13 best rosé wines
Whether it’s a pink-hued bottle from Provence or Lebanon, enjoy a glass sitting out in the sun
Nothing is quite as emotive as a glass of chilled rosé on a hot summers day. Whether it’s a BBQ, family party or even an alfresco drink with friends, there’s always a blush to suit the occasion. Our thirst for rosé, in particular from Provence, has seen production hit record levels – in 2007 the region exported 5m litres, last year it was almost 30m. With that in mind we’d advise looking beyond big-names from the South of France and considering some of the newer countries and regions to enter the rosé market.
“For many, rosé has meant one of two things – pale and summery, or dark and sickly,” explains Charles Cutterdige, Rosé Buyer at Majestic. “But we’re seeing a huge change in the category now, as more styles come in. Malbec is a great example. It has popular appeal as a red wine but we’ve had increased interest in our pink styles too. It’s the same with other grapes, like Pinot Noir, as well as whole regions – like Lisbon.”
Although we’ve been conditioned to believe a pale pink is the pinnacle of sophistication, more vibrant strawberry pink hues can be just as good if not better. In fact we’ve found that some of the very light versions can be more style over substance with more effort gone into creating a barely there shade with little regard to the aroma and taste.
The team at food, drink and travel website Crummbs put these brilliant blushes to the test looking for drinkability, value for money and that special something to make it stand out from the crowd.
Ferghettina Franciacorta Brut Rosé DOCG 2013 12.5%: £29.66, Tannico
If you’re left feeling deflated by prosecco, it might be time to try Italy’s answer to champagne. Franciacorta is made in the exact same way as its French counterpart and with DOCG status, this bottle of bubbly represents great value. Expect delicate and refreshing berries balanced with a savoury biscuit finish, all served up in a beautiful, yet unusually shaped bottle.
Marks and Spencer Champagne Delacourt Rosé Brut 12.5%: £192 (case of six), Marks and Spencer
M&S have been busy working with Reims based Champagne house, Castelnau to create this elegant new cuvee with some of the best grapes from the region – pinot noir, meunier and chardonnay. A pretty, salmon coloured fizz that you’ll want to drink all summer long, it’s full of juicy raspberries, strawberries and cherries with a delicate touch of cinnamon and pepper to balance out the sweetness.
Leclerc Briant Brut Rosé Champagne 12%: £48, Borough Wines
From a sixth generation wine maker, this full-bodied sparkler has a wonderfully rich complexity with a fresh minerality. Certified both organic and biodynamic since the 1980s, you should detect bold blood orange and uplifting citrus notes which pairs particularly well with duck and grilled tuna.
Hoffmann & Rathbone Rosé Réserve 12%: £40.70, Honest Grapes
English sparkling wine is a hot topic at the moment with an entire week dedicated to its rise in fame (Saturday 26th May – Sunday 3rd June). And with good reason – we’re creating incredible sparkling wine in this country, easily rivalling champagnes of the same price. Fresh, bright and dry with notes of rose and rhubarb, this award-winning drop is from a Sussex vineyard utilising a blend of 85% pinot noir and 15% barrel fermented chardonnay grapes before being aged for 40 months.
Bruno Paillard’s Première Cuvée Rosé Champagne 12%: £47.15
Produced in small quantities to ensure quality, this copper coloured extra brut is super dry with hints of raspberry, nectarine and fine bubbles. It’s absolutely perfect as an aperitif but if you’re going for full blown opulence we’d suggest pairing these delightful bubbles with lobster – all the better if it’s in the sunshine.
Domaine d’Antugnac Rosé Turitelles 13%: £9.95, Berry Bros & Rudd
You can expect a wonderfully refreshing minerality in this blush, thanks to the chalky limestone soil found in the vineyards of the Languedoc region. A blend of syrah, cinsault and merlot grapes, it’s a thirst quenching style that will disappear all too easily on a hot summer’s day. Make sure this is perfectly chilled before serving with salads or grilled fish.
Whispering Angel 13%: £19.95, 31Dover.com
Widely considered one of the best rosés on the market, this bottle from Provence is a very inviting shade of pink with an aromatic nose on opening. Macerated strawberries mingle with delicate notes of peach, rose-water and orange blossom. Crisp, dry and refreshing, this is extremely well balanced with a smooth as silk finish. Suitable for most summer occasions, you’ll certainly be in favour if you turn up with this at the next barbeque.
