MARY-THERESE BLAIR finds a palette of pinks to seduce us this summer
MAKE NO MISTAKE, rosé is no longer a trend but a beloved style now embedded in our wine-drinking lives. Vintage after vintage, rosé is proving to be no flash in the pan. Each year, winemakers from every New Zealand region are adding a rosé (or rosés) to their repertoire. The quality is consistently improving and the variety of flavours, sweetness levels and colours is remarkable to observe. Premium rosé consumption is also on the rise with a distinct appreciation for beautifully crafted, well-balanced pink wines. The demand for lighter, drier, more savoury styles such as those you would find in Provence in the south of France, has increased, with some winemakers emulating those styles here. Rosé is a powerhouse wine that has succeeded in transcending both the seasonal barrier (with rosé being drunk year-round) and the gender barrier as a strong #brosé movement sweeps social media. Pink power indeed.
UNANIMOUSLY AGREED as the best of the bunch, this pinot noir rosé from Bladen in Marlborough has a gorgeous pale onion skin-like colour. Aromas of lifted cherry soda, watermelon and hints of strawberry leaf exude from the glass. Deliciously dry, elegant and moreish with beautiful precision and length. Perfectly balanced fruit sweetness and fine tannin carries this rosé just beyond the precipice into perfection. The pinot grapes were handpicked in the cool of the morning from the Conders Bend Road vineyard in Renwick, almost two weeks earlier than expected in warm, dry harvest conditions. The lack of weather pressure ensured optimal grape selection. Once safely in the winery, the grapes were left on skins for a mere two hours to achieve pale-pink perfection. When fermented, the Bladen rosé was left on yeast lees for a further two months prior to bottling. This enabled the wine to achieve the texture and length that set it apart from the rest. An exceptional example of the kind of quality we have come to expect from modern-day New Zealand rosé.
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