass the Australian Wine Review tasting bench this springtime. Honestly, there is more dross than dreamy wines, more sharp edges and poorly handled sweetness in the category as a whole, but it’s getting better. Still not enough barrel fermented, gently textural styles for mine.
Anyway, these are the highlights:
Longview Nebbiolo Rosato 2019
Still one of the best rosé in the country. Nebbiolo for the (pink wine) win, again. Savoury, serious Adelaide Hills sourced, it’s pale orange coloured, the nose a hat tip to rose and cherry Nebbiolo fruit, the palate dry, succulent, acidic. Crunchy and not fruity, but it’s not ungenerous. A very worthy and tasty dry rosé if just a bit too much crunch to be truly seductive. Best drinking: now. 17.7/20, 92/100. 12.5%, $26. Would I buy it? Worth a few glasses.
Tellurian Rosé 2019
Shiraz and Grenache-based, from Tellurian’s organic Heathcote vineyard. Coppery orange colour, dry and ripe palate captures enough generosity to be compelling while remaining dry and refreshing. Clever modern rosé. Best drinking: now. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.2%, $24. Would I buy it? A few glasses, easy.
Vino Intrepido The Sharpest Thorn Sangiovese Rosé 2019
James Scarcebrook’s wines are all handy, with this pink made using Heathcote fruit from the Galli Estate vineyard. Pinky orange colour, has a backdrop of light berry/pink grapefruit and a savoury, just-tangy-enough palate. Well handled, dry, rosato style that isn’t too hard. Best drinking: now. 17.7/20, 92/100. 12.8%, $27.99. Would I buy it? A few glasses.
Yangarra Rosé 2020
Grenache-based, as you’d expect from Yangarra. Fascinating to see that the screwcap lid matches the colour of the juice too! Straight-talking, dry and fresh style, it’s Provence-inspired, lightly textured and attractive, it just a bit pointy with some late phenolic grip, that is less congruous, but the quality is v. high. Best drinking: now. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.5%, $26. Would I buy it? A few glasses, easy.
Zonzo Estate Rosé 2019
Shiraz-based Yarra Rosé that is barrel fermented and goes through full malo, the wine all coppery colours and a coppery personality. More rosato than anything, with savoury, tangy red fruit lifted up by mid palate juiciness, though it’s dry, not sweet. Well handled balance between sweetness and acidity. Good stuff. Best drinking: now. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13%, $27. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
Alkimi Rosé 2019
Shiraz Rosé from the Silvan Reservoir vineyard in the Yarra. Coppery, bony, phenolic and achingly dry. Has some vinosity and power, even if it’s a bit too firm for mine. Quality and intent, regardless. Best drinking: now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12.5%, $28. Would I buy it? A glass.
De Bortoli Grenache Wizardry Rosé 2019
This is from De Bortoli’s new Grenache Wizardry range, which highlights not just Grenache (Noir) in all its glory, but Grenache Blanc too. Welcome! De Bortoli are the kings at savoury, affordable rosé and this Heathcote wine is a winner. I don’t mind the addition of the Blanc in here, with a subtle peachiness adding from the Blanc that just works as a rosé. It’s not a profound wine, but a very drinkable, well-packaged pink. Best drinking: now. 17/20, 90/100. 13%, $23. Would I buy it? Worth a glass or two.
Xabregas Rosé 2019
Great Southern Tempranillo and Sangiovese plus Mount Barker Shiraz. Cool. Subtle. Understated raspberries and cream. Modern, lightly textural style. Refreshing. Like the cool, gentle palate. It’s maybe a bit spiky to finish, but appeal is high here. Best drinking: now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13%, $23. Would I buy it? Worth a glass or two.
Juxtaposed Sangiovese Rosé 2019
McLaren Vale Sangio in an early picked, rosato style with just a little late sweetness. Coppery and varietal with forest berries, it’s phenolic and hearty, with a real earthen tang. Certainly has presence, even if it’s just a bit ferrous. Best drinking: now. 17/20, 90/100. 12%, $26. Would I buy it? A glass.
La Maschera Rosé 2019
Barossa Grenache Sangio from the Yalumba stable, made in a rosato style. Slightly tart, super dry. Flirts with pink grapefruit. Shedloads of acidity, but that also gives length. Quality, but not an easygoing rosé by any means. Best drinking: now. 17/20, 90/100. 12%, $23. Would I buy it? A glass.
Varney Entrada Rosé of Grenache 2020
Old Vine Blewitt Springs Grenache. 20% of the blend is wild fermented in barrique. Provence mode here for sure, the style simply approachable but doesn’t hit the next level to be sublime. Still an enjoyable drink. Best drinking: now. 17/20, 90/100. 13%, $25. Would I buy it? Worth a glass or two.
Wirra Wirra Mrs Wrigley Rosé 2020
Vinous, dry and riper this vintage, the mode is quite a departure in style from the sweeter, riper wines of yore and likely all the better for it. The acid is just a bit blunt, but the fruit-forward, dry and fresh take on a ‘classic Australian’ rosé mode is is pretty good. I just want a little more delicacy. Best drinking: now. 17/20, 90/100. 13.5%, $23. Would I buy it? A glass.
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Hi Andrew, would it be fair for me to say that Melton’s ‘Rose of Virginia’ and Turkey Flat’s were not at the tasting bench. I know Turkey Flat has had a big following for many years but I still think that Melton’s is one of the finest, though admittedly I have not had a recent vintage.