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Refreshing Rosé

With its peachy pink hue, rosé has become the darling of the bunch (although there are well over 50 shades, from the palest to the vivid). With its soaring popularity, especially in the UK, producers have responded with some very impressive wines. 

Here’s our top 5 refreshing rosés to enjoy now . . . 

2020 Côtes du Rhône Rosé ‘Les Cerisiers’, Domaine Boutinot, Rhône

A classic salmon pink rosé with delicate perfumed aromas of rosehip syrup, wild berry blossoms and cherries on the nose. Full flavoured, ripe and beautifully balanced with acidity, there’s elegant textured berry fruit on the palate with a twist of raspberry freshness to lift the finish. Deliciously balanced and moreish.

2020 Domaine de Rimauresq, Cru Classé Rosé, Côtes de Provence

The estate encompasses 57 hectares of prime vineyards with an average vine age of 40 years (the oldest being planted in 1930). The vineyards are located at an altitude of between 140 to 190 metres, just 35km from the coast, and are aided by a north-west orientation which helps maintain freshness. The microclimate at Rimauresq is unique within the appellation; the vines benefit from the cooling Mistral winds and are sheltered by the mountains from the harsh Mediterranean sun. It is this shade that allows a longer ripening period and better fruit development in the crucial weeks prior to harvest. A delicate pale onion skin in colour with strawberry fruit aromas and an appealing herb-spiked nose. The palate is pretty with red fruit characters backed by gentle acidity. Affordable Cru Classé!

2020 Château de Luc Corbieres Rosé ‘Les Jumelles’, Fabre Famille, Languedoc

The Fabre Family have been producing wine in one way or another for over four hundred years. Since 1991, Famille Fabre has been converted to organic viticulture and today 100% of its vineyards are certified organic, producing concentrated, flavoursome wines with genuine provenance. A pretty, pale rosé with fresh aromas of red berry fruits and a hint of rose petal. The palate has redcurrant, cherry and stone fruit characters with a crisp, lightly saline edge.

2021 Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé Bio, Montressor Bio, Trentino

This delicious organic rose is produced from a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes which are softly pressed, with only a few hours of skin contact to give the delicate rosé colour. Aromas of redcurrant and citrus with lightly savoury notes. The palate is fresh and zesty with berry and pomegranate fruit balanced by crisp acidity and an appetizingly dry, sour cherry finish. A really delicious rosé to enjoy in the sunshine.

2021 Pinot Rosé, Woodchester Valley, Pinot Rosé

Beautifully dry, crisp and refreshing with wonderful red fruit aromas and a bone dry palate. Try with goats cheese salad, or just a sunny afternoon and some good company!

Moke’s Notes:

With many more than 50 shades of rosé produced, methods borrow from both traditional white and red grape production. Long gone are the days of the Mateus Rosé monopoly (thankfully!) and over the last two decades, the UK has demanded higher quality rosé wines which winemakers are now delivering.

Ideally rosé wines should offer the flavour of the grape varieties, with very little tannin (if any) and clean acidity to balance the ripeness of the fruit. Preserving the freshness of fruit and retaining aromatics, through temperature control, is a key element in the production of Rosé wines.

Pale grapes such as Pinot Noir, Cinsault and Grenache typically produce lighter colours wines, with cooler climates producing paler colours than warmer climates (think Northern Italy v’s Central Spain). 

On the surface, rosé winemaking looks simple enough, however there are a number of factors that winemakers have to decide on to protect the wine during its production. Firstly, determining exactly how much time to allow grapes to macerate for in order to maximise flavour, but minimise any bitterness and still achieve the desired colour. Secondly, as winemakers don’t have the use of tannins to help protect against oxidation (nobody wants brown wine!), they have to work hard to ensure minimal exposure to oxygen during the winemaking process. By removing tannins and skins, you’re also removing the elements that aid colour and stability as well as ageing potential.

These are the four main methods of production:

Maceration method

Most common method of production: allowing the red wine grapes to macerate with their juice for a short period of time (2 hours to 2 days) prior to the removal of the skins and then cool fermentation similar to white wine. The resulting rosé colour is dependent on the grape variety and length of maceration, but the focus is on freshness and delicacy.


White wine and red wines are produced, then a portion of the red wine is added to the white wine to make rose wine. Pretty uncommon in the production of still rosé wines but used much more in Sparkling production.

Saignée method

Also known as the ‘Bleeding’ method. Early in the process of making a red wine, the red wine grapes are crushed and allowed macerate for a short period (2 hrs-20 hours) in a vat before a portion of the juice is drawn off. This juice is then cold-fermented as a white wine would be. The remainder leaves behind a lower ratio of skins to juice which in turns makes a more concentrated red wine). These rosés offer a richer colour and fuller body as the grapes have typically been picked with a focus on flavour and tannin ripeness for the production of a red wine.

Vin Gris/Direct Pressing

Made from whole bunches of red wine grapes which are pressed and the free run juice is fermented without the skins: the colour is purely from the juice.

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