grenache, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, sangiovese and nebbiolo, with winemakers experimenting with many more. Read more about the importance of grape varieties to rosé wine.
SaignéeGot some nerdy wine friends? You might have heard them use the word “saignée” (pronounced son-yay). French for “bleed”, this method involves siphoning off juice from a fermenting red must, which contains the skins, seeds and stems of the fruit, and then placing the pure extract into a separate vessel to make rosé. The result can be a red wine with an intense flavour profile or a pink. As reds remain a top priority for Australian producers, this is a popular technique.
MacerationIf you’re a bit of a whizz in the kitchen, you’ll be familiar with maceration – this is also a method for producing rosé. Destemmed red wine grapes are briefly steeped in juice before the entire batch becomes rosé. Popular in regions of France where rosé is a celebrated wine style, this approach shows rosé the ultimate respect, as it’s purpose-made rather than a run-off of red wine production.
BlendingThe final way to make rosé is by blending red and white wine, usually with a small percentage of red added to a white wine ferment.
THE BEST AUSTRALIAN ROSÉ TASTING NOTES
Yarra Valley Rosé 2021Yarra Valley
Dhillon Col Mountain Vineyard Rosé Grenache 2021Heathcote
Grenache Cinsault Rosé 2021McLaren Vale
Il Pinko Rosé 2020Macedon Ranges
Single Vineyard Rosé 2021Yarra Valley
Estate Vineyard Rosé 2021Yarra Valley
Port Phillip Estate
Salasso Rosé 2021Mornington Peninsula
In Australia, rosé wine was once sniffed at for its sickly sweet, candy coloured characteristics. Today, Australian winemakers are producing exciting styles using a range of varieties. This rise in quality is reflected by high ratings, with a growing number of producers achieving 95-plus points for their pink wines, proving it can be more than just a fun quaffer.
Image credit: Wine Australia.
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