Chateau Minuty M de Minuty Limited Edition Ashley Mary Rosé 2017 13%: £15.75, Harvey Nichols
Whilst we wouldn’t recommend judging a book by its cover, we have to mention the beautiful design of this special edition bottle by Minneapolis-based pop artist Ashley Mary, featuring the best of Saint-Tropez. Inside you’ll find a great example of Provence rosé – orange peel, sweet berries and zingy grapefruit – which we can’t wait to pack in our picnic hamper.
Williams Chase Rosé 13%: £17.99, Selfridges
Not content with growing a multi-million pound quintessentially British vodka brand, not to mention his crisp business, Tyrrells, William Chase has now switched from potatoes to grapes, more specifically rosé. A blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault and vermentino grapes, expect delicate notes of peach, grapefruit and melon, crying out to be drunk over a long summer night.
Renegade London Wine GTS Squared Rosé 2017 12%: £26.00, Harvey Nichols
Renegade by name and by nature, when we think of English wines we picture the green vineyards of Kent, Sussex and Cornwall but this handmade, small batch wine is made under a railway arch in East London’s Bethnal Green. They’ve taken Spanish grenache and tempranillo grapes and blended them with Italian syrah and seyval blanc from good ol’ blighty. Take that Brexit. It’s ever so slightly fizzy, very fruity and a little sweet. If you’re bored of light pinks from Provence, this will shake your taste buds up. Best enjoyed ice cold.
Les Quatre Tours, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé 13%: £12.75, Friarwood
A fruit-forward wine with punchy red currant and juicy strawberries which balances out with an enjoyably dry minerality. Equally good as an aperitif or served at the end of your meal with strawberries and cream, this is an easy drinking style that you won’t need to think twice about re-ordering.
Arthur Metz Roséal Pinot Gris, Vins d’Alsace 12.5%: £11.99, Ocado
More well known for his sparkling wines, producer Arthur Metz has turned his hand to still rosé using pinot gris grapes. Beautifully aromatic with sweet honey, quince and peach, the off-dry nature of this wine works very well with lightly spiced dishes. Although French, this pink from Alsace offers something altogether more exciting from your standard Provence offer.
Celler Alimara Llumi Rosat 14.5%: £11.90, Honest Grapes
A new discovery from the Terra Alta region of Catalonia and silver medal winners at the Global Rosé Masters 2018, this is an ultra-quaffable blush for summer. Don’t let the bright pink hue deter you, this is a very elegant wine featuring juicy strawberries along with a touch of citrus peel. Great with a variety of food, serve with everything from grilled fish & chicken as well as vegetable based dishes. Not one to be overlooked.
Rustenberg Petit Verdot Rosé 13.5%: £8.99, Waitrose
From South Africa’s premium wine region, Stellenbosch this rosé exhibits an abundance of ripe red fruit with a clean, crisp finish. Made exclusively from the petit verdot grape (known for their depth of colour, hence the bright pink hue), there’s a touch of sweet spice which makes this a particularly good pairing with charcuterie.
Porta 6 Rosé 2017 12.5%: £7.99, Majestic Wine
If you’ve ever been to Portugal’s buzzy capital city, you’ll surely recognise the streets of Lisbon depicted in this exuberant label. Portuguese pinks still struggle to shake off their sickly sweet reputation, however that looks set to change with the region confidently taking on the Provence market. This is a particularly good example – an exceptionally good value light, delicate, thirst-quenching blush.
Whilst Provence pinks still reign supreme, it’s certainly worth expanding your search to find a rosé that will make you blush for all the right reasons. We think Franciacorta styles are one to watch, offering all the complexity of champagne without the price tag – surely it’s time to replace our prosecco obsession? Meanwhile we’re really excited to try more from Portugal ,and will be keeping close eyes on Lisbon in particular. However if you’re looking for something super easy to drink the Domaine d’Antugnac from Berry Bros & Rudd represents great value. If you have a little more to spend, you won’t be disappointed by Whispering Angel.
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