Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


If you can’t beat it, join the rage for rosé

Southern French rosé may be the apex of dry, pale pink, light bodied wines to drink chilled in summer, but everybody is getting in on the act these days. The best of them live up to their refreshing promises but there have traditionally been few really high notes. This is changing, as a tasting this week of a $50 dry Spanish rosé (deep in colour but bone dry) showed me. There’s precious little of that wine so in lieu of suggesting it’s worth trying to track down something that’s impossible to find, here are three light to medium bodied pink wines that punch above what their price suggests.

2020 Urlar Gladstone Pinot Rosé $25
Here is a rosé with more colour, more flavour and firmer tannins than most made from Pinot Noir in New Zealand today. And that’s why I like it.
Winemaker Jannine Rickards used Pinot Noir clones 115 and 114 which she soaked briefly for colour before pressing them to tank; most fermented in stainless steel with a small portion in old French oak barrels. She also added a portion of clone 5 Pinot Noir which was hand and fermented as whole clusters in a sealed tank. This gives the wine structure and power. It contains a miniscule amount of residual sugar with 1.26 grams per litre.
I love this style. It tastes flavoursome, refreshing and every sip lingers.
* Urlar means of the earth and this wine is certified organic with BioGro NZ.

2020 Main Divide Rosé North Canterbury $21.99
Looks can be deceiving, as in the case of this pale pink, super  flavoursome rosé, which is made by the Donaldson family, whose eldest son, Mat, is chief winemaker of the talented team in charge of this wine. It’s made from the free run juice of a range of grape varieties grown in the Waipara Valley, North Canterbury, at Pegasus Bay’s vineyards. It tastes dry, spicy and has concentrated dried red berry flavours, backing up a refreshing pink wine with depth.

Rosabel Vin de France $19.99
Southern French rosé is the apex of dry, pale pink, refreshing light bodied wines to drink chilled on hot days. And the best of them live up to this promise. Rosabel is made from grapes grown in several regions around the Mediterranean, hence the name ‘vin de France’, which refers to its multi region blend. It tastes soft, creamy and fresh with red berry flavours, a hint of sweetness mid palate, nicely balanced by a dry finish.

Read more of my thoughts about rosé over on Beauty EQ’s weekly blog here