Rosé is often associated with all things French; chic and class or with all things Provençal; easy-going and relaxed lifestyle.
But first, WHAT IS ROSÉ?
It is a wine style. It's not made from a specific grape variety or from any particular wine region. It's simply a category of wine and a pretty one taking us through a range of Rose coloured shades. Rosé can be still or sparkling, sweet or dry.
Most Rosé lovers prefer a drier style these days. A balanced, fresh wine with lively acidity and winemakers are pretty good at delivering just that.
WHAT GRAPE VARIETIES ARE ROSÉ WINES MADE FROM?
As mentioned above, Rosé can be made from a number of different grape varieties. They can be made from a single red grape variety or a blend of 2-3 red grapes varieties.
Old world (European) Rosé is traditionally made from Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir.
New World Rosé is made from the above varieties, but also from Merlot, Cabernet, Tempranillo and more!
Even white grapes can be used in Rosé blends too. Think Rosé Champagne which typically has Chardonnay in the blend.
Some new more exotic blends pop up every year in the new world wine scene, like the Myatts Field Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz Rosé as part of their Tête-à-Tête à Trois Rosé Challenge, or Peter Yealands ‘Sauvignoir’ made of Sauvignon Blanc & Pinot Noir.
HOW IS ROSÉ WINE MADE?
It's not as easy as mixing a bottle of red wine and bottle of white wine. If you are after quality, don't try. There are three common ways to make Rosé wines:
- Skin contact
SKIN CONTACT is the most common method used. This involves lightly crushing red grapes, so the juice and grape skins macerate (soak) colour from the skin. Depending on the depth of colour and flavours the winemaker wants to achieve, the maceration can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days.
SAIGNÉE or 'bleeding' Methode is used when a winemaker sets out to make red wine and might like to make a Rosé on the side. During maceration, he removes or 'bleeds off' some of the pink juice early on. The juice left is more concentrated for the red wine desired, and the bonus by-product is the Rosé. That's some excellent multi-tasking!
BLENDING, as you'd presume, is basically just the mixing of red and white wine. This is general discouraged in most parts of the wine world and actually forbidden throughout France except in Champagne.
HAWKSHEAD ROSÉ is made from Pinot Noir grapes by skin contact.
Our friends call it the 'Marilyn Monroe of Rosé’, we are very happy with that. It is always voluptuous, sexy, with a great body yet delicate and never frivolous but rather serious. Definitely not boring, you can easily spend a few hours with it. And made by Dean Shaw with Marilyn in mind.