THE WINE BUNCH Tasting: ROSE (Week One) July 2013


Ernie 1Martin Moran 1

One of the most compelling characteristics of a good rosé is youthful vivacity, writes Ernie Whalley. Rosés are made in different ways, including the blending of red and white wines together; by leaving the skins briefly in contact with the juice just before fermentation; or by a technique called saignée (‘bleeding’). When a winemaker desires to impart more body to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding; the pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé. Rosé is best enjoyed during the warmer months, often in an out-of-doors location. The rosé fan seeks a fresh, lively wine with attractive strawberry, raspberry and, sometimes, cherry and/or redcurrant fruit. The colour is often a dead giveaway – faded wines and those from older vintages are best avoided. Overall we were surprised by the high quality of the 24 wines tasted. 8 chosen, these are the first four.

Chateau Bellevue La Fôret 2012, Fronton, €13.99 Martins, D3; Londis stores; Deveney’s, D14 and other independents. BRONZE
EW: Gutsier than your average rosé, this comes over fresh as a daisy with rich, joyful clean red fruit, enlivened by zippy spices and a citric touch.
MM: Irish owned chateau that appears to be in safe hands if this quite full bodied style with plenty of red currant like fruit is anything to go by
Bergerie l’Hortus  2012, Coteaux du Languedoc  €15.15  SILVER
EW: Mandarin, pink grapefruit and beautiful red berry fruit. Clean finish, class act.
MM: Hortus is a model of consistency. I’ve never had a bad wine from them and this serves up attractive berry fruit but also a slightly different, zesty orange note on the finish.
Chateau Haut Rian 2012 €12.00 BRONZE
EW: Good heft of strawberry and redcurrant  fruit, quite complex. Merlot and Cabernet working well together, quite ‘serious’ for rosé
MM: Weighty for a rosé with plenty of ripe fruit such as tinned strawberries, cherry and pear yet it stays tangy and fresh.
Ch de Sours 2012 Bordeaux €18.99 Deveney’s, D14;, D11 and selected independents. SILVER
EW: Strawberry, raspberry, grapefruit, touch of lemon verbena. Attractive, balanced, likeable and very high quality wine. As always, a benchmark, giving something for others to aim for.
MM: This chateau has a stellar reputation that is fully deserved. Consistently delivers subtle wild strawberry fruit, creamy texture and a zippy grapefruit finish. Delish.