With taglines such as “Yes Way Rosé´” and “Rose´ All Day” and big companies launching wildly successful marketing campaigns to push their pink wine, it’s not surprising how popular rose´ is. But maybe you’ve never gotten into it, or you feel weird drinking pink wine. Perhaps this summer is the best time to give it a try?
As a rose´, connoisseur, I can easily go on and on about my favourite brands, why I love them and why you should try them. But I figure you may get bored. So, I decided to go to the pros instead to get their recommendations on the best rose´ wines for you to try this summer.
And, five bottles made the cut from Gosling’s, Discovery Wines and The Tasting Room. Some you may love already, some you have heard of and some might be brand new to your world. Here’s the best part – each bottle comes under the $30 price point. Let’s dive into the world of rose´!
Mikaela Denbrook, Marketing Manager, Gosling’s, recommended award-winning AIX and Fleurs de Prairie, both available at Gosling’s and various shops island-wide. She also said these two brands are Gosling’s top sellers for rose´ and are her personal favourites as well.
“The top rose´ that I would recommend across the board is AIX. For me, it’s an aspirational lifestyle, crispy clean, fun personality, it’s optimal positioning.”
Ms Denbrook explained the brand has a heavy focus on larger formats, which are featured in beach clubs and on yachts in Europe, specifically the South of France.
“This rose´ is definitely made to be shared. A lot of the French rose´ has a blend of various different grapes. AIX Is made from three – grenache, syrah and cinsault. It makes a well-balanced rose´with that pink salmon colour. The nose is youthful and fragrant. The taste has that crisp acidity and mellowed out with summer fruits. It has more fullness and body on the palette than other rose´ that I’ve tried. You can taste the passion they put into this wine.”
Gosling’s is currently at the end of the 2020 vintage and will be moving into the 2021 vintage over the summer. AIX is $28 per bottle.
Fleurs de Prairie
Ms Denbrook described Fleurs de Prairie as “very young” in the rose´ category.
“It was founded in 2016. It celebrates beauty, communication and closeness with a special attention to women. You see that in the style of the bottle with the intricate embossed florals. It’s very pretty, very beautiful. They want to focus on women and their successes. The word actually translates to wildflower. It’s a whole story, they didn’t just create rose´. They were intentional about this.”
While most popular rose´ wines are made in Provence, Fleurs de Prairie is sourced from vineyards closer to the Mediterranean region, which changes the colour and taste.
“The colour is a little bit lighter. It’s more of a soft salmon than a pronounced salmon. They get different grapes along the coast. It has red fruits, but more lemon on the nose. The palette has subtle tropical fruits and rose petals and bright acidity. It’s more of a floral, herby rose. The character is exceptionally lovely.”
Fleur de Prairie retails for $26 per bottle.
Love by Leoube
John Lake, owner of The Tasting Room recommended Love by Leoube, an organic rose´ from Provence for his best pick for the summer. It’s often available on tap at The Tasting Room and can be sampled before purchasing.
“I chose the Love by Leoube as for me it is the perfect summertime wine. It is a beautiful organic Provencal rosé with delicious notes of Strawberry and White Peach. It is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon spent in your garden or out on the boat and goes particularly well with a lightly grilled fish and salad.”
Jonathan Leadley, general manager, Discovery Wines recommended two bottles to sample this summer: The Pale Rose´ by Sacha Lichine 2020 and Jim Barry ‘Annabelle’s Rosé’ 2021. When discussing this story, I asked him not to recommend Whispering Angel, as its already the most popular rose´ brand in the world ( and I don’t love it). So, if you were looking for that, I’m sorry!
The Pale Rose´ by Sacha Lichine 2020
Mr Leadley explained this wine is named after its transparent, pink color and embodies all the characteristics of an authentic rosé from Provence.
“It is expressive both inside and out and bears great aromatic freshness on the nose followed by more subtle, fruity notes on the palate. Its elegant palate pairs nicely with its colorful and playful label.”
As far as how it tastes, he said: “Aromas of candied orange peel and mineral-kissed white flowers are clean and inviting. Pink grapefruit is washed by a meringue sweetness and tempered by cherry pith. The dynamic streak of crushed stone races across the palate, with melon and lilac on the finish.”
Mr Leadley encouraged readers to head back to the roaring 20s with this excellent rose´.
The Pale Rose´, by Sacha Lichine retails for $23.70.
Jim Barry ‘Annabelle’s Rosé 2021
Annabelle’s Rosé is the only bottle in this article that isn’t a French rosé as it’s made in Clare Valley, South Australia. It’s named after second-generation winemaker Peter Barry’s first grandchild, Annabelle.
“The nose opens with lifted notes of blackcurrant and blackberry aromatics and subtle savoury notes of garden herbs, turned earth and spice. The palate displays generous red and blackcurrant fruit gently shaped by soft, silky tannins. Hints of liquorice, tobacco and savoury oak add further character to a wine packed with bright fruit flavours,”
He also described this wine as “moreish to be enjoyed now”.
Annabelle’s Roséretails for $24.85.
Out of these five bottles, I’d only tried two before – AIX and Love by Leoube. And I will be honest, I’ve been a fan of AIX for years and often say it’s my favourite rosé. While I still enjoy it, I’ve got a few new favourites to add to the list as each of these wines were absolutely fantastic. I can happily say I’ve enjoyed them all.
I hope this opened your eyes to rosé – whether you’ve been sticking to the same brand or have never enjoyed a glass. Now is the perfect time to enjoy a crisp, cold glass of the pink stuff. Cheers!