50 Shades of Rosé

 
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Perth’s Pigment Prejudice:

We thought it best to address the elephant in the room - darker coloured, local rosé which in our eyes, are experiencing a bit of unwarranted discrimination....

Photo: Examining the different colour ranges of a number of Provençal rosé

Photo: Examining the different colour ranges of a number of Provençal rosé

While spotting a pink bottle of wine sprawled over picnic blankets across WA has in part become commonplace, you’ll still be lucky to spot a darker local variety of rosé which is all too readily labelled as a “poorer quality” or “too sweet”.

But hold the phone. Darker rosé isn’t necessarily a solid indicator of its level of sweetness. Although they're always jam-packed full of fruity notes, many of our local darker rosé labels are a lot dryer and more refined than you might expect...

Photo: Some local rosé adding some summer flair to the dining table

Photo: Some local rosé adding some summer flair to the dining table

We really do love a great rosé at this time of year, especially these lighter Southern French styles and according to our stats, you seem to enjoy them too and a hell of a lot more than some of the darker local rosé on offer.

Photo: A typical lighter style of Provençal rosé

Photo: A typical lighter style of Provençal rosé

It should come as no surprise most people opt for a lighter salmony-ochre coloured rosé typical of the many Provençal labels which seem to be so popular these days. There really is no better party accessory than a stylish bottle of Provençal rosé chilling on ice as our days get longer.

This style’s colouring screams of summery sophistication and doesn’t taste too shabby either. Light, crisp and full of floral punch, it's why this wine style still reigns supreme as king of Perth patio parties, pool-side drinks, picnics in the park and local drinkers’ top choice entering our summer months.

Our lighter style picks from Provence are:

2016 Lavendette Rosé, Alpes de Haute Provence "Dry and spicy, full of rose petals, ripe raspberry, dusty spice and hints of pomegranate"

2016 Lavendette Rosé, Alpes de Haute Provence

"Dry and spicy, full of rose petals, ripe raspberry, dusty spice and hints of pomegranate"

  2014 Le Baron Rosé, 'Les Allumées', Cotes du Provence "With an extra year or two of ageing, the richness in this wine is beginning to reveal itself. Complex and savoury - an ideal food match"

 

2014 Le Baron Rosé, 'Les Allumées', Cotes du Provence

"With an extra year or two of ageing, the richness in this wine is beginning to reveal itself. Complex and savoury - an ideal food match"

But perhaps it’s time you woke from your Mediterranean fantasy of sipping light rosé beach-side at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and snap back to reality.

We should be supporting local styles of rosé the way you would with a local red or white varietal.

Photo: Some Provençal rosé being enjoyed in the South of France under the sun

Photo: Some Provençal rosé being enjoyed in the South of France under the sun

Many darker Western Australian rosés taste incredible and you shouldn’t so easily forget what we’re producing here in our own backyard to get you through the warmer weather that’s looming on the horizon.

Warning: Be prepared, I'm about to go deep, wine-nerding out.

*Takes a huge gulp of air...*

Putting the Rose in Rosé:

Rosé is essentially another red wine variety with less skin contact on the grapes prior to extracting their juice.

WA is home to some incredible quality red wines with the region being world famous for producing top-shelf Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular due to the preferred grapes used in this area and climate conditions which favour the characteristics of such wines.

Photo: A vineyard in Margaret River, WA

Photo: A vineyard in Margaret River, WA

This results in these WA wines being a much richer and darker style of red than other European varieties.

It’s not very surprising to also learn that our state’s best rosé also hold this local characteristic of our reds, being very dark in their colour.

Despite the paler, imported rosé being highly favoured, it’s actually incredibly difficult for local winemakers to mirror this desired colouring.

Photo: A rosé colour chart by Wine Folly

Photo: A rosé colour chart by Wine Folly

The darker hues which are classic to local rosé are typically produced through allowing a slightly longer period of skin contact known as ‘maceration’.

This is where tannins found in the grape skin are released in higher quantities before the fruit is pressed and the juice is extracted.

Our picks here at home are:

2015/16 Devil's Lair - Fifth Leg Rosé "Boasting vibrant red berry fruit notes, this wine is anything but sweet offering a variety of more savoury flavours on the palate followed by a clean and zingy finish"  

2015/16 Devil's Lair - Fifth Leg Rosé

"Boasting vibrant red berry fruit notes, this wine is anything but sweet offering a variety of more savoury flavours on the palate followed by a clean and zingy finish"

 

2016 Deep Woods - Harmony Rosé "An unashamedly dry style with vibrant balanced acidity. Light- to medium-bodied displaying raspberry and strawberry fruit flavours with a satisfying persistent finish"

2016 Deep Woods - Harmony Rosé

"An unashamedly dry style with vibrant balanced acidity. Light- to medium-bodied displaying raspberry and strawberry fruit flavours with a satisfying persistent finish"

So when the picnic blanket unpacks and the barbecue begins to sizzle, please don’t go trying to water down your rosé in an attempt to make it trendier and more appealing to your mates...

Be proud of your state and WA’s award-winning wine by not shying away from a darker rosé or two this summer.