|A Rhone rose. Photo from a show|
in the Papal Palace in Avignon.
Willunga 100 Grenache Rosé McLaren Vale 2020 12.5%
RRP €19.99 Baggot Street Wines : Barnhill Stores : Fresh – Smithfield/Grand Canal: Red Island Wine Co : Sweeney's D3 : The Parting Glass : wineonline.ie
Pale salmon pink is the colour of this one, so pale you think (well at least I did) it’s almost grey. Strawberry is the classic aroma in this Grenache area and our McLaren Vale doesn’t disappoint in that, just-ripe strawberries and hints of blossom. An amazingly fresh acidity features on the palate, keeping the wine (apple, citrus, melon) in balance and there follows a long and very dry finish. Highly Recommended - don’t judge a wine by its colour.
The colour is explained by a vintage note. The hand-picked fruit was destemmed into a fermenter to drain for three to four hours, care was taken to minimise excessive colour extraction to keep the wine as pale as possible. The juice was settled, racked and then fermented in stainless steel using a neutral yeast strain. The wine was chilled post-fermentation and spent a further four months on lees, with regular stirring to build texture.
Importers Liberty: Fruit for this McLaren Vale rosé is sourced from 53-year old bush vines, which gives the wine beautiful concentration and its classic strawberry and red cherry aromas.
Many of us would think, because Australia is a relatively new wine country, that it has no old vines. But it has, quite a few of them. Grenache was one of the original varieties to be planted in Australia in the early 18th century and, up until 1960, was one of the most widely planted grapes.
The producers say Grenache has a wonderfully diverse flavour profile that changes from site to site, and throughout its life in bottle. “It was this sensitivity to site that attracted us to Grenache when we first started Willunga 100 back in 2005. At the time, few people took Grenache seriously, but we loved the gnarly old vines in McLaren Vale that produced outstanding fruit. Our vision was to make contemporary, premium wines with a focus on Grenache, and we’re proud to say, that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
And this rosé is one of them!
Perrin Nature Côtes Du Rhône Rose (AOC) 2020
RRP €21.99 The Corkscrew : wineonline.ie
This pale salmon coloured organic rose is produced by Famille Perrin, the fruit coming from their Le Grand Prébois vineyard in Orange. It is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah. The aromas are also a “blend”, of fruit (red) and floral notes. Beautiful radiant and fresh fruit flavours on the palate where a superb acidity also plays a key role. Delicious from start to finish, this is Highly Recommended. Serve cold, with light cuisine, Mediterranean dishes, but also as an aperitif with friends.
The 2020 vintage in Southern Rhône was favoured by very good weather conditions and it was also a generous one. The harvest, which was fairly early, began under very good conditions. “The very healthy, beautiful juicy and very ripe grapes had reasonable alcohol levels, good acidity and already a great balance.”
The Perrin family started farming organically in 1950 at Château de Beaucastel (quite close to Le Grand Prébois ) with the strong belief that it helps to express the sense of place in the finished wine. It is therefore of little surprise that their philosophy has led to the creation of an organic range of wines sourced from the family’s certified vineyards across the Côtes-du-Rhône region.
Ten years ago, I drove into Tavel, the small southern Rhone town, under a banner declaring: “Tavel. Best Rosé in France.” I was delighted to be there and enjoyed sampling the wines, the rosés (only rosés in this appellation). The first one I tasted was no less than 14% abv.
A 2019 article in Wine Spectator declared that Tavel was about rosé before rosé was cool and went on to point out that it has fallen down the pecking order with the lighter coloured Provence equivalents (rarely as dark or as strong as their Tavel rivals), in their ever fancier bottles, now heading the list of desirable pinks! And that seems to be true here in Ireland where you seldom see Tavel.